The race to become the next MP for Erewash is officially underway.
The 2015 general election will be held in five weeks, on May 7, and the start of campaigning was declared on Monday when Parliament was dissolved.
Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Queen in a ‘courtesy call’ to inform her that Parliament had been dissolved.
It’s now all to play for in Erewash where candidates will be stepping up their campaigns in the coming weeks.
Candidates who have already thrown their hat into the ring include Catherine Atkinson (Labour), Maggie Throup (Conservative), Martin Garnett (Liberal Democrat), Philip Rose (UKIP), Vicky Martindale (Green) and John Thomson (Independent).
Anyone wanting to stand has until April 9 to put themselves forward.
The 2010 election results saw the Tories win with a 5.25 per cent majority, taking the seat from Labour.
Political commentators have described Erewash as a ‘key marginal seat’ in the general election.
At the same time, the Erewash Borough Council elections and parish council elections will take place.
Following an independent review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, voters will now elect 47 borough councillors, four fewer than before.
Those elected will represent a total of 19 wards – three fewer than previously.
The commission’s review re-drew some ward boundaries to ensure that each Erewash councillor represents roughly the same number of voters.