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

We’re less than 11 months away 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: 55/57 MPs re-selected or candidates selected where MPs retiring (96%); 8/57 MPs retiring (14%) – 8 successors selected.

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

Top targets from Labour: 13/23 candidates selected (57%).

With less than a year to the next election, the Lib Dems have candidates in place in 32 of our top 50 targets. Realistically, seats currently held by the Tories are more likely prospects for the party. However, there remain 5 Tory targets in the overall top 50 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 eight 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 is just one selections due: 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 32 have selected candidates so far, there are almost twice as many men (21) 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: 21/50 (42%)

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 – RESELECTED
Edward Davey, Kingston and Surbiton – RESELECTED
Tim Farron, Westmorland and Lonsdale – RESELECTED
Lynne Featherstone, Hornsey and Wood Green – RESELECTED
Don Foster, Bath RETIRING. Steve Bradley selected
Andrew George, St Ives – RESELECTED
Stephen Gilbert, St Austell & Newquay – RESELECTED
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 – RESELECTED
Greg Mulholland, Leeds North West – RESELECTED
Tessa Munt, Wells – RESELECTED
John Pugh, Southport – RESELECTED
Alan Reid, Argyll and Bute – RESELECTED
Dan Rogerson, North Cornwall – RESELECTED
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% Stuart Crawford selected
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%Selection in process
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% James Blanchard selected
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% Mark Wright selected
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 May 2014.

The total number of candidates currently selected: 149
Total number of selected women: 37 (25%)
Total number of selected candidates identifying as Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME): 15 (10%)
Total number of selected candidates identifying as LGBT: 7 (5%)
Total number of selected candidate who identify as disabled: 1 (1%)
7 of the 8 candidates replacing retiring MPs in this cycle are from under-represented groups. 5 are women and 3 are from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

* 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.


  • Jonathan Pile 14th Jun '14 - 6:11pm

    Well done to our candidates particular female candidates redressing the party gender bias. None of these are winnable until our minus 14% swing is corrected by winning back the 2010 vote. This means dropping nick Clegg and electing an authentic lib dem leader who can unite the party and reconnect with the voters .

  • David Evershed 14th Jun '14 - 6:24pm

    Stephen Tall writes:
    “Realistically, seats currently held by the Tories are more likely prospects for the party.”

    I suggest Labour voters who voted Lib Dem to keep out Conservatives last time are less likely to vote tactically for us in 2015. However, following the coalition, Conservative voters in the North should be more inclined to vote tactically for Lib Dem in 2015.

    So does this mean Lib Dems have more chance against Labour in the north than against Conservative in the south?

  • @David Evershed, notwithstanding the poll by Oakeshott, Redcar won a council by-election on euro-elections day in a ward originally built to house steelworkers, defending a majority of 35 and held it by 12 votes. Also Labour’s positioning as the benefits party plays badly in the far north where their traditional vote is in favour of a significant differential in living standards between workers and non-workers.

  • I know of a voter in the South last time who wanted to vote Lib Dem but was afraid of the vote Clegg get Brown thing, so voted Tory instead. No idea how typical he is.

  • Cadan ap Tomos 14th Jun '14 - 7:46pm

    Newport East have selected Paul Halliday.

  • @Richard “I’ve got to vote Conservative to get rid of Gordon Brown” was a huge factor in the south last time.

  • I do not want to spoil anyone’s game of Fantasy Poitics but ………
    Less than three weeks since we lost every MEP except one in the south east and we see the following —
    —-Top targets from Labour: 13/23 candidates selected (57%).

    Just weeks since we were wiped out in Liverpool, Manchester and most of London in the local elections and witnessed the return for the first time in fifty years of councils which are 100% Labour and we are seriously supposed to believe that there are 23 – “Top targets from Labour”?????

    Get real. Even the wild eyed optimists around Clegg have 37 as their top tip for the number of Lib Dem MPs this time next year. The slightly less optimistic are taking about hanging on to about 24 of the seats that we hold at the moment.

    Outside the bunker the pessimistic (some might say realistic) talk about less than 20 Lib Dem MPs if Clegg clings on as leader.

    What is the point of pretending that there are dozens of seats we might win from Labour ??? This is about as realistic a prospect as Danny Alexander leading a Liberal majority government anytime soon.

    I realise this is the week that Clegg advertised The Sun whilst attacking Oxfam but really ……..Self-deluding nonsense is not going to win seats.

  • Helen Dudden 15th Jun '14 - 6:18am

    I agree with the last person and their post.

    You voted on most of the destructive policies of this Government. Without being aggressive or political, I think that was unwise.

  • Jonathan Pile 15th Jun '14 - 7:35am

    I quite agree with John Tilley and Caractacus – at 6% in the polls we will be getting 12-18 MPs , at 4% none. If Clegg gets a lot of TV coverage our vote will go down drying a campaign as happened in the euros.
    We need a new leader and a reconnection . A a dose of reality .

  • Liberal Neil 15th Jun '14 - 9:08am

    Caracatus – what was the pattern of support for the Lib Dems in the local elections in May? In this area our vote held up very well in target wards but reduced to a tiny percentage in all the rest. In fact nearly all our loss of vote happened in non-target wards. What evidence do you have that this pattern won’t be repeated next May?

  • Liberal Neil 15th Jun ’14 – 9:08am
    ………….. What evidence do you have that this pattern won’t be repeated next May?

    I do not know who you are Liberal Neil or where your local party is. But if as you suggest you were successful in last months local elections you must have been in one of less than ten local authorities in the entire country.

    So when you ask “what evidence” ? The answer is that the evidence is in the results of last month’s elections in almost every other part of the country except where you live.

    Of course between now and the general election you can shut your eyes and close your ears to the facts and pretend that Clegg is the best thing since penicillin, it will not make him any less toxic.

  • Liberal Neil 15th Jun '14 - 11:21am

    John – I’ve looked at the results in a lot more than ten local parties and seen the same pattern.

    Where we fought target wards hard our vote held up at well above national polling levels and in just about all other wards it collapsed.

    At constituency level, where we fought a lot of wards hard, our vote held up in the constituency aggregate vote share. My local party, Oxford West & Abingdon, is certainly one of them. There were a lot more than ten in this category.

    I’m interested to know which councils yu think don’t show this pattern?

  • Liberal Neil
    Look back three weeks in LDV to the response to what became known as The Annette Brooke message.
    The suggestion that we won everywhere where there was “lots of hard work” and a target strategy was not born out by the comments from people across the country.

  • ‘Just weeks since we were wiped out in Liverpool, Manchester and most of London in the local elections and witnessed the return for the first time in fifty years of councils which are 100% Labour and we are seriously supposed to believe that there are 23 – “Top targets from Labour”?????’

    You do realise these targets are based purely on swing? Actual targeting doesn’t come into it.

  • Who are the three candidates from ‘Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds’?
    Taguri and … Pörksen is I think a bit German so are you counting that?

  • Liberal Neil 15th Jun '14 - 1:18pm

    John – nowhere in my comments have I suggested that we ‘won everywhere where there was “lots of hard work”‘, nor have i defended the Annette Brooke email that I personally thought was crass.

    What I have suggested is that there was a clear pattern that our vote held up relatively well in the wards we targeted and collapsed pretty much everywhere else.

    I did this to challenge the idea put forward by Caratacus that the same wouldn’t happen next May.

    So far nobody has produced any evidence to refute my suggestion.

    Are you still based in Kingston? Wasn’t this the pattern there?

  • Liberal Neil 15th Jun '14 - 1:50pm

    Iain – I suspect it is Ibrahim Taguri, Steve Bradley in Bath (who is, I believe, from an Irish traveller background) and Layal Moran in OxWAb (half Palestinian).

  • Neil, thanks re Bradley, but you are wrong with Moran – OW&A is not a held seat!

  • Peter Watson 15th Jun '14 - 5:07pm

    An article in The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10899797/People-diary-Tories-invite-Clegg-MPs-to-defect.html) indicates that Stephen Gilbert has not yet been reselected for St Austell & Newquay.

  • David Allen 15th Jun '14 - 5:56pm

    Liberal Neil,

    “What I have suggested is that there was a clear pattern that our vote held up relatively well in the wards we targeted and collapsed pretty much everywhere else.

    I did this to challenge the idea put forward by Caratacus that the same wouldn’t happen next May.

    So far nobody has produced any evidence to refute my suggestion.”

    I would suggest that the vote held up when local targeting was undertaken on behalf of local candidates with their own record of achievement and/or local appeal. Voters in local elections do know that they are voting for a local councillor, and will carry on voting for a good person irrespective of what shenanigans the Party has got up to at national level. Elsewhere, the vote collapsed because, if the local candidate is largely unknown, the voter may as well vote on national issues.

    This doesn’t apply in a General Election. The voter knows that, even if he/she quite likes their Lib Dem MP, the important question is whether he/she supports what the national party has to offer. If that’s Cleggism, and the voter does not want that, he/she won’t vote for it.

  • Tony Dawson 15th Jun '14 - 8:21pm

    The argument about whether the trend (not homogenous) of our targeted local election campaigns will carry over to the General Election (or not) is, unfortunately, not one worth having. We just do not know. What we do know is that it is a lot harder to run a succesful target ‘against the prevailing national trends’ in a constituency than in a ward or two. What we do also know is that even in our ‘targets’ for the 2010 we had performances which varied dramatically. We were denied a proper inquiry/analysis about this so we are still in the dark. What I predict with some certainty is that the variation of performance in ‘target and held seats’will be greater in 2015 than it was in 2010 – and that the causes of the variation will be as much if not more due to different approaches being adopted to messaging than to different levels of ‘hard work’.

  • Liberal Neil 16th Jun '14 - 3:33pm

    Iain – you are right, of course, I was thinking target seats as well. Probably Sarah Yong in Somerton & Frome – half Malaysian.

  • Liberal Neil 16th Jun '14 - 3:37pm

    David & Tony – I’m certainly not saying that we will definitely see the same pattern in our targets seats as we have seen in the locals, but it is possible that we might. Look at how much the trend in our vote has varied in target seats in the past.

    I was simply arguing that we don’t KNOW that it won’t happen, in response to Caratacus saying: “Realistically it is just not possible to split that and win. 40% of the vote in 10% of the seats in 4% of the national vote, leaving just 4% of the vote in the other 90% of seats.”

    It is very possible to get that sort of result in a lot of our target seats.

    Picking up David’s point – in my experience many of our MPs are seen in a very similar way to how residents see a good local Lib Dem councillor.

  • No one has commented on the fact that with less than 11 months to go to a general election only 149 seats have selected. I think excluding the Speakers seat there are 631 seats to find candidates for. I know we had to parachute some people in, in previous general elections but this seems worse that any time since the party was formed. If anyone knows the comparable figures for previous elections can they post them?

    If part of the reason was the boundary review then someone should tell our MPs that we need to change the law so boundary reviews are not carried out in every Parliament as the law now states.

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