The North East became barren territory for the Liberal Party as early as the 1920s and remained so, except for a handful of constituencies where the party commanded vestigial support, until the final years of the C20th. Many constituencies were left unfought for decades, possibly a greater percentage than in any other region of Britain. Hence the following pages contain fewer names compared with the Indices for other regions. Few of the candidates listed ever contested constituencies in other regions hence the amount of cross-checking required has been minimal.
The North East has sent only three Liberal/Liberal Democrat MPs to Westminster over the past 70 years yet it has produced a number of major party personalities, colourful characters, eccentrics and the occasional dubious maverick.
The constituencies which comprise the Northeast Region at the present time are, for the purposes of this Index, deemed to have been included in the area since 1945, regardless of local government and county boundary changes which have taken place since then.
As is the case with almost every region of Britain, biographical details of SDP candidates have been difficult to locate. Only nine of the 25 SDP candidates listed here fought more than one of the two parliamentary elections, 1983 or 1987. With two notable exceptions, none of them appears to have left a mark on any field of human endeavour. They appear to have been plucked from nowhere and soon returned to obscurity. Nevertheless they all polled respectably in 1983-87 often in the most unpromising constituencies, establishing a useful foundation for candidates of the merged parties in subsequent parliamentary elections.