This means that 17 fairly plum seats will become available, any seat the Tories won last time they should hold this time. I suspect that the leadership would like to use this opportunity to try and expand its potential ministerial talent pool. There might well be a few clashes over the new powers that CCHQ has gained over the selection process.
“Pickles said the departures would give the party the chance to bring dozens of new-style Tories with little or no background in Conservative politics into parliament. He said that about 4,000 people had applied since then and up to 70% of them were "new people".
"We've got ourselves a good mix: lots of doctors, lots of social workers, lots of community nurses … people who've got involvement with the community outside the political process."
Pickles said that about 20 to 30 of these "new people" were likely to end up in parliament after the next election.
To help the new-style Tories get selected, the party is changing the way candidates are evaluated. In future, working in the community will be given equivalent weight to party political experience.”