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Candidates

  • Dick Leonard
  • Roger Mortimore

Abstract

No special qualifications 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 disqualifications which together exclude a considerable number of people from being elected. People in the following categories are disqualified:

Aliens cannot sit in Parliament, although those who have acquired British citizenship through naturalisation are eligible, as are citizens of Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland. Nationals of other EU countries are eligible to stand for local authorities and for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies, and also for the European Parliament provided they are not simultaneously a candidate in some other member state of the EU.

Keywords

Trade Union Executive Committee Liberal Democrat Party Labour Party Electoral College 
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.

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Notes and References

  1. The Selectorate by Peter Paterson (London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1967)Google Scholar
  2. and The Selection of Parliamentary Candidates by Michael Rush (London: Nelson, 1969).Google Scholar
  3. On Members of Parliament see The Commons in Perspective by Philip Norton (Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1981)Google Scholar
  4. and The Backbenchers by P. G. Richards (London: Faber, 1972).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Nigel Nicolson, People and Parliament (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1958), p. 40.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    R. L. Leonard, Guide to the General Election (London: Pan Books, 1964), pp. 93–4.Google Scholar
  7. 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
  8. 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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