Saturday 25 May 2024
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General Election: Nottinghamshire parties select candidates

Nottinghamshire’s political parties are well underway in choosing candidates to fight the next General Election.

The country is due to go to the polls within the next eight months, with the precise date still to be chosen.

The Conservatives currently control seven seats in Nottinghamshire, while Labour hold three and Reform UK recently picked up one after MP Lee Anderson defected from the Tories.

A General Election must be called by no later than December 17 2024 – five years after the previous election in 2019 – which would mean the election is held by January 28, 2025 at the latest.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak previously said he expects the election to be held in the second half of 2024.

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There has also been speculation that he may opt for an autumn election, or even call a snap one after the local elections in May depending on how his party fares.

Many Nottinghamshire seats will be key targets for Keir Starmer’s Labour party if they hope to rebuild their Red Wall and retake Downing Street.

The ‘Red Wall’ is a term used to describe key constituencies in the north and Midlands which had previously been staunch Labour seats, before a collapse in the 2017 and then 2019 elections.

The party has been successful in attracting senior figures in local authorities to stand in the races which will likely be competitive.

This includes Bassetlaw District Council deputy leader Cllr Jo White (Lab), who will stand for the Bassetlaw constituency which her husband Lord John Mann once represented.

This is now represented by Conservative Brendan Clarke-Smith.

The Labour-run Bassetlaw authority’s leader, Cllr James Naish (Lab), is also to stand in Tory Ruth Edwards’ Rushcliffe constituency.

Gedling District Council deputy leader Cllr Michael Payne (Lab) will stand for the Gedling constituency currently held by Conservative Tom Randall.

Nottinghamshire County Councillor Michelle Welsh will contest Sherwood Forest, a renamed and slightly adjusted version of the Sherwood constituency held by Government minister Mark Spencer.

Labour has also selected Juliet Campbell, Steve Yemm and Rhea Keehn for Broxtowe, Mansfield and Ashfield respectively, while the party is yet to determine its candidate for Conservative Robert Jenrick’s Newark.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives already have a large bench of sitting MPs in Nottinghamshire, none of whom have said they plan to stand down before the next election.

Tory candidates have been chosen for Nottingham East (Newark & Sherwood district Cllr Johno Lee) and Nottingham South. These are currently held by Nadia Whittome and Lilian Greenwood.

The Tory candidate for Nottingham North and Kimberley – a slightly changed version of Labour MP Alex Norris’ current Nottingham North constituency – is expected in the coming weeks.

The Mansfield constituency could potentially also become available if MP Ben Bradley wins the East Midlands mayoral race and stands down.

He has previously said he may not continue as the town’s MP if he is successful on May 2.

Reform UK already has a sitting MP in Ashfield’s Lee Anderson, who defected after having the Conservative party whip removed in February.

The party – previously the Brexit party – has selected candidates for Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Newark and Sherwood Forest, and says others are expected.

This includes Gregor Davey, Robert Hall-Palmer and Helen Rose O’Hare respectively.

The Liberal Democrats, who currently don’t hold any seats in the county, say they are recruiting candidates for the three Labour-held Nottingham seats, and will announce them soon.

The Green Party say they plan to fight every constituency in the UK for the first time. They have already chosen candidates to run in every seat except Gedling, where the selection process is still underway.

This includes Alexander Coates in Ashfield, Teresa Needham in Broxtowe, Phil Shields in Mansfield, Rosemary Palmer in Nottingham East, Sam Harvey in Nottingham North and Kimberley, and Cath Sutherland in Nottingham North.

Independent candidates may also choose to stand. Cllr Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), who leads Ashfield District Council, has already confirmed plans to stand in the district.

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