It seems that the Conservatives have now selected a candidate for Blaydon. Her name is Ali Griffiths and I understand she lives in Battersea. It brings the total of candidates to 5 in the constituency: Dave Anderson (Labour's sitting MP), Paul McNally for the Greens, Ali, or Alison, Griffiths for the Conservatives, Mark Bell for UKIP and me for the Lib Dems.
Dave Anderson is the only one I know or have met. He is pleasant enough to me on the times our paths have crossed. His politics aren't my cup of tea. He claims to be on the left of the Labour party and has attacked his own party's support for austerity. He is however quite harmless: he started the last Parliament carrying lots of left win baggage but never once voted against the Blair/Brown government. Despite the strutting and posturing, he turned out to be a New Labour poodle.
If it is the same person, Mark Bell was the UKIP candidate in my ward last year. He did not then live in the ward. He put out no leaflet and did not turn up for the count.
I know nothing of Paul McNally other than that he lives in the Derwent Valley and stood in Winlaton and High Spen ward last year (and did not win).
It is difficult to find much on Ali Griffiths. Most sites listing candidates (including the Conservative's own website as of last night) were still listing Blaydon as having no Conservative candidate. I've found a recently created Facebook site for her. I get the impression she is into skiing and someone has posted a comment looking forward to her going to Davos in Switzerland for a dose of skiing. Whether or not she has any genuine links to Blaydon is still to be discovered. Sadly for skiers, whilst we have lots of hills, the area lacks snow.
So Ali, welcome to the fray. And now that 5 parties have candidates in place, let the battle commence (though for the Lib Dems we've been battling away already for some time).