THE battle lines were finalised for the general election after nominations closed to confirm all the candidates in Dudley borough.

While most of the parliamentary hopefuls from the major parties have been known for some time there are plenty of representatives for smaller parties and independents on the ballot papers.

The former borough constituency of Dudley South has been removed following boundary changes with some areas transferring to the new constituency of Kingswinford and South Staffordshire.

Former Dudley South MP Mike Wood has been selected to fight in Kingswinford and South Staffordshire for the Conservatives where he will be challenged by Labour, the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems), Reform UK, the Greens and former Conservative Dudley Borough councillor Shaz Saleem who is running as an independent.

Mr Saleem is standing as a community activist with tackling crime, engaging with young and old people and fighting plans for an energy storage plant in Kingswinford among his priorities.

He said: “It’s only when we are immersed in our community and interact with local businesses and people, that we can truly listen and understand the real concerns within our community.”

Elsewhere, the Conservatives hold Stourbridge and The Greens, Reform UK and the Workers Party of Britain will be joining Labour and the Lib Dems in vying for votes in that constituency.

In Halesowen, the Greens and Reform UK have put up candidates alongside Labour and the Lib Dems in a bid to take control from the Conservatives.

There are a whopping eight candidates to choose from in the new constituency of Dudley which has replaced Conservative-held Dudley North.

Dharmanand Mortha and Shakeela Bibi are both standing as independents alongside candidates from the Workers Party, the Greens, Reform UK as well as Labour and the Lib Dems.

BBC analysis of the latest national opinion polls shows Labour well ahead on 44 percent, the Conservatives on 22 percent, Reform UK on 13 percent and the Lib Dems on 10 percent.

According to analysis by Electoral Calculus based on opinion poll results, if there were a general election tomorrow, the Conservatives would hold Kingswinford and South Staffordshire while Labour would capture Halesowen, Dudley and Stourbridge.