THE stage is set for four weeks of hard electioneering with the publication of official list of nominations for general election candidates.
And across the Chichester, Arundel and South Downs and Horsham constituencies more candidates than ever before have thrown their hats into the ring.
In Chichester Tory Andrew Tyrie, who faced opposition from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP at the 2010 general elections, finds himself facing challenges from five opponents at the polls on May 7.
Two new parties have entered the fray in the Tory stronghold with the Green party fielding Jasper Richmond and Andrew Emerson standing for Patria.
There is unlikely to be a serious threat to the Conservative MP, who has served the Chichester constituency since 1997 and increased his majority by 7.4 per cent at the last general election in 2010 with a high 69.9-per-cent turnout.
But the story of the 2015 general elections across the country is likely to be the growing success of UKIP.
UKIP is once again fielding Andrew Moncreiff against Mr Tyrie. Currently chairman of Fernhurst Parish Council, Mr Moncreiff was bottom of the poll in 2010 but came second to Tory Michael Brown in the 2013 West Sussex County Council elections, reducing Cllr Brown’s majority from 1,170 in 2009 to 650.
In another Tory stronghold at Arundel and South Downs, Tory Nick Herbert is facing challenges from four other prospective parliamentary candidates.
In 2010, Mr Herbert faced opposition from the Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP. In addition to these challenges the Green party has entered the election battlefield against Mr Herbert.
And at Horsham, where Tory veteran Francis Maude has retired and the Conservatives have selected Jeremy Quin, there are eight candidates.
Traditionally attracting a big field there is opposition in the Tory seat from the Peace party, UKIP, the Greens, Labour, Lib Dems, an Independent and the recently formed Something New party.