Now that nominations for the Heywood & Middleton by-election and the Clacton by-election have finished, I can reveal that the Green Party is thankfully standing in both by-elections, with Abi Jackson in Heywood & Middleton and Chris Southall in Clacton.
Here is who we have to face in terms of opponents in Heywood & Middleton:
UKIP: John Bickley (contested Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election earlier this year)
Conservative: Iain Gartside (lives in nearby Bury North, one of only two Greater Manchester constituencies to be represented by a Conservative MP)
Labour: Liz McInnes (lives in Rossendale & Darwen)
Liberal Democrat: Anthony Smith (he might save his deposit this time when the Liberal Democrats have lost so many so far in recent by-elections)
And here are our opponents in Clacton:
UKIP: Douglas Carswell (no comment needed!)
Liberal Democrat: Andrew Graham (used to be mayor of Bishop's Stortford, near to where I live now)
Official Monster Raving Loony: Alan 'Howling Laud' Hope (maybe he will beat the Liberal Democrats this time around-he nearly did so last year in South Shields!)
Independent: Charlotte Rose (?)
Independent: Bruce Sizer (apparently a hospital consultant-will he be standing on a health related theme a la Paul Baggaley of Newark's by-election?)
Conservative: Giles Watling (formerly starred in British sitcom Bread, and chosen by open primary)
Labour: Tim Young (a councillor in Colchester, not so far from Clacton)
Given the amount of coverage Douglas Carswell got when he defected, I am surprised we only face seven opponents in this by-election. Unusually, John Black of the Scottish Jacobite Party tried to get nominated (why?) for this by-election, but the returning officer ruled his nomination invalid as his party is only registered to contest elections in Scotland-not England.
With 23 days of campaigning, I wish Abi and Chris the best of luck, and hopefully we can get at least one of our deposits back, given that the Green Party is polling 6-7% in election polls, tying with the Liberal Democrats' poll ratings sometimes (hopefully we can overtake the Lib Dems in the polls in a few months' time :) )
On another note-with only two days to go, I am hoping that the Yes campaigners in the Scottish independence referendum will do all they can to get those undecided voters to support independence-there is so much a Yes vote could spark for the UK, including further devolution of parts of England, especially Cornwall and Yorkshire.