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

We’re 18 months from the May 2015 election so I thought it’d be useful to keep a running check on how candidate selection is going in our held and key target seats…

I published a first draft of this list a week ago, and asked readers to help me update it – many thanks to those of you who commented here, on Twitter, via Facebook and by email and text. I thought it would be helpful to re-publish the list now we have much fuller information about (re-)selections in our held seats and the top 50 targets for the party.

Here’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: 23/57 MPs re-selected (40%); 7/57 MPs retiring (12%) – 3 potential successors selected.

Top targets from Labour: 7/23 candidates selected (30%); 5/23 currently in process (22%). 52% will be selected within next couple of months.

Top targets from Tories: 12/27 candidates selected (44%); 2/27 currently in process (7%). 51% will be selected within next couple of months.

With 18 months to the next election, the Lib Dems have, or will very shortly have, candidates in place in 26 of our top 50 targets – just slightly more than half. Realistically, seats currently held by the Tories are more likely prospects for the party. However, there remain 13 Tory seats in the overall top 50 where the party has neither selected a candidate nor yet advertised for one. Remarkably, this appears to include the Lib Dems No. 1 target (at least on paper): Camborne and Redruth, where Julia Goldsworthy was defeated by just 66 votes. 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, despite the party’s success in all three incumbent seat vacancies to date choosing women candidates, the overall picture in our held and our top 50 targets seats is less promising. To date, the Lib Dems will have eight women standing in our 57 currently held seats (a further four selections are due to take place where MPs have announced their retirement). And in the 19 of the top 50 targets which have so far selected candidates, just six are women (with a further seven selections currently in process).

Held seats:
Number of women currently expected to be standing in 2015: 8/57 (14%)

Top 50 target seats:
Number of women currently selected in 2015: 6/50 (12%)
Number of men currently selected in 2015: 13/50 (26%)

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
    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
    Malcolm Bruce, Gordon – RETIRING, selection in process.
    Paul Burstow, Sutton and Cheam – RESELECTED
    Lorely Burt, Solihull – RESELECTED
    Vincent Cable, Twickenham – RESELECTED
    Menzies Campbell, North East Fife – RETIRING
    Alistair Carmichael, Orkney and Shetland
    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
    Andrew George, St Ives
    Stephen Gilbert, St Austell & Newquay
    Duncan Hames, Chippenham – RESELECTED
    Mike Hancock, Portsmouth South
    Nick Harvey, North Devon
    David Heath, Somerton and Frome – RETIRING
    John Hemming, Birmingham Yardley
    Martin Horwood, Cheltenham – RESELECTED
    Simon Hughes, North Southwark and Bermondsey – RESELECTED
    Chris Huhne, Eastleigh – NB: Mike Thornton
    Mark Hunter, Cheadle
    Julian Huppert, Cambridge RESELECTED
    Charles Kennedy, Ross, Skye and Lochaber – RESELECTED
    Norman Lamb, North Norfolk
    David Laws, Yeovil
    John Leech, Manchester Withington – RESELECTED
    Stephen Lloyd, Eastbourne
    Michael Moore, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk
    Greg Mulholland, Leeds North West – RESELECTED
    Tessa Munt, Wells
    John Pugh, Southport
    Alan Reid, Argyll and Bute
    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
    Jo Swinson, East Dunbartonshire – RESELECTED
    Sarah Teather, Brent Central – RETIRING
    John Thurso, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross
    David Ward, Bradford East – RESELECTED
    Steve Webb, Thornbury & Yate
    Simon Wright, Norwich South
    Mark Williams, Ceredigion
    Roger Williams, Brecon and Radnorshire
    Stephen Williams, Bristol West – RESELECTED
    Jenny Willott, Cardiff Central

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%
    2. Oldham East and Saddleworth (Lab, maj: 103) Swing required 0.12% Selection in process
    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%
    7. Truro and Falmouth (Con, maj: 435) Swing required 0.45% Selection in process
    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% Selection in process
    13. Harrogate and Knaresborough (Con, maj: 1039) Swing required 0.98% Selection in process
    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%
    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%
    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%
    27. Durham, City of (Lab, maj: 3067) Swing required 3.32%
    28. Dorset West (Con, maj: 3923) Swing required 3.42%
    29. Richmond Park (Con, maj: 4091) Swing required 3.45% Robin Meltzer selected
    30. York Outer (Con, maj: 3688) Swing required 3.46% Nick Emmerson selected
    31. Streatham (Lab, maj: 3259) Swing required 3.48%
    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% Selection in process
    38. Romsey and Southampton North (Con, maj: 4156) Swing required 4.25%
    39. Colne Valley (Con, maj: 4837) Swing required 4.37%
    40. Oxford East (Lab, maj: 4581) Swing required 4.44% Selection in process
    41. Bosworth (Con, maj: 5032) Swing required 4.64% Michael Mullaney selected
    42. Chelmsford (Con, maj: 5110) Swing required 4.68%
    43. Bristol South (Lab, maj: 4734) Swing required 4.9%
    44. Totnes (Con, maj: 4927) Swing required 5.15%
    45. Cambridgeshire South East (Con, maj: 5946) Swing required 5.17%
    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, alas, aren’t)…

Parliamentary Candidates standing for 2015 General Election

Figures valid as of 01/07/2013 (to be updated every 6 months when selections start)

The total number of candidates currently selected – 38

Total number of selected women – 12 (32%)

Total number of selected candidates identifying as Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) – 1 (3%)

Total number of selected candidates identifying as LGBT – 1 (3%)

Total number of selected candidate who identify as disabled – 1 (3%)

Total number of candidates aged
18-24 – 0 (0%)
25-34 – 6 (16%)
35-44 – 11 (29%)
45-54 – 10 (26%)
55+ – 8 (21%)

* Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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This entry was posted in Selection news.


  • I try to keep my candidates list up to date, and at present it has 58 LD selections including 22 incumbents.


  • Can I endorse Stephen Tall’s remarks about Camborne and Redruth’s failure (and indeed the failure by Watford) to adopt a candidate by now for the next election. There are few enough constituencies not already held by us already which we stand a realistic chance of winning in 2015, and there is nothing like having a candidate in place to get a campaign going.

  • Richard Fagence 3rd Nov '13 - 12:49pm

    A most useful list, Stephen, and thanks for the effort taken in keeping it up to date. I note the comments about selecting a candidate, but have you thought about what is needed before selection can take place? A first priority is a Returning Officer. Local experience here in Berkshire suggests that, nationally, we are woefully short of trained and experienced Returning Officers. I have recently gone through the day’s training required to start on the path to being a qualified RO and have already been offered a constituency to cover. As it turns out, I am the only new RO in Berkshire. It would be interesting to know which starred and target seats have yet to have an RO allocated to them. If they haven’t then knuckles need to be rapped and an explanation sought as to why not. If they have one then they are dragging their feet. Either way it doesn’t look very professional, does it?

  • Simon Banks 4th Nov '13 - 9:19am

    Last time round there were huge delays in some places because of the shortage of ROs. If we haven’t sorted it now, someone should be given a pearl-handled revolver. If local parties have dragged their feet, it’s evidence that we’re losing yet another of the basics of successful campaigning.

  • peter tyzack 4th Nov '13 - 10:10am

    the other category we constantly miss is an early identification of a constituency which on paper should be winnable yet on the ground has either a low membership or is not organised. This is where the Campaigns Office could be stepping in, under the Region’s powers, to help them get organised, get a candidate in place and get building, with a two Parliament strategy and fundraising help.

  • New LD selections:

    Calder Valley: Alisdair Calder McGregor
    Halifax: Mohammed Ilyas
    Bridgwater & West Somerset: Justine Baker

  • The Cotswolds — Paul Hodgkinson

  • Cadan ap Tomos 28th Nov '13 - 4:01pm

    Mark Williams MP has been reselected, as has Jenny Willott MP.

    Harrogate and Knaresborough have selected Helen Flynn as their candidate.

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