Election 2017: Opposition parties aim to have candidates ready by May Day bank holiday

Ipswich's May Day Festival is a major event for the Labour movement - in 2015 Labour candidate David

Ipswich's May Day Festival is a major event for the Labour movement - in 2015 Labour candidate David Ellesmere was joined by shadow cabinet member Andy Burnham at the event. - Credit: Su Anderson

Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Suffolk hope to have candidates in place by the May Day bank holiday next Monday.


And Labour is hoping to have its Ipswich candidate – who will fight their target seat – ready to be unveiled at the town’s trade union-organised May Day Festival on Sunday.

The party’s regional board will meet with National Executive Committee members at the weekend to choose candidates for all the seats in East Anglia.

They aim to have candidates in place for every seat by Tuesday – but target seats will have their candidates chosen first.

Senior figures at the Ipswich Labour Party have pointed out that the May Day Festival has been on the calendar for months and always attracts a significant number of members.

Party agent John Cook said he would like to be able to unveil the party’s candidate there – especially as there are due to be senior figures from the party and trades unions in attendance.

The Liberal Democrats are also in the process of selecting candidates for their seats across Suffolk and plan to unveil them all once they have been formally adopted at the end of the week.

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Jon James, the Secretary of the Suffolk Coastal branch is co-ordinating the selection process and said there were only a couple of seats where the candidate had not been confirmed – but the party was not unveiling them until they had been through adoption meetings to ensure they complied with electoral law on expenses.

Branches of UKIP across the region are holding hustings meetings over the next few days and are also hoping to have candidates in place by the end of the week.

The Green Party is also looking at which parliamentary seats to fight after it failed to get a political pact in place with the Liberal Democrats in Suffolk.

The closing date for nominations for the General Election will be on May 11 – but all the parties want to have their candidates in place well before then.

Parliament is to be dissolved on May 3. Until then sitting members retain the title of MP. Once parliament is dissolved they will once again revert to being just parliamentary candidates along with their opponents – although ministers will retain their jobs until polling day.