Exclusive:Local elections 2023: the candidates standing in multiple areas often hundreds of miles apart

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One candidate standing in two contests at this week's local elections is hoping to represent two areas almost 200 miles apart, which would take nearly three and a half hours to commute between.

Dozens of council candidates vying for votes at this week's local elections are standing in multiple areas, with some trying to win seats hundreds of miles apart, NationalWorld can reveal. 

Voters in England will head to the polls on 4 May to decide who they want to represent the interests of their local area. But while you might expect a candidate to only stand in one area, our analysis of Democracy Club data found:

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  • One Liberal Democrat is hoping to win a seat at councils almost 200 miles apart.
  • A young Conservative is also hoping to represent two areas more than 100 miles apart, which would take nearly two hours to commute between.
  • Although these candidates are looking to split their time between two roles, one hopeful candidate for Reform UK is even aiming to represent three seats in different areas.
  • The figures show 26 candidates are hoping to win more than one seat at the elections.

Of the candidates standing for at least two seats, the majority (58% or 15 candidates) were found to be representing the Conservatives, while the Liberal Democrats and Reform UK both have four candidates standing in multiple elections. Labour was found to have no candidates running for multiple seats. 

We have excluded council candidates running for elections in multiple tiers of local government for the same area – for instance running for a district council but also hoping to be a councillor on the larger county council covering that district. 

The interactive table at the bottom of this article will show you the names of all election candidates standing in multiple areas, so you can see if anybody trying to win your vote is also standing in another area.

The local elections this May will see tens of thousands of candidates battle it out for place on local councils. There are 26,000 candidates standing at the local elections, with figures showing the Conservatives are fielding the most candidates with more than 7,500 standing for election, followed by Labour with 6,200 and the Liberal Democrats with 4,800. 

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Elections hundreds of miles apart

There are no laws stopping candidates from representing multiple constituencies across different regions although there could be rules or differences at a local authority level as to whether a candidate can stand for more than one seat in the area. 

(Left to right): Caleb Heather (image source: Epsom & Ewell Conservative Association), Katharine Macy (Image source: Young Liberals) and Timothy Macy (Image source: LinkedIn)(Left to right): Caleb Heather (image source: Epsom & Ewell Conservative Association), Katharine Macy (Image source: Young Liberals) and Timothy Macy (Image source: LinkedIn)
(Left to right): Caleb Heather (image source: Epsom & Ewell Conservative Association), Katharine Macy (Image source: Young Liberals) and Timothy Macy (Image source: LinkedIn) | Epsom & Ewell Conservative Association, Young Liberals and LinkedIn

Liberal Democrat Katharine Macy is standing for Fishergate ward in York, as well as the Much Hadham ward in East Hertfordshire, which are approximately 190 miles apart. It would take the would-be councillor around three hours and 45 minutes to drive between both constituencies.

Timothy Macy is another Liberal Democrat standing for election in different regions. He wants to represent Kenilworth Abbey and Arden ward in Warwick, and Sawbridgeworth ward in East Hertfordshire, approximately 115 miles apart and around a two-and-a-half-hour commute.

The Liberal Democrats told NationalWorld that the two candidates were standing in different areas because they are students with two separate addresses. A spokesperson said: “The Liberal Democrats have stood record numbers of candidates at this year's local elections. In this particular case, we have seen two students who live at two separate addresses in term and out of term time give people the opportunity to support the Liberal Democrats at the next election."

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Would-be Conservative politician, Caleb Heather, is also hoping to win seats in different regions of England. The young Tory is hoping to win a seat at Auriol ward in Epsom and Ewell as well as Leamington Willes ward in Warwick. If he wins he'll be required to commit to a two-hour 20-minute commute by car to travel the 100-plus miles between the two seats. The Conservatives declined to comment. 

One candidate was also found to be vying for positions at three separate elections – all in Lincolnshire. Nick Smith from Reform UK is the candidate for Skellingthorpe and Eagle, Witham and Scampton.

Check if your local candidate is standing elsewhere

You can look through the interactive table below to see the candidates standing in multiple areas at next week’s elections. If you can’t see the table click here to view it on the Flourish website.

Reform UK was approached for comment.

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