Now that the polls have closed, we take a look at the candidates who stood in today’s election and how they compare to the candidates in 2017. Our data is compiled from the official nomination papers and candidates’ own websites. 

How many candidates stood?

Today, 3,327 candidates stood for election to Parliament, 20 more than in 2017. There was an average of 5.1 candidates per constituency across the UK, from 70 different political parties.  

Eight parties fielded over 30 candidates. A total of 608 former MPs sought re-election, including 34 who had not been MPs during the 2017-19 Parliament. We estimate there were 2,199 male candidates and 1,123 female candidates. This was the highest number of women standing on record. At least five candidates were non-binary or gender neutral.  

Candidates by party 

The Conservative Party fielded 635 candidates, the highest number for any party in this election, although three fewer than in 2017. This included candidates for all of Great Britain’s 632 constituencies (except Chorley, where the current Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, stood for re-election unopposed by the three main parties). In Northern Ireland, the Conservative Party fielded candidates in four out of the 18 constituencies. 

The Labour Party put forward 631 candidates, one in every constituency within Great Britain (excluding Chorley) – the same number as in 2017. 

Candidates by party. Conservative: 635, Labour: 631, Liberal Democrat: 611, Green: 498, Brexit Party: 277, SNP: 59, UKIP: 43, PC: 36, Other: 537

The Liberal Democrats fielded 611 candidates in only Great Britain, 18 fewer than in 2017. The Green Party put forward 498 candidates across the UK, 29 more than in 2017. 

In the build up to the election the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru agreed to field only one candidate between them in 60 constituencies, forming a ‘Unite to Remain’ alliance. The Liberal Democrats stood in 43 of those constituencies, the Green Party in 10 and Plaid Cymru in seven. 

The Brexit Party fielded candidates in 277 seats, fewer than the initially expected 322, due to its decision to stand down candidates in seats where a Conservative won in 2017. UKIP had 43 candidates in 2019, compared to 378 in 2017.   

The SNP fielded candidates in each of the 59 constituencies in Scotland. 537 candidates stood as either independents or representing other parties across the UK (including the Speaker). 

Distribution of candidates 

On average across the UK there were 5.1 candidates per constituency. Northern Ireland had the highest number of candidates per constituency (5.7) and Scotland the lowest (4.9). Among the regions of England, London had the highest number of candidates per constituency (5.7) and the South West had the lowest (4.6). 

Average number of candidates per constituency. UK: 5.1, England: 5.1, Scotland: 4.9, Wales: 5.4, Northern Ireland: 5.7. In 20 constituencies there were only 3 candidates and in 13 constituencies there were 8 or more.

Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson’s constituency) had the highest number of candidates (12).  Doncaster North, Kensington and Lewisham East followed with nine candidates each. In Chorley there were three candidates; the Speaker, the Green Party and an independent. 

Gender of candidates 

We estimate there were 1,123 female candidates, the highest number and percentage (33.8%) on record. The Labour Party had the highest proportion of women standing (53.1%), followed by the Green Party (41.0%) and the SNP (33.9%). UKIP had the lowest proportion of female candidates (18.6%) among parties fielding over 30 candidates. 

Proportion of female candidates by party. Labour: 53.1%, Green: 41%, SNP: 30.6%, Liberal Democrat: 30.4%, PC: 25%, Other: 20.7%, Brexit Party 20.2%, UKIP: 18.6%. The General Election 2019 had the highest proportion of females candidates ever, 33.8%.

Seven parties put forward only female candidates. However, most of these parties only fielded one candidate, except the Women’s Equality Party which fielded three.  

In 75 seats all the candidates were men, compared with only four seats where all candidates were women. 

We haven’t asked candidates about their gender identity, but at least five identified themselves as non-binary or gender neutral on their candidate web pages or social media platforms; three candidates representing the Greens, one Labour and one Liberal Democrat. 

Further reading

Look out for more impartial analysis of the election results over the coming days.

About the author: Rachael Harker is a senior Library researcher.