Mike Wood was selected as the Dudley South Conservative candidate at next year’s General Election at an open caucus of voters earlier this evening. The vacancy came about after the incumbent MP Chris Kelly announced earlier this year that he would not be seeking re-election have decided that it was “increasingly difficult to find the right balance between my work and my personal and family life”.
The shortlist of candidates seeking the Labour candidacy for Cynon Valley has been announced today. Ann Clwyd, the sitting Labour MP for Cynon Valley who is seeking to reverse her decision to stand down at the next election, will have to see off a challenge from:
- Katie Antipass (@KatieAntippas) – Vice-President of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) Welsh Government Group and Vice-Chair of Cynon Valley CLP. She narrowly missed out on being elected to the Cardiff Council in 2012.
- Sue Pickering – Councillor for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council representing the Ynysybwl ward. Case officer for Mick Antoniw, Welsh Assembly Member for Pontypridd.
- Dr Aysha Raza (@DrAyshaRaza) – Councillor for Greenford Green, Ealing Borough Council and Research Associate (neuroscience) at University College London and science tutor, originally from Aberdare (according to the BBC).
Hustings and selection are due to take place in December.
UKIP have today confirmed that Robin Hunter-Clarke is to be their candidate in the top target seat of Boston & Skegness. With a degree in law from the University of Chester, Hunter-Clarke is a Lincolnshire County Councillor and Skegness Town Councillor, all at the tender age of 21. He was elected as a UKIP NEC member in March this year and is chairman of Boston & Skegness branch.
Given all the rumours and speculation, on this occasion, the principle of Occam’s razor comes to mind.
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.
Dudley South Conservatives have released their shortlist of the four candidates hoping to see of a Labour challenge and retain the seat won by Chris Kelly at the 2010 General Election. The seat is Labour’s 74th target seat (3,856, 10% majority) and is being contested by Natasha Millward, an Area Organiser for Unison.
The four seeking the Conservative selection in an Open meeting of pre-registered constituency voters on 26th November are:
- Sibby Buckle
- Helen Harrison
- Cllr Greg Smith
- Cllr Mike Wood.
ConHome’s Mark Wallace has all the details here.
The shortlist of Labour candidates hoping to replace Gerry Sutcliffe as the Labour MP for Bradford South has been announced. Gerry Sutcliffe, who announced that he is standing down in May 2014, has represented the seat since 1994 and will leave the new Labour PPC defending a 4,622 vote majority (12.2%). The All-Women Shortlist is:
- Adele Brown – (to be confirmed) Basildon Councillor, teacher at an academy school
- Cllr Judith Cummins – Leeds City Councillor, previously shortlisted for the Leeds East seat
- Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe – Bradford City Councillor with Employment, Skills & Culture portfolio, background with Business in the Community
- Cllr Michelle Swallow – Bradford City Councillor, works for the debt counselling charity, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) – headquartered in Bradford.
UPDATE: Judith Cummins was selected to fight the seat on Saturday 22nd November. She is currently a full-time councillor on Leeds City Council, representing Temple Newsam. She was previously a councillor, representing Royds, on Bradford Metropolitan District Council. In 2010 she acted as the agent for Chris Leslie who successfully won the Shipley seat. According to her website she has worked in Westminster in the Whips’ Office and as a life-long trade unionist for the Civil & Public Service Association (CPSA), she was educated by the trade union movement at Ruskin College, University of Oxford.
The tweets below tell the story so far – a UKIP candidate was selected last night for their target seat of Boston & Skegness, but we don’t know who it is yet. But it is not former Conservative MP and now UKIP Deputy Chairman, Neil Hamilton.
In their book, ‘Revolt on the Right’, Rob Ford (@RobFordMancs) of Mancheser University and Matthew Goodwin (@GoodwinMJ) of Nottingham University identified Boston & Skegness as the second most demographically “UKIP-friendly” Conservative seat in the country. In October, the Boston Standard reported on a Survation poll (595 respondents), commissioned by UKIP, that put the party on 46 per cent, with the Conservatives on 26, Labour 21 and the Lib Dems on two per cent with ‘others’ on six. Another study has shown that Boston & Skegness also has the most negative opinion of immigration. Unsurprisingly it was named as one of UKIP’s top 12 target seats by Sky News.
The Conservatives selected Matt Warman as their PPC in late October, after Mark Simmonds, who has represented the constituency since 2001, announced his retirement at the next election.
UPDATE: The Boston Target and other local papers are reporting that the chosen candidate is believed to have local connections with the constituency and took 85 per cent of the vote. UKIP say they cannot reveal who the candidate is until it has been agreed by the party’s National Executive Committee. Also added that Neil Hamilton is a Deputy Chairman of UKIP.
There will be an Open Primary to select the Conservative candidate in Dudley South following the announced retirement of incumbent MP Chris Kelly. There are four shortlisted candidates – Sibby Buckle, Helen Harrison, Cllr Greg Smith and Cllr Mike Wood. The selection contest takes place on Wednesday 26th November. See the Stourbridge News for further details.
The Express and Star reports that William Cash, the son of Stone Conservative MP Sir Bill Cash, has been selected as the UKIP candidate in Warwickshire North, where the current Conservative MP, Dan Byles, had a majority of only 54 over Labour at the last election. The former Labour MP and Solicitor General, Mike O’Brien, remains the favourite to win the seat.
Liberal Democrat Voice reports that applications for 37 seats will close within the next month. Given that there are around 420 candidates still to select (as far as can be determined from public sources), at this rate all Lib Dem candidates should be in place by around September 2015….
In late October the BBC predicted that the SNP’s former leader Alex Salmond would stand in Gordon where Sir Malcolm Bruce is standing down. Now the Daily Mail is predicting he’ll go head-to-head with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.
A little late, but Conservative members in Banbury (18,227/32% majority over the Lib Dems) selected Victoria Prentis on Saturday as their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) to fight next year’s General Election. Victoria Prentis is a former barrister, has been a senior civil servant in the Treasury Solicitor’s Department for 17 years and was Chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association. She is one of three daughters of former Conservative MP and now Baron Boswell of Aynho, Tim Boswell.
Alistair Darling may have only announced that he is standing down from his Edinburgh South West seat on Sunday evening, but would-be successors seeking the Labour candidacy to fight the 2015 General Election are already coming forward (Edinburgh Evening News, 5 November 2014). As one councillor who might stand for the selection notes in the article, with only one of Edinburgh’s five parliamentary constituencies currently being represented by a woman, there is undoubtedly going to be pressure on Labour’s NEC to impose an all-women shortlist on the selection contest.
The article also includes a splendid photo of a young Alistair Darling.
Following the release of the names by the local press earlier today, North Oxfordshire Conservative Association have now confirmed the four shortlisted female candidates hoping to be selected on Saturday 8th November as the Conservative candidate for Banbury next year. Having been the MP since 1983, Sir Tony Baldry announced in early September that he would be standing down at the general election, leaving a majority of 18,227 to his successor.
The shortlisted candidates are:
- Kemi Badenoch – Has worked as a systems analyst and is now an Associate Director in financial services; graduated in both computer systems engineering and law; Conservative PPC for Dulwich & West Norwood in 2010 and stood for the London Assembly elections in 2012
- Rachel Joyce – An NHS Doctor and former Director of Public Health; former adviser to Andrew Lansley as Shadow Health Secretary and Conservative PPC for Harrow West in 2010; longlisted for Croydon South and Cambridgeshire South East
- Victoria Prentis – A barrister and senior civil servant in the Treasury Solicitor’s Department
- Helen Whately – An Associate with McKinsey & Co specialising in healthcare; Conservative PPC for Kingston & Surbiton in 2010; shortlisted in Andrew Lansley’s South Cambridgeshire seat, Wealden, Hampshire North East, this week’s Bury St Edmunds contest and came close to reaching the shortlist in South Suffolk.
Edit: Some additional info added courtesy of ConHome.