skip to content

Who's on the ballot? A look at Democracy Club's general election database


Democracy Club has built a database of UK parliamentary candidates containing unprecedented detail and scope. Alongside photographs, contact details and election statements, we also collect demographic information and details of past candidacies. In this blog post, we take a look at what our database can tell us about the candidates standing in the 4 July general election.

This blog is necessarily an overview of the data we hold; you can get your hands on the full database here. The following summary reflects our database as of late June 2024.

Find out who’s on your ballot at

Headline findings

  • 4,515 parliamentary candidates are standing for election on 4 July. This is a record number: view the full breakdown by region and party.
  • 30% of candidates are female. The majority of candidates were born in the 1960s or 1970s; the average year of birth is 1973.
  • 73% of candidates have recent electoral experience. 57% have stood for parliament since 2010, and 36% have stood in a council election since 2016.
  • 1,219 current candidates also contested the 2019 general election. 71% of these are fighting the same seat, or a new seat within seven miles of the previous one. 26 candidates are standing over 250 miles away from their 2019 seat.
  • 550 former MPs are standing for election. 1,055 candidates have recent (2018-present) experience as a councillor.
  • 655 candidates have previously stood for election under a different ballot description to that which they are using in 2024.
  • The preferred biscuit of general election candidates is the Digestive, closely followed by Hobnobs. There is a 52/48% split in favour of non-chocolate over chocolate biscuits.


We estimate that 30% of UK parliamentary candidates are female; 30% in England, 32% in Northern Ireland, 31% in Scotland, and 30% in Wales. Within England, London has the most female candidates, at 35%, while Yorkshire and the Humber has the fewest, at 25%.

We hold a year of birth for 44% of candidates. The average birth year of a parliamentary candidate is 1973; there is little variation across party or geography. The oldest candidate we are aware of was born in 1938; the youngest was born in 2006.

Past electoral histories

Democracy Club’s candidate database was founded in 2010. It contains candidates for:

  • General elections since 2010.
  • European Parliament Elections since 2014.
  • All other elections since 2016.
  • By-elections (including council) since 2017.

That’s 34,000 ballots and over 180,000 individual candidacies.

What makes this database unique is that it links candidates to their past candidacies, allowing us to see the electoral journey each has taken. We’ve done our best to ensure that all parliamentary candidates have been linked up in this way.

Of the 4,515 parliamentary candidates on 4 July, 3,312 (73%) have stood in a previous election. 839 (19%) have stood in only one previous election. 57% of candidates have previously stood in a local election, while 36% have stood for parliament. The parliamentary candidate with the most ballots under their belt is the leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, with 22, five more than his closest rival - and in truth he’s stood in far more than that.

Candidates in Northern Ireland are the most likely to have previously stood in an election. 85% of Northern Irish candidates have a past electoral history, compared with 73% in England and 71% in both Scotland and Wales.

In terms of past general elections, 461 (10.2%) of this year’s candidates stood in 2010; 752 (16.7%) stood in 2015; 884 (19.6%) stood in 2017, and 1,216 (27%) stood in 2019.

Looking only at parties standing more than 50 candidates, candidates for the Scottish National Party are most likely to have previously stood in an election, closely followed by the Liberal Democrats. The newest of these parties, the Workers Party, is also the least electorally experienced.

The interactive chart below shows the political experience of all general election candidates, filtered by nation and election type.

Who’s moved?

We know that 1,216 candidates who stood in the 2019 general election are standing again in 2024. But are they standing in the same place? By mapping the central point of both constituencies, we’ve worked out the distances travelled by each. 869 (71%) candidates are standing within seven miles of their 2019 candidacy, either for the same or a neighbouring constituency

On the other hand, some candidates have come a long way since 2019. 61 have moved over a hundred miles, and 26 over two hundred. But the outstanding traveller award must go to the Scottish Green Party candidate for Orkney and Shetland, who in 2019 fought the constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington, 588 miles away.

If we look at our full database of elections, the overall winner is easy to identify. By our calculations, Howling ‘Laud’ Hope of the OMRLP has travelled over 1,300 miles between polls in different corners of the country since the 2010 general election.

Previously elected

By matching our database with the MINIS ID system used by the House of Commons Library, we have identified 550 former MPs who are standing in this general election, across 522 different constituencies. Of these, nine are standing for a party which has never won a seat at a general election, and seven are standing as independents. Using our database of election results, we’ve also identified 1,055 (23%) candidates who have been elected a councillor since 2018.

The interactive table below shows the number of candidates who have previously been elected per major party.

Who’s changed party?

Our database can also tell us if a candidate has previously stood for election under a different ballot description to that which they are using this year. 655 candidates (14.5%) fall into this category, of whom 127 have previously only stood as an Independent. The remaining 528 encompass people who have stood variously for 134 different parties since the 2010 General Election. Of these 134 parties, 51 are not contesting the general election.

UKIP is the party which has lost the most members in this way. 121 former UKIP candidates are standing in the general election for a different party. The Conservatives are second, having lost 113; Labour third with 96, and the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Part/Reform UK with 25 and 17 respectively.

The interactive table below shows the parties with the largest number of switchers, and where they went (as well as those who have not left, as context).


One other piece of information we collect about candidates is their favourite biscuit, inspired by Mumsnet. We’ve collected the biscuit preferences of 17% of general election candidates, and these have been analysed by our chief biscuit correspondent, Stuart Orford.

Candidates’ favourite biscuit is the humble Digestive, closely followed by Hobnobs. There is a very close 48/52% split in favour of non-chocolate over chocolate biscuits. The favourite biscuit by party:

Conservative: Hobnob/Digestive (tie)
Green: Digestive
Independent: Digestive
Labour: Custard Cream
Liberal Democrats: Hobnob
Reform UK: Digestive

Thanks for reading

Democracy Club’s candidate database is built and managed mainly by volunteers, with input from candidates and political parties. Enormous thanks to everyone who has contributed!

Get in touch:

Jump into the online chat in Slack, tweet us, or email