Ten candidates are standing in the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. The list was revealed by election officials after nominations closed this afternoon.
Among the notable absentees is BNP leader Nick Griffin. He had indicated he was considering putting his name forward, but instead the party will be represented by Derek Adams.
Left-wing party Respect isn’t fielding a candidate at all, despite suggesting it would after its best-known figure George Galloway attended a public meeting in Glodwick last month. Instead, the party is backing Peter Allen of the Greens.
The full list of candidates is, in alphabetical order, Debbie Abrahams (Labour), Derek Adams (BNP), Kashif Ali (Conservative), Peter Allen (Green), David Bishop (Bus Pass Elvis Party), Nick “The Flying Brick” Delves (Monster Raving Loony Party), Loz Kaye (Pirate Party UK), Stephen Morris (English Democrats), Paul Nuttall (UKIP) and Elwyn Watkins (Liberal Democrats).
Polling day is 13 January. It’s now too late to register to vote, or to apply for a postal vote, if you haven’t already done so. However, applications for proxy votes will be accepted until 5pm on 5 January. You can get more information about that at Oldham Council’s elections website here.
The campaign will take a brief break over Christmas, although even today candidates were out and about meeting voters. Conservative Chairman Baroness Warsi joined her party’s candidate Kashif Ali in Uppermill this afternoon, the second day in a row she’s campaigned in the constituency.
You can read and listen to a Saddleworth News interview with her here.
Yesterday, Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg toured a training centre in Lees in the company of candidate Elwyn Watkins.
The by-election is taking place after Mr Watkins won a legal challenge over the conduct of Labour’s Phil Woolas during the general election earlier this year. Mr Woolas had his victory declared void because he made false allegations about Mr Watkins in campaign leaflets.
Later in the day, Mr Clegg gave an interview to Saddleworth News, and you can read and listen to that here.
Meanwhile, Labour’s candidate, Debbie Abrahams, has enlisted the help of her husband in her campaign. John Abrahams, former Lancashire cricket captain and now coach of England’s under-19s, joined her at Kaly’s Sport Centre in Oldham yesterday.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has already visited the constituency, and is expected to do so again before polling day. You can read a Saddleworth News interview with him here.
During the coming weeks, Saddleworth News will carry out in-depth interviews with each of the candidates. Two have been conducted so far. You can hear from Loz Kaye of the Pirate Party UK here, while the interview with English Democrat Stephen Morris is here.
To read complete coverage of the by-election so far from Saddleworth News, click here.
The pictures of Nick Clegg and Debbie Abrahams were taken by Diggle-based photographer Stuart Coleman of Stuart Coleman Photography. You can see more of Stuart’s work at his website here.