Given the reason for the by-election, there was some discussion about the Labour Party and the Alliance not contesting the poll. However, in the end both opposition forces were represented in the list of candidates.
Nine candidates were nominated. The list below is set out in descending order of the number of votes received at the by-election.
The Liberal Party candidate, representing the SDP-Liberal Alliance, was Timothy Willatt Slack. He was a former headmaster, born in 1928, who was Director of the Foreign Office International Conference Centre. Slack had contested the seat of Petersfield at both general elections in 1974.
Representing the Labour Party was Winston Farouk Hamid (known as Peter Hamid). The Trinidad born Hamid was aged 52. He had lived in the UK for 31 years and was a member of Enfield Borough Council to which he had been elected in 1982.
Andreas Polydorou was an Independent, who ran as a Turkish Troops Out of Cyprus candidate.
Industrial chemist and Royal Navy veteran (1943-1946), James Wilfred Kershaw, stood on behalf of a far right group known as the Nationalist Party. Craig regarded Kershaw as a party candidate rather than an Independent.