Conservatives trail behind the other parties with 183 candidates still to select

With just 17 days to go before the close of nominations for candidates wishing to stand in this summer’s general election, the Conservative Party needs to find almost three tenths of its candidates.

Across England, Scotland and Wales, the Conservative Party still has 183 candidates to select. Some 29 of these candidates, just under a fifth, are for vacancies in currently held Conservative seats.

In contrast, as of the evening of 27th May, the Labour Party had selected candidates in all but 17 of the 631 seats it intends to fight across England, Wales, and Scotland.

As per the list at the bottom of this article, 15 of the 17 missing Labour candidates are for seats currently held by the party.  With many of these seats having only recently being vacated by retiring MPs, this increases the ease with which the party leadership may well be able to install its favoured candidates into plum seats at Westminster.

Party Candidate Selection Totals

• The above figures are based on England, Wales and Scotland. It is assumed that the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems will not contest the Speaker’s seat of Chorley as has been their convention.
• The above figures exclude the three Consevative candidates currently selected in Northern Ireland.
• For these purposes, the above figures have amalgamated the Green candidates from the separate Green Parties that exist in England, Wales and Scotland to provide a nationwide picture of Green candidates.

In second place in the candidate selection stakes, the separate Green parties of England, Scotland and Wales have now selected some 567 candidates (90%). This is already substantially ahead of the number of candidates fielded by the different Green Parties in the 2019 general election.

Reform UK is currently positioned in third place having selected a total of 514 candidates (81%).

Although they are positioned ahead of the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats still have a significant number of vacancies to fill, with 23% of the seats in England, Wales, and Scotland lacking a declared Liberal Democrat candidate.

It remains to be seen whether there may be any surprises in who ends up filling the Conservative and Labour vacancies in their existing seats.  It had previously been speculated that the former West Midlands Mayor, Andrew Street, might contest the vacant Solihull West seat for the Conservatives.  However late last night Mr Street issued a statement saying he would not be standing in the impending contest.

In the past there has been talk that both the former Labour foreign secretary, David Miliband, and the former Manchester United football captain Gary Neville might emerge onto the list of Labour Parliamentary candidates.

After a number of high profile appearances at party events in late 2022, Gary Neville subsequently played down the notion that he wanted to morph into a Labour MP.  If on the off chance he has had a change of heart, the vacant Greater Manchester seat of Worsley and Eccles seat may just be one to watch.

The Conservative list of vacancies will be of particular interest to the current Conservative Party Chairman, Richard Holden MP. Mr Holden currently lacks a seat to contest after boundary changes impacted his current North West Durham constituency.

Current Conservative held seats that lack a candidate (29)
Basildon and Billericay
Bexhill and Battle
Blackpool South
Bognor Regis and Littlehampton
Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
Chatham and Aylesford
Dover and Deal
East Thanet
East Worthing and Shoreham
Epping Forest
Great Yarmouth
North East Hertfordshire
Northampton North
Solihull West and Shirley
South Northamptonshire
Southend East and Rochford
Surrey Heath
Tunbridge Wells
Warrington South
Wellingborough and Rushden
Wells and Mendip Hills

Current Labour held seats that lack a candidate (15)
Dewsbury and Batley
Ealing Southall
Gateshead Central and Whickham
Hackney North and Stoke Newington
Leyton and Wansted
North Durham
Queen’s Park and Maida Vale
Tipton and Wednesbury
West Ham and Beckton
Worsley and Eccles
Swansea West

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