Wellingborough and Rushden election: What happens now?

What does the conviction and suspension of General Election candidate Richard Garvie mean for voters?
What does the conviction and suspension of General Election candidate Richard Garvie mean for voters?

What does the conviction and suspension of a General Election candidate mean for voters?

Richard Garvie, the Labour Party’s candidate in Wellingborough and Rushden, has been suspended after his fraud conviction yesterday.

But this close to the election Labour are not able to replace Mr Garvie with another candidate.

This means that Mr Garvie’s name will still appear on the ballot papers although, were he to win, he would probably have to stand as an independent MP.

It also means that in reality people who wanted to vote Labour have no-one to vote for.

The Labour Party has not yet offered any guidance on what its voters should do if they want to vote for them next Thursday.

The Wellingborough and Rushden seat was held by Conservative Peter Bone, who won by a majority of 11,787 votes in 2010.

Mr Bone is standing again, against Chris Nelson for the Liberal Democrats, Marion Turner-Hawes of the Green Party and UKIP’s Jonathan Munday.

Dr Munday said: ”I am shocked to hear of the conviction for fraud of the former Labour candidate for Wellingborough and Rushden, who has now been suspended from the Labour Party.

“As there is no Labour candidate at the General Election, Wellingborough is now a straight fight between UKIP, which won the Euro elections locally last year and the Tories.

“It is very unfortunate that this was not made public before the postal votes went out, as many Labour voters will have wasted their vote.

“I call on all those who do not want more of Cameron’s austerity, to vote UKIP to keep out the Tories.”

Mr Nelson said: “Yesterday I urged Labour’s candidate for Wellingborough, Richard Garvie, to do the honourable thing by suspending his campaign, doing so both privately and publicly.

“Despite being disowned by his own party, he has refused to do so.

“While he cannot be removed from the ballot, Mr Garvie is seriously deluded if he believes that people will vote for him after being convicted of fraud, a crime of dishonesty for which he has yet to be sentenced.

“Voters simply will not find his promise to resign to be even slightly desirable or credible.”