Speculation continues about the identity of the UKIP candidate for Boston & Skegness that was selected last week. Although an announcement was originally expected on Monday, following endorsement by the party’s National Executive Committee, it is not now expected until this weekend, once tomorrow’s Rochester & Strood by-election is out of the way. In the absence of any solid information, a range of theories have circulated – the candidate will be a newly defecting sitting MP, Victoria Ayling moving from fighting Great Grimsby to B&S (which was quickly denied) and even the UKIP-supporting former DJ Mike Reed (see the tweet below from the Conservative candidate Marc Jones in Great Grimsby). The most likely name mentioned is that of Robin Hunter-Clarke, a local councillor and the party’s branch chairman.
— Marc Jones (@itsmarcjones) November 18, 2014
The first drips of information about possible SNP candidates for the Westminster election are now appearing. The Greenock Telegraph reports that the selection contest in the Inverclyde is likely to be between two local councillors, Chris McEleny and Math Campbell-Sturgess. Inverclyde is currently held by Labour’s Iain McKenzie with a 14,416 (38.4%) majority, but is now considered vulnerable to the SNP.
Edinburgh South West Constituency Labour Party has been granted permission by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to select a candidate of their choice to replace Alistair Darling who is standing down at the next election. The Edinburgh Evening News reports that city councillors Ricky Henderson and Norma Austin Hart and Foysol Choudhury MBE, Chairman of Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC) have all declared their intention to stand for selection.
The Times reports that Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has agreed that a “special selection panel” will now determine the composition of shortlists in seats where sitting MPs are standing down.
The Braintree & Witham Times reports that Tim Aker, the UKIP PPC in Thurrock, is standing in a by-election to Thurrock Council in the Aveley and Uplands ward on 4th December. Success would mean he’s well on his way to getting the full deck of MEP, MP and Councillor. Whoever looks after his diary may be very busy.