A new tranche of constituencies has been opened for candidate applications – with a deadline for applicants of 28th February.

They are:

Bassetlaw (Labour majority: 4,852)

Birmingham Northfield (Labour majority: 4,667)

Bolton North East (Labour majority: 3,797)

Bury South (Labour majority: 5,965)

Cardiff North (Labour majority: 4,174)

Dagenham and Rainham (Labour majority: 4,652)

Gedling (Labour majority: 4,694)

Leicester East (Labour majority: 22,428)

Leicester South (Labour majority: 26,261)

Leicester West (Labour majority: 11,060)

Stoke on Trent North (Labour majority: 2,359)

Warrington South (Labour majority: 2,549)

There appear to be two distinct things going on here.

First there are the clear target seats, with majorities ranging from 2,359 to 5,965. Notably these include several Leave-voting constituencies, and some (such as Warrington South and Cardiff North) which were lost by the Conservatives in 2017.

Second, there are the three Leicester constituencies, which have much larger Labour majorities and are a bit of a mystery. They haven’t been included in the City Seats Initiative, where teams of candidates work across multiple seats before selection, as that process was opened separately a few weeks ago, but they are evidently more solid Labour seats at the moment than the targets which make up the rest of this tranche, so it isn’t yet clear exactly why all the Leicester seats are selecting now. I’ll report back as and when I learn more about the rationale.