Parties are still searching for replacement candidates
The total number of MPs standing down at the election has now reached 88.
A few constituencies are still searching for replacements, even though we’re less than three months away from polling day.
The Conservatives have yet to choose someone to succeed Francis Maude in the safe seat of Horsham and Hugh Robertson in the similarly safe seat of Faversham & Kent Mid.
To be fair, both Maude and Robertson announced their intention to stand down only recently. But the clock is ticking. It’ll soon be a month until the start of the official campaign.
The Tories have also still to pick a candidate for Fareham, to replace the retiring MP Mark Hoban.
Labour has a few vacancies to fill of its own. It needs someone to take the place of Paul Murphy in the Welsh seat of Torfaen and Andy Love in the London constituency of Edmonton.
Linda Riordan has just announced she is standing down as Labour MP for Halifax.
There is also a Scottish seat that needs a new candidate: Midlothian, where David Hamilton is not seeking reelection. Given the rather agitated condition of politics in Scotland at the moment, I’d have thought finding a replacement for Hamilton would be a top priority.
Despite the closeness of the election, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of more retirements to come. There’s little to concentrate the mind of a wavering MP quite so forcefully as thought of embarking on another exhausting campaign.