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This is how Labour is selecting its candidates for the 2017 general election

Mirror logo Mirror 2 days ago Dan Bloom
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Labour is finding candidates for hundreds of seats with less than 50 days to go before a general election.

Normally this would take months, and party chiefs were expecting some horse-trading over constituency boundary changes in 2018 too.

::Detailed coverage on snap General Election

Instead Theresa May has forced Labour's hand with a snap poll, so the party now has an "emergency" procedure to ensure it's a fighting force in time.

Drawn up by Labour's ruling NEC, the process cuts out local party members who "with the greatest regret" will not select candidates this time.

"This process is necessary and it is only due to the exceptional snap general election circumstances and will not set any precedent for future elections," an e-mail to constituency parties said.

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The special selection process is expected to take just 12 days from start to finish.

So how will it work where you live?

In the rules - which we've taken from the e-mail to local parties - there are three types of seats: occupied, vacant, and 'retirement', where a sitting Labour MP is standing down.

Here's a guide to what they mean and which process will apply to each one.

Note: These rules have been drawn up for England. Scottish and Welsh Labour are setting rules for their seats separately.

Occupied seats

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These are the simplest - around 200 seats where current Labour MPs have decided to stand again.

Sitting MPs had until 6pm on Thursday 20 April to decide if they'd stay. The vast majority did. Just 12 didn't (see 'retirement seats' below).

They have all been automatically reselected without the need for a 'trigger ballot', which normally gives local members a slim chance to reject them.

So if you currently have a Labour MP who isn't on this list of people quitting, your area is in this category.

Vacant seats

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These are around 400 seats without a sitting Labour MP, from Tory heartlands in Surrey to marginal battlegrounds in London.

Adverts are appearing on the Labour Party 's website from Friday 21 April, with applications closing just two days later.

Applicants should send a CV and monitoring form, and indicate which seat they want to stand in.

Candidates will then be allocated to seats by members of Labour's ruling NEC and its regional boards across the country.

In the case of Wales, there are 15 vacant seats - a source tells us a panel of Welsh executive officers will interview in a similar way.

If you don't currently have a Labour MP, your area is in this category.

Retirement seats

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These are 12 seats where current Labour MPs have stood down - and they'll be in high demand.

With polls predicting Labour will struggle to gain new seats, these retirement berths are an outsider's best chance of getting into Westminster.

There has been talk of Jeremy Corbyn 's allies wanting to parachute in candidates loyal to him, so he would have the backing of more of his parliamentary party.

Selections for these seats will be done entirely by the ruling NEC, which will draw up a longlist and interview them all.

If your constituency is one of those on this list, you're in this category.

The three female MPs who've quit, Gisela Stuart, Pat Glass and Fiona MacTaggart, are all guaranteed to be replaced by women.

The timetable in a nutshell

Thursday 20 April: Deadline for MPs to confirm they're staying on

Friday 21 April: Applications open for candidates in all other seats

Sunday 23 April: Applications deadline at noon

Friday 28 April: NEC finishes five-day selection of retirement seat candidates

Sunday 30 April: NEC and regional panels start meeting to select candidates for vacant seats

Tuesday 2 May: NEC and regional panels finish selecting all candidates

Thursday 11 May: Candidates for all parties officially announced

Thursday 8 June: Polling day

What about Simon Danczuk?

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The MP for Rochdale has been in limbo for more than a year after he was suspended from Labour over explicit texts to a 17-year-old girl.

He remains an Independent, and it has not been made 100% clear if he can stand for Labour.

The e-mail to CLPs says people who've been suspended cannot stand, which suggests he cannot.

But Mr Danczuk made a public plea to fight the election for Labour, saying he has devoted his life to Labour values.

“I have increased our majority from 889 to 12,442," he said. "The people of Rochdale put their trust in me."

What about Manchester Gorton?

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The seat was due to have a by-election on May 4 to replace longest-serving MP Gerald Kaufman, who died.

That means candidates for all parties are already selected.

Those same candidates will fight their cause on June 8, the day of the general election, instead.

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