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Page last updated at 09:48 GMT, Friday, 20 January 2012

Do primaries increase democracy?

In Totnes, Devon, an open primary was held for the Conservative candidate in the last election where anyone could vote and a surprise candidate won.

It was seen as a way of opening up democracy and improving the calibre of MPs, but the government seems to be unsure about its commitment to doing the same for 200 seats at the next election.

Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan and former Labour cabinet minister Margaret Beckett debate the pros and cons of primary elections.

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