Sunday, 18 January 2015

General election predictions: Will those PPCs succeed their retiring predecessors?

As the 2015 UK general election draws nearer, many sitting MPs are planning to stand down. At this time of writing, 81 MPs (34 Conservative, 35 Labour, 10 Liberal Democrat, 1 Plaid Cymru, and 1 ex-Labour) have announced their intention to stand down from their seats at the next general election (the most recent being Sir Hugh Robertson, Conservative MP for Faversham & Mid Kent since 2001).

For the Liberal Democrats, incumbency is a particularly important factor in whether they can hold a particular seat at the next general election or not. Here is my belief of whether new candidates (by political party) are likely to succeed retiring predecessors: (note that a blank space in the PPC selected to replace them column means that the incumbent's party has not chosen a new PPC yet at this time)

Very likely/almost certain to succeed:

Seat:                        Held by*:              Retiring MP:         PPC^ selected to replace them:
Aberavon                    Labour                 Hywel Francis       Stephen Kinnock
Aldridge-Brownhills   Conservative       Richard Shepherd  
Ashton-under-Lyne  Labour                 David Heyes             Angela Rayner
Banbury                   Conservative       Tony Baldry              Victoria Prentis
Bath                         Lib Dem               Don Foster                Steve Bradley
Batley & Spen          Labour                 Mike Wood                Jo Cox
Bexhill & Battle        Conservative       Greg Barker
Blackburn                 Labour                Jack Straw               Kate Hollem
Bootle                       Labour                Joe Benton              Peter Dowd
Braintree                  Conservative       Brooks Newmark     James Cleverly
Bradford South         Labour                Gerry Sutcliffe          Judith Cummings
Bristol South             Labour                Dawn Primarolo         Karin Smyth
Bury St Edmunds     Conservative      David Ruffley            Johanna Churchill
Charnwood               Conservative      Stephen Dorrell 
Coventry NE             Labour               Bob Ainsworth           Colleen Fletcher
Croydon South         Conservative      Richard Ottaway        Chris Philp
Dulwich & W.Norwood      Labour       Tessa Jowell              Helen Hayes
Dwyfor Meirionydd     Plaid Cymru     Elfyn Llwyd                 Liz Saville-Roberts
Ellesmere Port & Neston  Labour       Andrew Miller             Justin Madder
Gower                           Labour           Martin Caton              Liz Evans
Greenwich & Woolwich  Labour         Nick Raynsford           Matthew Pennycock
Havant                          Conservative  David Willetts            Alan Mak
Hertsmere                     Conservative  James Clappison      Oliver Dowden
Holborn & St Pancras   Labour           Frank Dobson              Keir Starmer
Leeds East                    Labour          George Mudie              Richard Burgon
Lewisham Deptford      Labour           Joan Ruddock              Vicky Foxcroft
Louth & Horncastle      Conservative  Peter Tapsell               Victoria Atkins
Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney  Labour      Dai Havard                Gerald Jones
Mid Worcestershire      Conservative  Peter Luff                    Nigel Huddleston
Neath                            Labour           Peter Hain               Christina Rees
North Dorset                Conservative   Robert Walter
NE Hampshire             Conservative   James Arbuthnot    Ranil Jayawardena
NW Hampshire            Conservative   George Young        Kit Malthouse
Richmond (Yorks)        Conservative   William Hague        Rishi Sunak
Salford & Eccles           Labour            Hazel Blears          Rebecca Long-Bailey
Sheffield Brightside
& Hillsborough              Labour           David Blunkett          Harry Harpham
Sheffield Heeley           Labour            Meg Munn                Louise Hugh
St Helens South
& Whiston                     Labour            Shaun Woodward    Marie Rimmer
Stoke-on-Trent North    Labour           Joan Walley              Ruth Smeeth
South Cambridgeshire  Conservative  Andrew Lansley       Heidi Allen
SE Cambridgeshire      Conservative   Jim Paice                 Lucy Frazer

South Leicestershire     Conservative  Andrew Robathan     Alberto Costa
South Suffolk                Conservative   Tim Yeo                     James Cartlidge
Swansea East               Labour           Sian James                 Carolyn Harris
Tonbridge & Malling      Conservative  John Stanley                Tom Tugendhat
Uxbridge & Ruislip S.    Conservative  John Randall               Boris Johnson
Wealden                        Conservative  Charles Hendry           Nusrat Ghani
Workington                    Labour           Tony Cunningham
York Central                  Labour           Hugh Bayley

Some chance, but success is by no means assured:

Seat:                         Held by:         Retiring MP:       PPC selected to replace them:
Boston & Skegness  Conservative   Mark Simmonds   Matt Warman
Dudley South            Conservative  Chris Kelly
Edinburgh SW            Labour          Alistair Darling
Glenrothes                 Labour          Lindsay Roy          Melanie Ward
Great Grimsby           Labour          Austin Mitchell       Melanie Onn
Hampstead & Kilburn  Labour        Glenda Jackson    Tulip Siddiq
Hazel Grove               Lib Dem       Andrew Stunnell     Lisa Smart
North East Fife          Lib Dem        Menzies Campbell  Tim Brett
Northampton South   Conservative Brian Binley            David Mackintosh
Southampton Itchen   Labour         John Denham         Rowenna Davis
South Ribble             Conservative   Lorraine Fulbrook   Seema Kennedy

Unlikely to pull it off/no realistic chance:

Seat:                           Held by:      Retiring MP:        PPC selected to replace them:
Aberdeen North         Labour          Frank Doran         Richard Baker
Berwick-upon-Tweed Lib Dem       Alan Beith             Julie Porksen
Brent Central             Lib Dem        Sarah Teather       Ibrahim Taguri
Cannock Chase    Conservative     Aidan Burley         Amanda Miling
Cardiff North         Conservative     Jonathan Evans   Craig Williams
Erewash                Conservative    Jessica Lee          Maggie Throup
Falkirk                       Labour           Eric Joyce             Karen Whitefield  
Gordon                      Lib Dem         Malcolm Bruce      Christine Jardine
Hove                         Conservative   Mike Weatherley   Graham Cox
Mid Dorset & N. Poole  Lib Dem      Annette Brooke      Vikki Slade
North Warwickshire  Conservative    Dan Byles            Craig Tracey
Redcar                      Lib Dem          Ian Swale              Josh Mason
Stirling                      Labour            Anne McGuire       Johanna Boyd
Somerton & Frome  Lib Dem          David Heath           David Rendel
South Thanet          Conservative    Laura Sandys        Craig Mackinlay
Taunton Deane       Lib Dem           Jeremy Browne     Rachel Gilmour

*Currently held by (respective party)
^PPC of same political party as retiring incumbent.
**Deselections are not shown here, except for that of Tim Yeo who already announced that he is not planning to contest South Suffolk as an Independent.

In the midst of all this, more and more different parties are planning to field candidates (there are also some independent candidates planning to come forward, of course)-one constituency, Truro and Falmouth, already has eight different prospective candidates lined up (many constituencies also have at least six different prospective candidates lined up), when we are still three months away from the start of the official campaign. Meanwhile, with the Green surge continuing, I hope that in as many constituencies of England and Wales as possible (not just 75% of them), there will be a Green Party PPC.


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