In a General Election, the residents of each UK parliamentary constituency elect one Member of Parliament to represent them in the House of Commons.
Each party can nominate a maximum of one candidate per constituency, often chosen from a shortlist of potential candidates in a selection contest.
Candidates who wish to stand for election must submit their nomination papers within one week after the notice of election has been published (i.e. up to 19 working days before the poll).
However, candidates usually start their campaigning several months earlier, and their intention to stand for election will often be announced in a local newspaper.
There are several places where parliamentary candidates are collected:
- YourNextMP, an open, crowd-sourced database of election candidates.
- AndyJS’ spreadsheet and a derived list of candidates by constituency, via the Vote UK Forum. Often used as the source for the information on Wikipedia's page for each constituency.
- Dods People, a commercial monitoring service, used as the data source for the MHP General Election Campaign Outlook (GECO).
- UK Polling Report Election Guide
Some political parties maintain their own lists of prospective parliamentary candidates:
As well as prospective parliamentary candidates, some MPs will be contesting their seats again, and some will be standing down.