Liberal Democrat Caroline Voaden has been decicively elected as People’s Champion by the South Devon Primary which held its’ final debate on Saturday March 16.

It was the culmination of seven debates in which a total of 1,072 people took part in an initative to select a progressive candidate to take on the Conservative incumbent Anthony Mangnall and become the first MP of the newly named South Devon constituency.

The race to become People’s Champion received both local and national news coverage.

The former MEP was up against Robert Bagnall of the Greens.

It had been hoped by the organisers that Labour would have selected a candidate by the time of the debates so that they could take part but, although this was not to be, it was possible to vote for the party on their voting slip.

The final voting gave Lib Dem Caroline Voaden 840 votes (78.4 per cent), Green Robert Bagnall 210 votes (19.6 per cent) and Labour 22 votes (2.1 per cent).

The message from organisers was ‘Let’s be clever and vote together.’

It is widely thought that the general election will be held in November or December following a final ‘fiscal event’ by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Conservatives have been elected for more than 100 years in the constituency which is now known as Totnes although the last incumbent, Dr Sarah Wollaston, was elected a Conservative but then defected to Change UK and finally the Liberal Democrats.

The last time a non-Conservative won was Liberal MP Henry Vivian in 1923 under slightly different boundaries.

The initiative was backed by Guardian journalist George Monbiot and following on from this a similar one on the Isle of Wight has been organised called the East Wight Primary.

Only the Green candidate is taking part with the Lib Dem candidate withdrawing from the contest citing ‘significant problems relating to participation by political parties and electoral law’ although, despite a request for that legal advice, it hasn’t been supplied by the Liberal Democrats to the organisers of East Wight Primary.

Labour have refused to take part saying it is against their party policy.