FIVE by-elections will take place on 9 June, the date of the Euro polls, the biggest clutch of such contests on one day for eight years, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.
Party business managers moved writs for the contests at Tory Eastleigh in Hampshire, and Labour's Barking, Dagenham and Newham North East in east London and Bradford South, West Yorkshire. Four were caused by deaths and the fifth by Monday night's resignation by Bryan Gould from his Dagenham seat. Eastleigh is at heavy risk of being captured by the Liberal Democrats.
Candidates selected so far include: Barking - Theresa May (C), Margaret Hodge (Lab), Garry White (Lib Dem); Bradford South - Ronnie Farley (C), Gerry Sutcliffe (Lab), Helen Wright (Lib Dem); Dagenham - James Fairrie (C), Judith Church (Lab), Peter Dunphy (Lib Dem); Eastleigh - Stephen Reid (C), Marilyn Birks (Lab), David Chidgey (Lib Dem); and Newham North East - Philip Hammond (C), Stephen Timms (Lab), Alec Kellaway (Lib Dem).
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