Any prospective candidate not in place two and a half months before an election, the date of which has been known since 2010, can’t be too serious about their chances. In this light, it’s significant how many Liberal Democrats still have to be selected. Depending on the precise list, this week there were between 385 and 395 Lib Dem candidates in place. If we ignore Northern Ireland, this leaves around 240-250 seats where the Lib Dems still have to find someone to stand. Large parts of the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East are so far bereft of Lib Dem candidates, as are many constituencies in Lowland Scotland.
Compare this with Ukip, which has around 480 candidates in place so far, although most of Scotland is spared the presence of Ukip hopefuls, as is Merseyside. The Greens too, with 430-440 candidates selected, are well ahead of the Lib Dems at this stage of the game. The Greens’ coverage is highest in the south, lower in the north.