#GE24 candidates in numbers and charts

The statement of persons nominated – ‘candidate lists’ to you and me – for the General Election have been published by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland. Here’s a numeric breakdown of the people seeking your vote on 4 July.

136 candidates are running across the 18 constituencies. That’s a third more than 2019 (102), but two fewer than a previous high watermark of 138 in 2015.

Just 2 parties are running in all 18 Northern Ireland constituencies: Alliance and the SDLP.

Bar chart showing the number of candidates standing for election in Northern Ireland in the 2024 General Election. Alliance (18), SDLP (18), UUP (17), DUP (16), Sinn Fein (14), TUV (14), Green Party (110), Aontu (10), Independents (9), Conservative (5), People Before Profit (3), Cross Community Labour Alternative (1)

Belfast West and Strangford will have the longest ballot papers, with 10 candidates apiece. Just 5 candidates are running in Upper Bann.

Stacked bar charts showing the number of candidates (split by male and female) in each NI constituency at GE2024, and another chart showing the proportion of male and female candidates in each of the 18 constituencies.

Just under a third of candidates standing are women (33.1%). That’s the highest proportion at a Westminster election, just a smidgeon above the 2017 General Election field (33.0%). No constituency has an all-male or all-female ballot paper. (North Down was an all-male race in 2019.)

Chart showing the breakdown of male and female candidates in terms of numbers of candidates and proportion of candidates at each General Election and Westminster by-election since 1997.

Two-thirds of candidates in Belfast South & Mid Down are women. All but 1 candidate in Belfast East, East Antrim and North Antrim are men. The largest number of women on a ballot paper will be 5 in East Londonderry.

Breakdown of candidates standing for each party in the 2024 General Election in Northern Ireland, showing male and female (numbers and proportions)

The parties with the highest proportion of female candidates are Aontú and the Conservatives (60%, 6 apiece). Alliance is the fielding the largest number of women (8), followed by the SDLP (7). Leaving aside Cross Community Labour Alternative which only has 1 candidate, the TUV has the greatest proportion of men nominated as candidates (85.7%) followed by the UUP (82.4%) and the DUP (81.3%).

9 independent candidates are running in 7 constituencies. 2 are running in each of North Down and Strangford. Only 1 woman is running as an independent candidate: Anne McCloskey in Foyle: she stood for Aontú at the last general election.

bar chart showing the number of incumbent MPs standing for election, reelected, and not elected for each General Election since 2001.

14 incumbent MPs are running for re-election, the lowest number of incumbents putting themselves forward on the ballot in recent years. Worth noting that there have been 0 general elections in the last 20 years where all the Northern Ireland incumbents got reelected.

The most popular candidate forename is John (6) which has doubled since 2019, followed by Paul (3), Jim (3) and Stephen (3) … unless you group the 1 Stevan with Stephen to make 4!

Update – and if you want to label the candidates by nationalist/other/unionist designation – in this case using the designation the parties use – and categorising independents based on their stated policy positions, there are 53 unionists, 43 nationalists and 40 others standing.

Chart showing the designation (nationalist, other, unionist) of the 136 candidates for the 2024 General Election, split by constituency

Note: given the volume of data and the manual categorisation, not to mention the pattern matching to look across Westminster elections, there are plenty of opportunities for miskeying and mistakes. If you spot anything odd, do flag it up and I’ll look into it. Either in the comments below, or drop me an email alaninbelfast at gmail dot com.


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