The full list of candidates standing in the upcoming December 12 General Election has been revealed.
Five parties will be standing candidates in the three Stoke-on-Trent seats – Stoke-on-Trent North, Central and South – as well as one independent candidate.
Candidates had until 4pm Thursday 14 November to formally submit their nominations with the complete list published by local authorities soon after.
Ruth Smeeth – Labour Party (incumbent)
Jonathan Gullis – Conservative Party
Peter Andras – Liberal Democrats
Richard Watkin – Brexit Party
Alan Borgars – Green Party
Matt Dilworth – Independent
Gareth Snell – Labour Party (incumbent)
Jo Gideon – Conservative Party
Steven Pritchard – Liberal Democrats
Tariq Mahmood – Brexit Party
Adam Colclough – Green Party
Jack Brereton – Conservative Party (incumbent)
Mark McDonald – Labour Party
Rosalyn Gordon – Liberal Democrats
All three Stoke seats are marginal, and given the status of Stoke-on-Trent as one of the ‘Brexit heartlands’ of the UK, the three seats will be contested fiercely.
Stoke North enjoyed a majority of just 2359 in the 2017 General Election, returning Labour’s Ruth Smeeth for her second Parliamentary term. The seat has been labour since its creation in 1950, but with such slim margins and 6 candidates standing to become MP, any vote split and lost by Labour will risk it’s red status flipping blue.
In Stoke Central Labour’s Gareth Snell took over from former Labour MP Tristam Hunt with a majority of 2620 in 2017. In that election, UKIP was the second largest party, behind Labour by just 13% – mostly in thanks due to then-leader Paul Nuttall standing in the seat. In fact, UKIP have been the second largest party in this seat since the 2015 General Election – given the fact the party is not standing and The Brexit Party has fielded a candidate for the area it will be interesting to see whether that right-leaning voteshare will rise in line with past elections. Stoke Central has been branded ‘Brexit capital’ due to its 64.85% vote for Leave in the EU referendum, something both the Conservatives and the Brexit Party will take full advantage of – for the first time in the seat’s history could a party other than Labour take the reigns?
Stoke South bucked the myth that Labour would always hold Stoke-on-Trent, a major middle-class electoral makeup, when returning the Conservative’s Jack Brereton with a majority of just 663 votes. With the Brexit Party choosing not to stand a candidate in the seat, an action to not stand against incumbent Tories called upon by Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, any vote-share split by Labour towards the Liberal Democrats – the only other party to stand in the seat – will boost Brereton’s numbers. Again, a clear majority of voters chose ‘Leave’ during the Brexit referendum, so this seat will likely remain Tory blue – but such a low majority should be seen as a sign of the seats extreme volatility.
Voters have until 11:59pm on 26 November to register to vote in the upcoming 12 December General Election. You can register through this link.