UPDATED: Full list of Lib Dems standing in our held seats and top 50 targets

by Stephen Tall on April 6, 2014

We’re little more than a year from the May 2015 election so here’s my latest running check on how candidate selection is going in our held and key target seats…

Lib Dems winning hereI published a first draft of this list at the start of October, and asked readers to help me update it. Many thanks to those of you who have helped me keep it updated, including the party’s Candidates Services Office. Here’s the latest version of the list of (re-)selections in our held seats and the top 50 targets for the party.

It’s a snapshot of how the party’s doing in getting people in place in the battleground seats that will determine the extent of Lib Dem influence in the next parliament:

Held seats: 49/57 MPs re-selected or candidates selected where MPs retiring (86%); 8/57 MPs retiring (14%) – 7 successors selected.

Top targets from Tories: 19/27 candidates selected (70%).

Top targets from Labour: 12/23 candidates selected (52%).

With 13 months to the next election, the Lib Dems have candidates in place in 31 of our top 50 targets – just over half. Realistically, seats currently held by the Tories are more likely prospects for the party. However, there remain 6 Tory targets in the overall top 50 – almost one-quarter of them – where the party has neither selected a candidate nor yet advertised for one. If there’s one thing we know about winning seats, it’s the importance of selecting a credible candidate good and early.

How are we doing on the female:male candidate selection? Well, there’s progress. To date, five of the seven seats currently held by Lib Dems where the MPs are retiring have selected women candidates; in a sixth, Brent East, the party has selected a candidate from an ethnic minority. That’s an impressive record. Other than de-selecting sitting MPs – not a great idea when we’ll rely on incumbency in 2015 – there’s not much more that can currently be achieved. However, the overall picture is still not great: the Lib Dems currently have 11 women selected to stand in our 57 held seats – that’s 19% women to 81% men. There are a further two selections due: in Bath (where Don Foster has announced his retirement) and in Portsmouth South (where Mike Hancock’s suspension from the national party makes him ineligible to be re-adopted). In the top 50 target seats, of which 31 have selected candidates so far, there are almost twice as many men (20) as women (11).

Held seats:
Number of women currently expected to be standing in 2015: 11/57 (19%)

Top 50 target seats:
Number of women currently selected in 2015: 11/50 (22%)
Number of men currently selected in 2015: 20/50 (40%)

The lists below are my best understanding of the current situation. Please do let me know if you can help me update it.

Here’s the full list of the 57 MPs elected as Liberal Democrats in May 2010:

Danny Alexander, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey – RESELECTED
Norman Baker, Lewes – RESELECTED
Alan Beith, Berwick-upon-Tweed – RETIRING. Julie Pörksen selected
Gordon Birtwistle, Burnley – RESELECTED
Tom Brake, Carshalton and Wallington – RESELECTED
Annette Brooke, Mid Dorset and North Poole – RETIRING. Vikki Slade selected
Jeremy Browne, Taunton – RESELECTED
Malcolm Bruce, Gordon – RETIRING. Christine Jardine selected
Paul Burstow, Sutton and Cheam – RESELECTED
Lorely Burt, Solihull – RESELECTED
Vincent Cable, Twickenham – RESELECTED
Menzies Campbell, North East Fife – RETIRING. Tim Brett selected
Alistair Carmichael, Orkney and Shetland – RESELECTED
Nick Clegg, Sheffield Hallam – RESELECTED
Michael Crockart, Edinburgh West
Edward Davey, Kingston and Surbiton – RESELECTED
Tim Farron, Westmorland and Lonsdale – RESELECTED
Lynne Featherstone, Hornsey and Wood Green – RESELECTED
Don Foster, Bath RETIRING, selection in progress
Andrew George, St Ives – RESELECTED
Stephen Gilbert, St Austell & Newquay
Duncan Hames, Chippenham – RESELECTED
Mike Hancock, Portsmouth South CURRENTLY SUSPENDED, selection in progress.
Nick Harvey, North Devon – RESELECTED
David Heath, Somerton and Frome – RETIRING. Sarah Yong selected
John Hemming, Birmingham Yardley – RESELECTED
Martin Horwood, Cheltenham – RESELECTED
Simon Hughes, North Southwark and Bermondsey – RESELECTED
Chris Huhne, Eastleigh – NB: Mike Thornton – RESELECTED
Mark Hunter, Cheadle – RESELECTED
Julian Huppert, Cambridge – RESELECTED
Charles Kennedy, Ross, Skye and Lochaber – RESELECTED
Norman Lamb, North Norfolk – RESELECTED
David Laws, Yeovil – RESELECTED
John Leech, Manchester Withington – RESELECTED
Stephen Lloyd, Eastbourne – RESELECTED
Michael Moore, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
Greg Mulholland, Leeds North West – RESELECTED
Tessa Munt, Wells – RESELECTED
John Pugh, Southport
Alan Reid, Argyll and Bute – RESELECTED
Dan Rogerson, North Cornwall
Bob Russell, Colchester – RESELECTED
Adrian Sanders, Torbay – RESELECTED
Robert Smith, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine – RESELECTED
Andrew Stunell, Hazel Grove – RETIRING. Lisa Smart selected.
Ian Swales, Redcar – RESELECTED
Jo Swinson, East Dunbartonshire – RESELECTED
Sarah Teather, Brent Central – RETIRING. Ibrahim Taguri selected
John Thurso, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
David Ward, Bradford East – RESELECTED
Steve Webb, Thornbury & Yate – RESELECTED
Simon Wright, Norwich South – RESELECTED
Mark Williams, Ceredigion – RESELECTED
Roger Williams, Brecon and Radnorshire – RESELECTED
Stephen Williams, Bristol West – RESELECTED
Jenny Willott, Cardiff Central – RESELECTED

And here are the party’s top 50 targets (as listed by UK Polling Report):

1. Camborne and Redruth (Con, maj: 66) Swing required 0.08% Julia Goldsworthy selected
2. Oldham East and Saddleworth (Lab, maj: 103) Swing required 0.12% Richard Marbrow selected
3. Oxford West and Abingdon (Con, maj: 176) Swing required 0.16% Layla Moran selected
4. Ashfield (Lab, maj: 192) Swing required 0.2% Jason Zadrozny selected
5. Sheffield Central (Lab, maj: 165) Swing required 0.2% Selection in process
6. Edinburgh South (Lab, maj: 316) Swing required 0.36%Selection in process
7. Truro and Falmouth (Con, maj: 435) Swing required 0.45% Simon Rix selected
8. Newton Abbot (Con, maj: 523) Swing required 0.55% Richard Younger-Ross selected
9. Chesterfield (Lab, maj: 549) Swing required 0.6% Julia Cambridge selected
10. Swansea West (Lab, maj: 504) Swing required 0.71%
11. Hull North (Lab, maj: 641) Swing required 0.96% Mike Ross selected
12. Rochdale (Lab, maj: 889) Swing required 0.97% Andrew Kelly selected
13. Harrogate and Knaresborough (Con, maj: 1039) Swing required 0.98% Helen Flynn selected
14. Watford (Con, maj: 1425) Swing required 1.29%
15. Hampstead and Kilburn (Lab, maj: 42) Swing required 1.51% Maajid Nawaz selected
16. Montgomeryshire (Con, maj: 1184) Swing required 1.75% Jane Dodds selected
17. Edinburgh North and Leith (Lab, maj: 1724) Swing required 1.82%
18. St Albans (Con, maj: 2305) Swing required 2.19% Sandy Walkington selected
19. Newport East (Lab, maj: 1650) Swing required 2.39%Selection in process
20. Weston-Super-Mare (Con, maj: 2691) Swing required 2.56% Mike Bell selected
21. Hereford and Herefordshire South (Con, maj: 2481) Swing required 2.57% Lucy Hurds selected
22. Devon West and Torridge (Con, maj: 2957) Swing required 2.68% Paula Dolphin selected
23. Winchester (Con, maj: 3048) Swing required 2.73% Jackie Porter selected
24. Northampton North (Con, maj: 1936) Swing required 3.09%
25. Cornwall South East (Con, maj: 3220) Swing required 3.25% Phil Hutty selected
26. Bristol North West (Con, maj: 3274) Swing required 3.25%Selection in process
27. Durham, City of (Lab, maj: 3067) Swing required 3.32%
28. Dorset West (Con, maj: 3923) Swing required 3.42% Ros Kayes selected
29. Richmond Park (Con, maj: 4091) Swing required 3.45% Robin Meltzer selected
30. York Outer (Con, maj: 3688) Swing required 3.46% Selection in process
31. Streatham (Lab, maj: 3259) Swing required 3.48% Amna Ahmad selected
32. Derby North (Lab, maj: 613) Swing required 3.65% Lucy Care selected
33. Pontypridd (Lab, maj: 2785) Swing required 3.8% Mike Powell selected
34. Newcastle upon Tyne North (Lab, maj: 3414) Swing required 3.89%
35. Aberdeen South (Lab, maj: 3506) Swing required 4.07%
36. Islington South and Finsbury (Lab, maj: 3569) Swing required 4.1% Terry Stacy selected
37. Birmingham Hall Green (Lab, maj: 3799) Swing required 4.16% Jerry Evans selected
38. Romsey and Southampton North (Con, maj: 4156) Swing required 4.25% Ben Nicholls selected
39. Colne Valley (Con, maj: 4837) Swing required 4.37%
40. Oxford East (Lab, maj: 4581) Swing required 4.44% Mark Mann selected
41. Bosworth (Con, maj: 5032) Swing required 4.64% Michael Mullaney selected
42. Chelmsford (Con, maj: 5110) Swing required 4.68% Selection in process
43. Bristol South (Lab, maj: 4734) Swing required 4.9% Selection in process
44. Totnes (Con, maj: 4927) Swing required 5.15% Julian Brazil selected
45. Cambridgeshire South East (Con, maj: 5946) Swing required 5.17% Jonathan Chatfield selected
46. Ealing Central and Acton (Con, maj: 3716) Swing required 5.2% Jon Ball selected
47. Warrington South (Con, maj: 1553) Swing required 5.45%
48. Wrexham (Lab, maj: 3658) Swing required 5.55%
49. Dunfermline and Fife West (Lab, maj: 5470) Swing required 5.59%
50. Tewkesbury (Con, maj: 6310) Swing required 5.85%

For the record, these are the 13 seats we lost in May 2010 (all feature above, in the top 50 targets):

Romsey (Sandra Gidley, 2000-10)
Falmouth and Camborne (Julia Goldsworthy, 2005-10)
Oxford West and Abingdon (Evan Harris, 1997-2010)
Chesterfield (Paul Holmes, 2001-10)
Richmond Park (Susan Kramer, 2005-10)
Montgomeryshire (Lembit Öpik, 1997-2010)
Dunfermline and West Fife (Willie Rennie, 2006-10)
Rochdale (Paul Rowen, 2005-10)
Newton Abbot (Richard Younger-Ross, 2001-10)
Winchester (Mark Oaten, 1997-2010: retired)
Hereford & S. Herefordshire (Paul Keetch 1997-2010: retired)
Harrogate and Knaresborough (Phil Willis, 1997-2010: retired)
Cornwall South East (Colin Breed, 1997-2010: retired)

The party publishes information on the overall diversity of candidates selected so far (though note this includes all candidates, in seats both winnable as well as those which aren’t)…

Parliamentary Candidates standing for 2015 General Election

Figures valid as of January 2014.

The total number of candidates currently selected – 105

Total number of selected women – 29 (28%)

Total number of selected candidates identifying as Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) – 8 (8%)

Total number of selected candidates identifying as LGBT – 4 (4%)

Total number of selected candidate who identify as disabled – 1 (1%)

The Leadership Programme is an initiative to support and encourage a number of potential Parliamentary candidates from under-represented groups who want to stand for the most competitive seats in the Party.

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

One comment

How are the “candidates identifying as LGBT” calculated? Are they just the ones on the leadership programme? Because I heard a figure of 10% for that, and I can think of one candidate who is definitely LGBT but did not go through the leadership programme so might not have been included in that figure.

by Jennie on April 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm. Reply #

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