Liberal Democrats

Become a candidate

 

Is 2020 the year that you decide to make a difference? Being a candidate is an empowering and an effective way to bring change to your local area and the UK.

We welcome applications from people from all walks of life: there is no such thing as a typical Lib Dem MP.  We want you to bring your unique background and talents to the Party!

Our approvals process is designed to be inclusive, transparent and clear. It assesses competencies and skills rather than qualifications and who you know.

Maybe you've been doing voluntary work, bringing up a family, or doing a job not directly related to politics. Your transferable skills will be recognised. 

Candidate support and training

The Party offers mentoring to support individuals who are in the process of becoming a candidate. Whether you need general information, specific advice or skills-based help in a particular area, we can help.

We also run a variety of Inspiration Days, Future Women MP Weekends and training events designed to support and encourage potential Parliamentary candidates from under-represented groups.

For local election candidates, ALDC’s Kickstart and Future Leaders programme are just some of the excellent support the Party offers for aspiring Councillors. 

The application process

Applying is a two-stage process. We ask you firstly to complete and return a short application form after which you will be invited to a candidate Assessment Day.

The Day is split into five sections, with a mixture of written and spoken exercises. The impartial panel of assessors collates your results at the end of the day, and you will be notified of the outcome within two weeks.

No one assessing you sees your forms before the approval day to avoid any prejudice. You are marked on your performance on the day alone.

Application is the foundation for any member wishing to stand for Westminster, and it also acts as the base for candidates wishing to stand for: Mayor, Police & Crime Commissioner, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and the London Assembly.

What we ask of you

All Liberal Democrat candidates are expected to conform to a high standard of personal conduct and behaviour, so you'll be required to sign up to a Code of Conduct. There are different versions for England, Scotland and Wales.

Finding out more

Download our information pack about becoming a Lib Dem Approved Parliamentary candidate and if you've been a member for less than 12 months, we have some more information for you here.

Getting started

Sound good? You can get the ball rolling with your application to become an approved candidate here. You can also get in contact with the friendly Diversity, Candidates & Talent Support Team at Liberal Democrat HQ via candidates@libdems.org.uk or 0207 340 4959 or 0207 340 4993, who can answer any questions you may have. 

Promoting Diversity

We are committed to ensuring that our candidates are representative of our communities, so improving the diversity of our candidates is a priority. Our 2019 General Election candidate figures are below: 

Candidates Diversity 2019 Election - Selected Candidates 

Women

BAME 

LGBT+

Disabled 

31%

9%

11%

9.5%

Specific mentoring is available throughout the process for applicants from an under-represented background. We can connect you with mentoring from expert organisations who are dedicated to supporting women and applicants from ethnic minority backgrounds seeking election to public office at all levels.

We also have the first openly pansexual MP, 64% of our MPs are women and 18% are BAME.