• Dick Leonard
  • Roger Mortimore


No special qualifi cations whatever are legally required of Parliamentary candidates; the only positive requirements are virtually those which also apply to voters — that is, to be a British or Commonwealth subject or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, and to have reached the age of 21. (This has remained the minimum age for candidates, even though the voting age was reduced to 18 in 1969. An Electoral Commission report in 20042 recommended that the age for candidature be reduced to 18, but the government had made no indication of its intentions at the time of writing.) Much the same rules apply for candidacy in European, local and devolved assembly elections. It is not even necessary to be on the election register. There are, however, a number of disqualifi cations which together exclude a considerable number of people from being elected. People in the following categories are disqualified:


Trade Union Executive Committee Liberal Democrat Party Labour Party Electoral College 
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Notes and References

  1. 7.
    Nigel Nicolson, People and Parliament (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1958), p. 40.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    R. L. Leonard, Guide to the General Election (London: Pan Books, 1964), pp. 93–4.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    In 2003, a Commission on Candidate Selection sponsored by the Electoral Reform Society and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust reported on the efforts of the parties to select more women and more candidates from ethnic minorities, and suggested new guidelines to aid their success — see Peter Riddell, Candidate Selection: The Report of the Commission on Candidate Selection (London: Electoral Reform Society, 2003).Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol, 3 November 1774.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    Byron Criddle, ‘Candidates’, in David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 1983 (London: Macmillan, 1984), p. 241 (n. 5).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dick Leonard and Roger Mortimore 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dick Leonard
  • Roger Mortimore

There are no affiliations available

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