Sir James Paice, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, has announced that he will not contest his seat at the next election. He will be 66 in 2015, and reportedly does not want to continue as an MP into his 70s.
South East Cambridgeshire, which covers Ely and many rural communities to the east of Cambridge, has always been a fairly safe Conservative seat, though in recent election the Lib Dems have been reducing the gap as the Labour vote has squeezed. Here are the vote shares of the main parties at the last six elections, all of which were won by Sir James.
UKIP stood in only two of the last six elections, winning 3.7% of the vote in 2010. However, if they make significant inroads into the Conservative vote, as they did at the recent Eastleigh by-election, then South East Cambs could become a more intriguing electoral prospect. The Lib Dems, of course, have their own political challenges.