The candidates who will fight for election to become West Dorset’s next MP have been announced, as nominations have now closed for the December 12 poll.

Candidates are hitting the campaign trail to make their pitch to represent West Dorset in Whitehall.

This general election, which is to take place approximately two and a half years after the last one, was not due to take place until 2022. However, the prime minister called for an early election, which was approved by parliament on October 29.

While Brexit dominates the campaign, the NHS, climate change, education and housing are also major issues.

The Conservative Party won all parliamentary seats in Dorset in 2017, and many candidates who were victorious then are seeking re-election.

The West Dorset constituency will gain a fresh MP this year. Sir Oliver Letwin, who held the seat for the Tories for the last two decades, is standing down. Sir Oliver, who has held the seat since 1997, lost the Conservative Party whip in September after backing the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019. More commonly known as the Benn Act, this motion forced the Prime Minister to seek a Brexit extension beyond October 31 as no withdrawal agreement had been approved by Parliament.

The Brexit Party will not be standing in Dorset constituencies as party leader Nigel Farage decided not to field candidates for seats won by the Conservatives in 2017.

Dorset Council is reminding people to register to vote for the election, which can be done at

The deadline to register is November 26. People who wish to vote by post can apply for a postal vote by 5pm on the same day.

People who are unable to vote in person - such as if they are working abroad or are too ill - can apply for a proxy vote by December 4 at 5pm.

The News will be publishing biographies of local candidates later in the election cycle.

West Dorset candidates listed in alphabetical order.

Kelvin Clayton (Green)

Chris Loder (Conservative)

Edward Morello (Liberal Democrats)

Claudia Sorin (Labour)