It’s just over a month since William Hague announced, during the reshuffle, that he intends to leave Parliament next year.

As a result, today applications open for candidates seeking to succeed him in his Richmond constituency.

Hague has represented the seat since the 1989 by-election, and in 2010 secured a stonking 23,336 majority (43.7 percentage points).

Inevitably various names have been floated in relation to the seat (including, predictably, Boris as part of the tradition that All Conservative Seats That Come Up Will Be Tipped For Boris On A Slow News Day), but now the chase really begins.

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