Candidate Selection

  • David Butler
  • Dennis Kavanagh


One way in which the election of October 1974 repeated the February contest was in the candidates. Among those who stood, 63% were contesting the same seats as in February (for Conservative and Labour the figure was 72%) while another 6% had moved to new, but usually nearby, seats. Of those who had been successful in February all but 19 stood again in the same seat. In addition to two deaths, the creation of one peerage, and one removal to both new territory and a new party (Christopher Mayhew), 15 MPs retired (12 Conservative and 3 Labour). Since only 28 seats changed hands in the October election, the parliament elected in October was, in personnel, 93% identical with its predecessor. Only 47 (7%) of those elected in October 1974 had not been elected in February as well. The lowest previous turnover between one parliament and the next was in October 1951 when 73 (12%) of those elected had not been elected in February 1950. Since the war, the average turnover of personnel between parliaments has been 21% (6% through by-elections, 8% through MPs not standing again, and 7% through defeats).


Candidate Selection Labour Party Conservative Party Conservative Side Local Party 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 9.
    See John Ellis and R. W. Johnson, Members from the Unions, Fabian Research Series (London, 1974).Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    For a discussion of selection procedures see A. Ranney, Pathways to Parliament (London, 1965);Google Scholar
  3. M. Rush, The Selection of Parliamentary Candidates (London, 1969);Google Scholar
  4. and P. Paterson, The Selectorate (London, 1967).Google Scholar
  5. 16.
    For academic studies of attempts to reform candidate selection in the Conservative party see Z. Layton-Henry ‘Party Reorganisation in the Conservative Party’ Working Paper No 4 Department of Politics, University of Warwick; see also P. Seyd ‘Democracy within the Conservative Party’, Government and Opposition, Spring 1975.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Dennis Kavanagh
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.University of ManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations