THE new Tory parliamentary candidate for Slough believes he can wipe out Labour’s stronghold on the town at the general elections in May.

Gurcharan Singh, who defected from Labour to the Tories in 2007, will stand for the Slough seat after winning more than 51% of the votes at a meeting in Cippenham on Thursday (18).

The former Labour Mayor of Ealing and deputy council leader defected to the Tories in 2007. He fought the 2010 Ealing and Southall election as the Conservative candidate in 2010. While he lost out to Labour, he won nearly 30% of votes - 10.8% extra than the Tories polled at the previous election.

He believes that experience puts him in good shape to overturn the current Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart’s 5,523 majority.

“It’s not a huge majority,” he told The Observer. “That’s a do-able job. I’m here to win rather than just make up the numbers. If people look at my track record in Ealing and Southall I had a larger swing last time against Labour. I’m confident of doing something in Slough - I know a lot of people here and I have been there in and out.” A Tory source told The Observer Mr Singh has the backing of a potentially influential group of Sikhs who are disgruntled with the Labour party and MP Fiona Mactaggart. Many of whom left Labour and joined the Tories in the last year.

The selection process was overseen by a team from the Tory HQ.

Mr Singh was one of four candidates at the vote. Five had been chosen for the shortlist, but Cllr Mimi Harker, the former Tory group leader and cabinet member for Chiltern, did not attend.

The only candidate who lives or works in Slough was Dr Robin Codell, chair of trustees at Corporate Health (Slough).

Slough Tory Cllr Diana Coad, leader of the Slough Conservative Group, said: “We wish Mr Singh all the best in Slough.” She did not attend the vote, saying she 'chose not to’. Cllr Coad was a former Slough candidate in 2001 and 2010, losing to Labour’s Fiona Mactaggart both times. She was not considered to be this year’s candidate.

Cllr Anna Wright, former group leader, added: “He has the support of Ealing and has experience of campaigning and gathering the communities together.” Cllr Wayne Strutton added: “He spoke well at the meeting. If he can deliver what he says he is going to deliver then he’ll be very good.”