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

We’re less than 8 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 a year ago, 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%); 9/57 MPs retiring (16%) – 9 successors selected.

Top targets from Tories: 21/27 candidates selected (78%).

Top targets from Labour: 17/23 candidates selected (74%).

With less than a year to the next election, the Lib Dems have candidates in place in 38 of our top 50 targets. Realistically, seats currently held by the Tories are more likely prospects for the party. However, there still remain 4 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 developing and 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, we’ve gone backwards since my last update owing to Sarah Yong’s decision to stand down as candidate in Somerset and Frome, replaced by former Newbury MP, David Rendel. As a result, four of the nine seats currently held by Lib Dems where the MPs are retiring (or, in Mike Hancock’s case, suspended and so ineligible for reselection) have selected women candidates. In a fifth, Brent East, the party has selected a candidate from a visible ethnic minority, Ibrahim Taguri. In a sixth, Portsmouth South, the party has selected a gay man, Gerald Vernon-Jackson. In a seventh, Redcar, the party has selected a 26 year-old, Josh Mason. That’s not such a bad recent diversity record.

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. In the top 50 target seats, of which 38 have selected candidates so far, there are more than twice twice as many men (27) 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: 27/50 (54%)

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
Duncan Hames, Chippenham – RESELECTED
Mike Hancock, Portsmouth South CURRENTLY SUSPENDED. Gerald Vernon-Jackson selected.
Nick Harvey, North Devon – RESELECTED
David Heath, Somerton and Frome – RETIRING. David Rendel 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 – RETIRING. Josh Mason selected.
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% Joe Otten selected
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% Dorothy Thornhill selected
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 progress
18. St Albans (Con, maj: 2305) Swing required 2.19% Sandy Walkington selected
19. Newport East (Lab, maj: 1650) Swing required 2.39%Paul Halliday selected
20. Weston-Super-Mare (Con, maj: 2691) Swing required 2.56%
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 progress
27. Durham, City of (Lab, maj: 3067) Swing required 3.32% Craig Martin selected
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 progress
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% Selection in progress
49. Dunfermline and Fife West (Lab, maj: 5470) Swing required 5.59%
50. Tewkesbury (Con, maj: 6310) Swing required 5.85% Alistair Cameron selected

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 August 2014.

The total number of candidates currently selected: 172
Total number of selected women: 43 (25%)
Total number of selected candidates identifying as Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME): 16 (9%)
Total number of selected candidates identifying as LGBT: 7 (4%)
Total number of selected candidate who identify as disabled: 2 (1%)
6 of the 7 candidates replacing retiring MPs in this cycle are from under-represented groups. 4 are women and 2 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 News and Selection news.


  • Mike Bell has stood down as PPC for Weston super Mare

  • Anne-Marie Curry 20th Sep '14 - 12:53pm

    Ian Swales in Redcar is standing down replacement will be selected and named on 26th September.

  • Paul Halliday is the candidate in Newport East, not Ed Townsend who has been selected for Newport West.

    There is a selection in progress in Wrexham.

  • paul barker 20th Sep '14 - 1:22pm

    @caracatus No its not, read the top line more carefully.
    Mike Hancock has resigned from the Party, it was easy to miss.

  • Great to see john Pugh is standing again. Much needed in. Merseyside !

  • Duncan Brack 20th Sep '14 - 2:15pm

    Ian Swales is standing down – so it’s nine retiring.

  • Rabi Martins 20th Sep '14 - 2:27pm

    Can you tell us who the
    16 BAME PPCs are please Thanks

  • R Uduwerage-Perera 20th Sep '14 - 4:02pm

    The representation of BME and Women candidates in potentially winnable seats is not looking very healthy at all.

    When the list is reread alongside the excellent report produced by Operation Black Vote, and written by our very own Lester Holloway ‘Power of the Black Vote at the 2015 general election’ it just goes to show that if we had invested over the past four years in overtly positive race equality policies and encouraged and supported more BME candidates to stand we may well have had an even greater chance of success in 2015.

    To quote from some old school reports “with some genuine application you could do so much better”.

    Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera

    Liberal Democrat English Party Diversity Champion
    Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrat (EMLD) – Vice Chair

  • We’re less than 8 months away from the May 2015 election

    Given the fact that nominations have o be in one weeks before the polling day in May, would it not ake more sees to work back from lastly for nominations? That would be much less than 8 months. Take out a month for Chistmas and bad weather and the amount of time left for even a token campaign is minimal. If the leadership had set out with the intention of killing off the party in hundreds of seats it cold not have been worse.

    But here is a radical suggestion, as many of these seats will in practice end up with a candidate from some list, who may never even have isited the c onstituency, why not compose that list entirely of new BAME candidates? Then for 2020 they will have had five years to build up the constituency from rock bottom or they Move to a more winnable seat wil have had the invaluable experience of being a candidate in at leas tone election. How much better than providing candidates from the usual lists. I know it is taboo to mention that his sort of thing goes on but’next years Election with Clegg still dragging the party down wil be a disaster anyway. So how about it? A few hundred BAME candidates in 2015? Why not?

  • David Evans 20th Sep '14 - 5:48pm

    Rob, the catastrophe for the national party has been Nick Cleggs’ disastrous leadership. I want more Lib Dem MPs of whatever colour, sex or creed. We are in danger of coming out with less than 20 MPs in 2015. That is the disaster.

  • Rabi Martins 20th Sep '14 - 7:54pm

    @Ruwan You know I am with yo all the way with your analysis and comment above Am right to assume EMLD is working closely with Paddy Ashdown and the Wheelhouse group on a General Election strategy to optimise the BME vote for Liberal Democrats ?

  • paul barker 20th Sep '14 - 9:51pm

    @ Caracatus. Fair point looking at the list. Isnt it possible though that a lot of Parties have in effect already decided to carry on with the same PPC, making Selction a formality ? You dont want to go changing your Candidate every 5 years just for the sake of change.

  • I am increasingly concerned about the three sitting MPs in Highland, given the 47% vote for separation last Thursday. Highland bucked the trend for rural areas to be strongly pro-union, and support for separation in the region appears to have increased dramatically during the course of the campaign. Much of this surge seems to have focused on Caithness. I hope that John Thurso is aware of this and is doing something about it.

  • Paul Barker No, your proposition doesn’t make sense. Everyone has to be reselected, MP, or PPC. An advert has to go out, under Party rules for those who are Parliamentary spokespeople. They are not allowed to carry such a title until formal selection. If a PPC from 2010 seriously wishes to carry on, they should long ago have asked constituency Exec to do the formal selection. I am afraid your hyper-optimism has taken over again!

  • @Lester

    And why not count Steve Bradley? You can’t claim to be speaking on behalf of all Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people for some purposes and then for other purposes apply different rules.

  • Tim13 21st Sep ’14 – 12:22am
    “……., Everyone has to be reselected, MP, or PPC. An advert has to go out, under Party rules for those who are Parliamentary spokespeople. ”

    All true and relevant nowadays in maybe a hundred or so seats where we have anything lke an organisation.

    In hundreds of other seats there will be a last minute stitch up where candidates will be plucked from a list so that the party can still make a bogus pretence of being a national political party. This is the result of the continuous decline and demoralisation of local parties during seven years of Clegg.

    And yes you are right about the fantasies of paul barker, whose role in LDV reminds me of the royal tailors in the story of the Emperor’s new clothes.

  • Lester Holloway
    Your list of 12 includes 5 London seats.

    So for hundreds of seats outside London we have managed just 7 candidates who can easily be identified as BAME.

    As you say — It is quick shocking that only one person of African or Caribbean background has been selected so far, and that is in the most unwinnable of unwinnable seats.

    Nick Clegg was fast-tracked to move from unknown public schoolboy to party leader in something less than fifteen years.
    One conclusions is that there has always been positive discrimination to favour rich, white males.

  • Yes, John I may well be living in one of those local parties’ areas. I am only too well aware of the dangers. And, I hope like you, I can clearly see the reasons.

  • Paul in Wokingham 21st Sep '14 - 8:59am

    As a self-confessed Cassandra on our prospects in 2015, I have previously predicted that we will have hundred of lost deposits next year. I am now wondering if that is true. To have a lost deposit you first need to have a candidate.

  • Rabi Martins 21st Sep '14 - 9:19am

    @Richard S
    If the Irish e.g Steve Beadley are to be counted as BAME then why not include the Sots Michael Moore, Jo Swinson et al ? Then the Party could claim we even have BAME Minsters ….
    I am afraid you miss the point about BAME represenatation completely I can only hope you are in a minority of ONE !

  • Jayne Mansfield 21st Sep '14 - 2:13pm

    @ Rabi Martins, @ Lester Holloway.

    Yes, Do it. Do what John Tilley is suggesting for the reasons he has given in an earlier post.

    If your proposal is taken up, I will travel to whichever part of the country is closest to where I live and help campaign for a candidate thus chosen. Seriously.

  • Rabi Martins 21st Sep '14 - 5:20pm

    @ John Tilley
    On the face of it not all at all a bad proposition
    But there are a few flaws with the idea
    1 Why would BME candidates invest their time, effort and money when the Pary places such little value on their on their contribution ?
    2. It is most unlikely that the custodians of the Party beaureaucracy will allow such an approach
    3 There are not a 100 BME candidates on the approved list
    4. Few local Parties will buy into such an approach
    5. ETC ETC ETC

    Sorry John / Jayne – Progressing your suggestion will only be seen as another example of the Party using the BME members / supporters/ voters/ doners as they always do – to help the Party get what it wants / needs with little or no intention of rewarding or even properly acknowledging that contribution

  • Jayne Mansfield 21st Sep '14 - 6:31pm

    @ Rabi Martins,
    As a long time voter but not a member, may I ask what you have to lose?

    I don’t know the cost emotional as well as financial for those who put themselves forward ( if not 100, the number on the list), but the experience would be invaluable for future bids.

    What reasons would the custodians of the party give for refusing such an approach? I would find that interesting given what John Tilley has said.

    Why would local parties not buy into such an approach? I would be interested to know. Perhaps representatives of local parties could answer that question on here. We know that from the number of BAME Conservative candidates selected and successful in areas where there are not large Bame populations, it is not we the voters who are putting up barriers, but some of the party grassroots who think they speak on our behalf.( I never thought I would find a reason to praise David Cameron but on his drive for more women and BAME candidates , I do).

    Some people will always put up barriers to change. Take a deep breathe, take several, and start trying to knock them down.

  • @Rabi Martins

    In which case we are really just talking about BA representation, so we shouldn’t say we are talking about BAME.

    Also don’t worry. Where I live I really am close to a minority of 1.

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