General Election 2015: Who’s standing in Northamptonshire

The General Election campaign is under way
The General Election campaign is under way

Parliament has been dissolved and hundreds of MPs and prospective MPs are pounding the streets, posting leaflets and knocking on doors in attempt to win votes come Thursday, May 7.

The General Election campaign started in earnest on Monday after the Prime Minister David Cameron went to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament.

This year’s General Election is going to be one of the closest ever, with many believing no one party will win an outright majority.

The three MPs in the Northants Telegraph area, the Conservatives Peter Bone and Philip Hollobone, and Labour’s Andy Sawford, are all seeking re-election.

Mr Bone and Mr Hollobone are seasoned campaigners, but Mr Sawford has only been Corby’s MP since 2012, when he won the by-election caused by the resignation of the controversial Tory MP Louise Mensch.

None of the three can be sure of keeping hold of their seat despite having respectable majorities. Mr Bone retained his Wellingborough seat with a majority of 11,787 in 2010, while Mr Hollobone has a majority of 9,094.

Labour and Andy Sawford ran an impressive by-election campaign in 2012 resulting in him being elected with a majority of 7,791.

His Conservative opponent, Tom Pursglove, has been campaigning hard and many expect a closer battle this time round.

As well as Mr Sawford, the Labour Party is fielding candidates in Kettering and in Wellingborough and Rushden – Rhea Keehn and Richard Garvie respectively.

The constituencies vary in size from 79,468, as of December 2010, in Corby, to 76,848 in Wellingborough, and 69,610 in Kettering.

Turn-out in the 2010 General Election was 69.2 per cent in Corby, 67.2 per cent in Wellingborough and 68.8 per cent in Kettering. This compares with 65.1 per cent nationally.

Traditionally the main players in General Elections were Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, but this year UKIP hope to make inroads into the House of Commons and the party is fielding candidates in all three constituencies; MEP Margot Parker in Corby, Jonathan Bullock in Kettering and Dr Jonathan Munday in Wellingborough.

The Green Party is also putting forward a candidate in all three constituencies – Jonathan Hornett in Corby, Rob Reeves in Kettering and Marion Turner-Hawes in Wellingborough. Derek Hilling is standing for the English Democrats in Kettering.

Other parties may put forward candidates as the closing date for nominations is not until Thursday, April 9.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, May 7, and MPs will return to Parliament on Monday, May 18, to be sworn in.

The state opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Speech takes place on Wednesday, May 27.

The next Government will govern for a fixed five-year term, with the next General Election taking place on the first Thursday in May 2020, unless there is a vote of no confidence in the government or a motion for a General Election is agreed by two-thirds of the total number of seats in the Commons, 434 out of 650.