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Election candidates: introduction

This is the first comprehensive biographical index to appear of the individuals who have contested a UK parliamentary election under the designation Liberal, Liberal Democrat and Social Democrat, over the years 1945–2017. Separate files cover eleven English regions (Devon and Cornwall, East of England, East Midlands, Greater London, North East, North West, South Central, South East, South West, Yorkshire, West Midlands), and Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales (Westminster elections only, including APNI candidates in Northern Ireland).

A typical entry includes details of birth and death, where known, education school/college/university), career(s), elected local government offices held (though periods of service are often imprecise), party offices held, noteworthy distinctions and achievements, honours, publications etc, etc. Information on previous (or subsequent) activities with respect to other political parties is often included. Spouses and family often receive notice. Entries vary in length and presentation, reflecting the scale of the contribution which an individual made to the party and political life in the region or nationally, to parliament or his/her achievements in wider spheres of activity. Opinions expressed with regard to some of the more colourful personalities listed are those generally held.

Inevitably many entries in this series of regional indices, despite exhaustive research over twenty years, are incomplete and/or contain errors of identification etc. Many entries, particularly with respect to the many ’paper candidates’ fielded, e.g. in the general elections of 1950, 2015 and 2017, are woefully thin. Corrections and additional information from readers will be most welcome; please email Lionel King. New information will appear in updated editions of the regional indices, together with entries on new candidates in parliamentary elections and by-elections which occur after June 2017.

Hopefully this series of indices will provide information useful to historians, scholars and for party members, will serve to revive memories of colleagues and personalities of yesteryear. Furthermore, it has been compiled partly as a tribute to the hundreds of individuals who felt committed enough to allow their names to go forward for nomination in the cause of Liberalism particularly during the long periods when the party’s fortunes have been in almost total eclipse.