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Wednesday, 23 May, 2001, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK

Jordan seeks swing vote

Surgically-enhanced glamour model Jordan is among nearly 3,300 hopefuls nominated to stand as candidates at the general election.

Jordan, who is standing as an independent under her real name, Katie Price, announced a manifesto pledge of free plastic surgery for all.

"I know it will take a big swing to win the seat but there's no bigger swinger than me," she said, in the hope this would win her votes in the Stretford and Urmston constituency of Greater Manchester.

Less surprising is the confirmation of another high-profile independent candidate - former journalist Martin Bell.


How many candidates?

  • 3,294 nominated
  • 640 Labour
  • 643 Conservative
  • 639 Lib Dems
  • 72 SNP
  • 40 Plaid Cymru
  • 420 UK Independence
  • 145 Green
  • 109 Socialist Lab
  • 97 Socialist Alliance
  • 72 Scottish Socialist
  • 35 Prolife Alliance
  • 31 BNP
  • 15 Monster Raving Loony
    The former BBC war correspondent was MP for Tatton in the last parliament after defeating the sitting Tory, Neil Hamilton who was engulfed in allegations of sleaze.

    After promising to stand down from his Tatton seat after one term, Mr Bell is to fight in another Tory stronghold, Brentwood and Ongar in Essex, against Conservative frontbencher Eric Pickles.

    And writer and broadcaster Sir Ludovic Kennedy also announced he is to stand for Parliament, in an effort to legalise voluntary euthanasia.

    "It is vital that all the thousands of suffering people who want help to die should be given medical help to do so with adequate safeguards against abuse," he said.

    The 81-year-old is registered as an independent candidate for his home constituency of Devizes in Wiltshire

    He recently resigned from the Liberal Democrats because their leader Charles Kennedy would not promote the euthanasia cause.

    The seat is being defended by Conservative Party chairman Michael Ancram.

    In Northern Ireland, Rainbow George Weiss is standing in all four Belfast seats for the Vote For Yourself Party.

    Surprisingly perhaps, this falls within the rules.

    Candidates are allowed to stand in more than one constituency but in the event of being successful they must then decide within one week which seat they will take.

    This election's 3,294 runners when nominations closed on Tuesday come in well below the record total of 3,715 in 1997.

    The number of women standing is 631, compared with 685 previously.


    Who else is standing?

  • Church of the Militant Elvis Party
  • Extinction Club
  • Independent - Vote for Yourself Party
  • Rock & Roll Loony Party
  • Grey Party
  • Jam Wrestling Party

    Labour, including Labour and Co-operative, and the Conservatives are each fighting 640 of the 641 seats in Britain.

    None of the main parties except for the SNP is putting up a candidate against the Speaker of the Commons, Michael Martin, in Glasgow Springburn.

    The Tories are fighting all other seats and also have three candidates standing in Northern Ireland.

    The Liberal Democrats will also contest every other seat in Britain except in Wyre Forest, Worcestershire.

    Lib Dem withdrawal

    They have withdrawn from this seat in favour of an independent fighting on a platform of Health Concern against the downgrading of Kidderminster Hospital.

    The Scottish National Party is fighting all 72 seats in Scotland, as is the Scottish Socialist Party.

    Plaid Cymru is contesting all 40 constituencies in Wales.

    Among the others, the UK Independence Party has 420 candidates - more than double its figure last time - and the Green Party has 145.

    Socialist parties

    There are various left-wing socialist groups fielding significant numbers of candidates against Labour.

    The anti-abortion Prolife Alliance are fielding 35 candidates, down from 55 at the last election.

    And the right-wing British National Party, which opposes further immigration to Britain, is fighting in 31 seats, while the National Front have five candidates.

    As usual, there are many other small parties also contesting the election.

    Perhaps the most famous of these is the Monster Raving Loony Party, founded by the late Screaming Lord Sutch.

    Its nominee in Erewash, Derbyshire has changed name by deed poll - to R U Seerius.



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