By Mark Wallace
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The next tranche of ten constituencies have opened candidate applications, following in the footsteps of the 40 who have selected PPCs so far.
The newly opened seats are:
- Birmingham Erdington
- Brighton Pavilion
- Carshalton and Wallington
- Plymouth Moor View
- Taunton Deane
- Westminster North
- Westmorland and Lonsdale
They are a wide-ranging bunch. As with the first 40, it's notable that they are disproportionately held by the Lib Dems – 4 are currently Labour, 5 are Lib Dem and one is Green.
There are some prominent names in there, too. Vince Cable in Twickenham, David Laws in Yeovil and Jeremy Browne in Taunton Deane will all have Tory candidates fighting them on the ground very soon. The most senior Labour MP facing the appointment of a challenger is Sadiq Khan in Tooting.
All ten of the seats saw Conservatives come second in 2010, though the majorities vary wildly from 1,252 for Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion to 13,036 for David Laws in Yeovil. The average majority is 5,741 votes, though it is worth noting that a) that is dragged up by majorities of more than 10,000 in three of the seats and b) as discussed previously, target seats are being selected on more complex analysis than simple majority size.
There are several constituencies in the tranche which the Conservatives must win in a decent performance at the next election – I'm sure competition will be hot for the nominations. As ever we will bring you the latest from each seat as the process continues.