I see from the Conservative Home website that nominations for the Tory PPC for Darlington at the next election closed on Thursday.
The comments to the post are instructive - for all the huffing and puffing by the Tories in what has admittedly been a bad few weeks for Labour, they regard Darlington as a 'no hope' seat, on a par with Sedgefield and Middlesbrough (it's in 'tranche 5, phase 3' of their process) . Remember, for a long time Darlington was seen as a marginal seat, and keenly fought over by both the main parties. It's evidence of the mountain the Tories have to climb if they're to form a majority next time.
My sources suggest that a local candidate is favourite to get the nomination. Given the poor chances the party seems to think it has in Darlington, little wonder that they can't attract a talented young thruster from elsewhere.