TORY women have been frozen out of the party's list of candidates for the next Assembly elections.
A plan to get more women on to the Tory benches in the Assembly has hit the buffers after local activists picked men for almost all the winnable seats.
Party bosses hoped a publicity drive would help shed the Tories' "blue rinse" image and boost the party's current total of two female AMs.
It was intended as part of new leader David Cameron's bid to attract candidates - and by extension voters - that better reflect modern Britain.
But while he turns his attention to committing his party to a goal of slashing the emissions of carbon dioxide after a visit to the Arctic Circle in Norway, back at home his other plans appear to have been put on ice in Wales.
The candidates in all seven of the target Welsh seats next year are men, and men also dominate the PR list seats selected last week.
The Tories say this is the final election to be fought under the current selection system. Mr Cameron's wish for an "A-list" of 100 candidates to fight winnable seats will be in place at the next general election.
Senior party figures in Cardiff and Westminster were hoping a publicity drive would help attract more women and ethnic minority candidates for next year's Assembly elections.
However, key target seats like Cardiff North, Clwyd West and the Vale of Glamorgan will be fought by male candidates, as will the safe seat of Monmouth, where sitting AM David Davies is standing down to concentrate on his role as the area's MP.
And last week saw four of the five regional top-up lists pick their candidates, with all but one picking men in the most winnable first two slots. Only Laura Anne Jones, in South Wales East, has made it to a number two slot on the list, and she is already an AM.
Although there are women in the number three slots in North Wales and South Wales Central, without a huge swing to the Tories at the ballot box they are unlikely to be returned to Cardiff Bay.
The Tory leadership is finding it difficult to influence the local associations, who pick the constituency candidates. Regional candidates are elected on a ballot.
"The leadership are frustrated, but they can only do their best," said one Tory moderniser. "We could end up with only two women being elected, which is where we were in 2003."
The selection process has not been a happy one for the Conservatives. The ballot for the Mid and West regional list had to be suspended at great cost after a leaflet backing one candidate was circulated among members, in breach of the rules.
And the candidate selected to fight Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, John Jenkins, resigned 24 hours later in a row over homophobic comments made on a website. The comments had also forced him to stand down in the 2003 elections.
Those set to miss out include businesswoman Janet Finch- Saunders, placed at number three on the North Wales list, and housing manager Victoria Green, 35, who is number three on the South Wales Central list. Ms Green, who lives in Barry, also missed out on the Vale of Glamorgan nomination.
Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said, "I want to see more women coming through, but we are not going to gerrymander the system - as Labour has done with all-women shortlists - to achieve that. That is not a road the party intends to follow.
"Women are starting to come forward in Wales, expressing an interest to stand as Conservative candidates and I intend to encourage more to do so.
"I will also happily talk to any woman who wants to pursue a career in politics for the Conservative Party."
She added, "I would also encourage the media to continue highlighting the fact that we need more women to come forward to stand for election for all political parties."
Mr Cameron gave a signal of how importantly he takes the issue in his first speech on becoming leader, saying, "We will change the way we look. Nine out of 10 Conservative MPs, like me, are white men.
"We need to change the scandalous under-representation of women in the Conservative Party and we'll do that.
" We need to change the way we feel. No more grumbling about modern Britain."