Perennial candidate

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A perennial candidate is a political candidate who frequently runs for an elected office but seldom wins. The term is not generally applied to incumbent politicians who successfully defend their seats repeatedly.

Perennial candidates can vary widely in nature. Some are independents who lack the support of the major political parties in an area or are members of alternative parties (such as "third parties" in the United States). Others may be mainstream candidates who can consistently win a party's nomination, but because their district is gerrymandered so that the party can never win a general election, the candidate likewise never gets elected (thus these types are often paper candidates). Still others may typically run in primary elections for a party's nomination and lose repeatedly. Numerous perennial candidates, although not all, run with the full knowledge of their inability to win elections and instead use their candidacy for satire, to advance non-mainstream political platforms, or to take advantage of benefits afforded political candidates (such as campaign financing and television advertising benefits).






  • Terry Duguid, is a Manitoba politician who has run multiple times for city council, mayor and MP in Winnipeg. He lost the 1995 Winnipeg Civic election, and lost the 2004 and 2006 federal election in Kildonan St-Paul before running and losing in Winnipeg South in 2011, he ran again in 2015, winning the seat with 58% of the vote.
  • Henri-Georges Grenier ran 13 times for the Canadian House of Commons between 1945 and 1980 on the tickets of a variety of political parties, for each of which he was the sole candidate.
  • Patricia Métivier contested 24 Canadian federal, provincial or municipal elections from 1972 to 2001.
  • Harry Bradley ran for the Toronto Board of Control 24 times between 1930 and 1964. He also ran for mayor in 1960 and 1962, and for city council in 1969.
  • Kevin Clarke is a homeless person who has unsuccessfully contested municipal, provincial and federal office in Toronto numerous times from the 1990s to the present, often as leader of The People's Political Party.
  • Régent Millette is a teacher in Quebec who has run for public office at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels over 25 times since the year 2000


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Palmer's house in Geradstetten boasted some of his election percentages
  • Helmut Palmer (1930–2004) stood without any success for about 250 elections as mayor in villages and cities in southwestern Germany and various times as independent candidate for the Bundestag.[4] His son Boris Palmer became mayor of Tübingen.









  • Nicolás Zúñiga y Miranda was a presidential candidate ten times: 1892, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1920 and 1924 and also tried to run for a seat in the Congress of Mexico at least twice. The eccentric Zúñiga never got more than a few votes, but always claimed to have been the victim of fraud and considered himself to be the legitimate President.









United Kingdom[edit]

  • Bill Boaks contested general elections and by-elections for a period of 30 years under various descriptions, most famously under the "Public Safety Democratic Monarchist White Resident" banner. Boaks's main concern was public safety on the roads and believed that pedestrians should have the right of way at all times. In the 1982 Glasgow Hillhead by-election he received only 5 votes, one of the lowest recorded in a modern British parliamentary election. He died in 1986 from injuries sustained in a car accident two years earlier.
  • Lindi St Clair ran in numerous elections for her "Corrective Party", on some occasions standing as "Miss Whiplash".

United States[edit]



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