How many candidates are standing in the General Election?

Details of every candidate standing in the General Election on July 4 have now been published.

Here the PA news agency answers some of the key questions about the candidates, based on data compiled by the agency itself.

– How many candidates are standing?

There are a total of 4,515 candidates in this election.

This is a record for a general election in the UK and is up 36% on the number that stood in the last poll in 2019, which was 3,320.

The previous record was 4,150 candidates, which was set at the 2010 election.

– What has driven the sharp jump in the number of candidates?

Two factors are behind the rise.

Firstly, there are more parties fielding a large number of candidates than at any previous general election.

The biggest three, unsurprisingly, are the Conservatives (with 635 candidates), Labour (631) and the Liberal Democrats (630).

But in fourth place are the Greens, with 629 candidates (up from 497 in 2019) – their highest ever number.

There are also two brand new parties at this election: Reform UK (609 candidates) and the Workers Party of Britain (152).

The other factor behind the jump in candidates is a surge in the number of independents who are standing – up from 142 in 2019 to 423 in 2024.

– Are there any seats where the big three parties are not standing?


By tradition, none of the three main parties – the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – is putting up a candidate against the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, in his constituency of Chorley in Lancashire.

And there will be no Conservative on the ballot paper in Rotherham in South Yorkshire, due to a last-minute withdrawal by the candidate.

POLITICS Election CandidatesQandA
(PA Graphics)

It is the first time since 1945 that there has not been a Tory candidate contesting this seat at a general election.

No Liberal Democrat candidate will appear on the ballot in Manchester Rusholme, due to an invalid nomination paper.

Every other seat in England, Scotland and Wales has a candidate for the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems.

In Northern Ireland, Labour and the Lib Dems are not fielding any candidates, while the Tories are standing in five seats: Londonderry East, Newry & Armagh, South Down, Strangford, and Tyrone West.

– Are there any other parties fielding more than 100 candidates?

Yes – the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which has 123 candidates at this election, up from 20 in 2019.

– What about the main parties specific to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

The SNP and Plaid Cymru are contesting every seat in Scotland (57) and Wales (32) respectively.

The Alba Party, which had two MPs in the last Westminster parliament, has candidates in 19 seats in Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, the Alliance Party is contesting every one of the 18 seats up for grabs, while the SDLP and UUP both have candidates in 17 seats, the DUP in 16 and Sinn Fein in 14.

– What about some of the smaller, less well-known parties – which ones have the most candidates?

Of those parties with fewer than 100 candidates, after the SNP (57) the next highest number is for the Heritage Party (41), followed by the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition, or TUSC (40), the Yorkshire Party (27), the Rejoin EU Party (26) and the UK Independence Party, or Ukip (24).

General Election campaign 2024
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is the Conservative candidate in Richmond & Northallerton, which has 13 candidates standing in the General Election (James Manning/PA)

– What is the highest number of candidates standing in a single seat?

The highest number is 13, in Richmond & Northallerton: the seat in which Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is the Conservative candidate.

The other 12 candidates on the ballot paper are representing Labour, the Lib Dems, Reform, the Greens, the Workers Party, the Yorkshire Party, the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and the Count Binface Party, plus four independents.

Three constituencies are being contested by 12 candidates: Ealing Southall, Holborn & St Pancras (where Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is a candidate), and Oxford East.

Five constituencies have 11 candidates on their ballot paper: Bethnal Green & Stepney, Cities of London & Westminster, Dover & Deal, Leeds North East, and Slough.

No constituency in the UK has fewer than five candidates standing.