The Constitution Unit


Choosing Future MPs: Candidate Selection for the Upcoming UK Elections

This event was co-badged with the UCL Policy & Practice seminar series. It took place on 02 November 2023.


Images of the Houses of Parliament and the title 'Policy and Practice Seminar'.

Choosing Future MPs: Candidate Selection for the Upcoming UK Elections 

When British voters enter the polling booth for the 2024 UK elections, they will see a ballot with a list of candidates, from which they must choose their preferred local MP. In most electorates, the tightest contest will be between one of the few major parties. But how do these parties decide which candidate gets selected to represent them? In this event, we were joined by a trio of seasoned political insiders to shine a light on the hidden selection processes that, to a large extent, will determine the make-up of our next Parliament.  

Meet the speakers

Luke Akehurst  has been a Labour Party activist since 1988. He is a Member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) - the governing body of the UK Labour Party, which sets the overall strategic direction of the party - a position he has held since 2020, having previously served on the NEC from 2010-2012. 

Charlotte Carew Pole  is a British women's rights advocate and Conservative political activist. She is the director of Women2Win, which campaigns for increasing the number of women Conservative members of parliament in the House of Commons. She is also the founder and director of Daughters' Rights, a political campaign advocating for the end of male primogeniture. 

Michael Crick is a broadcaster, journalist and author. After 40 years as a television journalist, he started the Twitter account @tomorrowsmps to shine a light on the major parties' candidate selection processes for winnable Westminster seats. His most recent book is One Party After Another: The Disruptive Life of Nigel Farage (2022, Simon & Schuster). 

Chair: Meg Russell is Professor of British and Comparative Politics and Director of the Constitution Unit in the UCL Department of Political Science.

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