Becoming a Conservative MP is a multi-stage process:
1. Become a Conservative Party member.
2. Get onto the list of approved candidates.
3. Get yourself selected by a Conservative constituency association as the official Conservative Party candidate for that constituency.
4. Win the election, whether in a by-election or during a general election.
Become a Conservative Party member
This is straightforward. If you are not already a Conservative Party member, you can use the form at this link to join both the CMF and the Conservative Party.
Get onto the list of approved candidates
It can be very hard to find published information about how to do this. In 2012 the Conservative Party published a five page guide on how to do this. Despite the document being a few years old, it is worth reading it.
Most importantly, get to know some recently elected MPs and some recent candidates and talk to them about how they became approved candidates. The more you can do to raise your profile within the Party, the better.
Get yourself selected by a Conservative constituency association as the official Conservative Party candidate
This can be a long hard slog.
Most MPs can tell you about how many constituencies they applied to before they managed to get selected. At our event on Women’s Empowerment on 19 March 2015 Andrea Ledsom MP mentioned that her seat of South Northamptonshire was the 117’th seat she had applied for!
Win the election
All of the effor in the two previous stages is merely to get you into a situation where you can fight the campaign for your seat. While most people decide how to vote based on their perception of the parties nationally, a good constituency campaign can make all the difference between losing narrowly and winning narrowly.