Candidates, despite a necessary belief in their own importance, contribute little to the outcome of British general elections. They are the mere bearers of party labels, the anonymous footsoldiers in a battle waged far away in television studios. Yet they have always had a symbolic value, their social, occupational and ideological characteristics saying much about the parties they represent. Moreover, candidates not only voice the issues in a campaign, they can become one of the issues themselves, as in 1987 when the Conservative and Alliance parties pointed to what they claimed would the the most left-wing Parliamentary Labour Party ever.
KeywordsCandidate Selection Labour Party Local Government Officer Campaign Group Local Party
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