THE CONSERVATIVE candidate defending his West Dorset seat in next month's general election believes the ballot centres around preparing for Brexit rather than "putting forward a radical set of ideas".

Sir Oliver Letwin, who is standing in his sixth and final general election in the constituency, is pleading with voters to support Theresa May to lead Britain's Brexit negotiations when voters go to the polls on Thursday, June 8.

He told The News: "Ensuring and developing better services and such are all very important things, but actually this particular election is one that ultimately results in one of two people being the prime minister and carrying out the primary negotiation on Britain's future.

"The main choice voters have is Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. Having been involved in previous negotiations before, I am very, very conscious that the prime minister of the day of these negotiations must be very confident and able.

"It's almost more like a presidential election this time around but elections in Britain have become more like that anyway, more in terms of the prime minister they are selecting. This election really is about the prime minister that leads the Brexit process."

Sir Oliver, who has been instrumental in developing policy and putting together the Conservatives' election manifestos during the last 20 years, has enjoyed taking more of a backseat role this time around.

He said: "This is the first manifesto since 1997 that I have had no input in.

"I cannot say I miss the life of being more involved in government. I was working 20-hour days and when you have done that for six years it's nice to enjoy more of a life."

He added: "I think if people in West Dorset vote for me and the Conservative Party, they are being asked to vote for stability. This is not an election where we are putting forward a radical set of ideas. We are carrying on with a strong and stable government that can maintain the economic stability.

"I'm not looking for or expecting any great excitement in the Conservative manifesto but a stable platform for Brexit."

Sir Oliver was "very surprised" at Theresa May's decision to call a snap election, having played a role in creating the fixed-term parliament act.

He added: "I think it was very sensible of Theresa May to do this, because we are, as a country, engaged in the toughest and most important negotiations we have ever had in peace time.

"I think it is incredibly important that people on the other side of the table have reason to believe that when the Prime Minister takes us out of the EU and deliver it, that depends on having a working majority in the House of Commons."

Sir Oliver also hit out at other parties for continuing to fight for Britain to remain in the EU, despite 49 per cent of people in West Dorset voted remain in last year's referendum.

He said: "I voted and campaigned to remain.

"The fact is, we live in a democracy and a democratic decision was made and the job of the UK government is to make sure that is implemented. Now is not the time to re-fight that fight, but to make sure that we find the best way forward for Britain."

Sir Oliver increased his majority in the 2015 election and the Conservatives increased their grip of Dorset County Council last month.

He added: "I have learnt over the years never to take voters for granted.

"They can turn around and bite you very easily. If nothing else, the experience with polls looking at Trump and Brexit is that we should assume nothing."