Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪpə ˈkændɪdət/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪpɚ ˈkændɪdeɪt/, /-dɪt/
- Hyphenation: pa‧per can‧di‧date
- An election candidate with little chance of winning, who is added to the ballot for publicity and to increase the number standing.
1928, James M. Beck Election Case, First District of Pennsylvania: Hearings before the Committee on Elections No. 2, House of Representatives, Seventieth Congress, First Session: By Authority of House Resolution No. 9, Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, OCLC 13324978, page 126:
- Mr. Kent. I never knew of any actual Democratic opponent to a Republican candidate for Congress in Philadelphia for a number of years, but there may have been some "paper candidate" set up.
1997, David [Edgeworth] Butler; Dennis Kavanagh, “Constituency Campaigning”, in The British General Election of 1997, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Press; New York, N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 978-0-312-21079-3, page 211:
- One Labour candidate in a safe seat believed that his Liberal Democrat opponent was nothing but a ‘paper candidate’, while the Conservatives’ candidate in Scotland reported that his local party had been asked ‘not to canvass but to send people to key seats’; the opposition parties did likewise and were ‘almost nowhere to be seen’.
2003 November 7, Don Boudria, House of Commons Debates, Official Report, Ottawa: Edmond Cloutier, Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery, ISSN 0704-559X, OCLC 876268579:
- The concern is that groups, including advocacy groups, could register as parties simply by fielding a paper candidate and complying with reporting requirements.
2006, The Parliamentary Monitor, number 135–138, London: Parliamentary Communications, ISSN 1351-6183, OCLC 31465308, page 74:
- A contest appears inevitable, even if he is running against a paper candidate such as Lynne Jones, and the chancellor has put in the groundwork necessary to mount a spirited and successful campaign.
candidate with little chance of winning