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This is such a non-story. There is not going to be an election this year.

This is true, Jennifer, but candidates need to be in place as early as possible to give them enough campaigning time.

What's the point of selecting for Westmorland and Lonsdale just months before an early general election and finding you can't get even an introductory leaflet out?

which despite continuing talk of a Miliband challenge
All of which gets the same response from David Miliband that he is backing Gordon Brown as PM and not standing for either the leadership or deputy leadership. David Miliband is looking to build up his name over a number of years - his competitors are people such as Ed Balls, Caroline Flint and some of the other up and coming stars. He doesn't want to either be always remembered as a failed leadership contender who maybe enabled someone else who he very much did not want as leader to take over, or as in the event that by some miracle he did win as the person who no one had heard of who lead Labour to defeat in 2009/10. Rather he wants to build up his credibility and maybe succeed Gordon Brown at the age of 52 and be PM for a number of years.

Gordon Brown will be looking to maximise the Labour vote in the Local and European Elections by having them and the General Election on the same day, besides which I rather doubt that he will go for an early election where it is improbable that Labour would have at least the same majority they got last time. Harold Wilson pulled it off in 1966 and in October 1974 but it failed spectacularily in 1970; and obviously he had some talent for winning early elections - different things work for different people.

And of course Edward Heath tried an early election in February 1974 and it turned out rather badly for him.

I agree that the sooner a candidate is chosen the quicker he/she can get to know the constituency. I also firmly believe that this is particularly true in those areas where we are going to have to fight very hard to win. Even in the hardest seats! With the right candidate in place and the time and committment, anything is possible.

Even in the hardest seats! With the right candidate in place and the time and committment, anything is possible.
It has to be said that the possibilities of the Conservative Party winning Blaneau Gwent or Labour winning Bromley and Chislehurst or Kensington & Chelsea either at the next General Election or in a by-election are nil and it would take a vast number of demographic changes before either would be possible.

Gillingham and Rochester were in the first tranche way way back so it does seem to be a story (what is it?) rather than a non-story that they have n't selected yet.

All seats should be allowed to select NOW.

I think David Burrow MP "pick em local, pick em early" article was very wise advice and well proven. We should all listen to this.

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