Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪpə ˈkændɪdət/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpeɪpɚ ˈkændɪdeɪt/, /ˈkændɪdɪt/
- 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, volume 2, 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 Butler, The British General Election of 1997, 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, House of Commons Debates, Official Report (Hansard), E. Cloutier, Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery:
- 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, 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