Totnes, where Anthony Steen is standing down at the next election, is the only one of the seats to have been vacated in recent weeks which is selecting a new candidate over the summer (the others are holding fire until the autumn, once parliamentary assessment boards have been held for the thousands of new applicants to the candidates' list).
And it has been announced today that the new candidate for the south Devon seat will be selected via an all-postal Open Primary ballot of the constituency's entire electorate of 69,000 or so voters.
The BBC reports that the shortlist of eleven hopefuls already drawn up by the Totnes Conservative Association will be reduced to a shortlist of between two and four people hopefuls, at which stage every single voter in the constituency will receive a ballot paper and a freepost envelope in which to return it.
David Cameron welcomed the initiative, saying:
"This is the first time any political party in Britain has sought the views of the voters in such a direct way."
Extolling the virtues of this "exciting opportunity" to engage with the electorate, he added:
"I hope people will take part in this unique chance to have a
real say over how politics works and who represents them."