Conservative MP Chris Kelly has announced he is not standing for re-election in Dudley South.
The seat is 74th on Labour’s target list. Kelly’s departure certainly won’t harm Labour’s chances, and it’s the sort of constituency the party will need to win if it wants form a majority government.
Toby Perkins, Labour MP for Chesterfield, tweeted that Chris Kelly is the ninth Tory MP elected in 2010 to announce they are not standing in 2015. All of them are apparently in marginal seats – six in the top 42.
Meanwhile, as is now surely to be the case whenever an MP reveals they are not seeking re-election, Kelly was asked if he intends to join Ukip. He replied that he isn’t, but wished Douglas Carswell “all the best”.
With just over eight months until polling day, Tory Central Office must now begin yet another hunt for a new candidate to parachute into one of its key seats.
Labour chose its candidate to fight Dudley South, Natasha Millward, back in May 2013.