Ellee Seymour has an interesting little titbit about York LibDems leafleting constituents alerting them that Conservative Parliamentary Candidate Julian Sturdy lives three miles outside the constituency and therefore cannot be considered to be a local candidate. Pathetic, but sadly too typical.

Hmmm. That brought back a few memories. I lived in North Norfolk but my LibDem opponent Norman Lamb lived 15 miles away in south Norwich. Without going all over it again, is this something that should matter? Is it possible for someone to represent an area without actually living there?

In my view anyone who is elected to Parliament to represent a seat should live there. It's the only way to keep your finger on the pulse of what local people are thinking. If you shop in the same supermarkets, go to the same doctor, go to the same cinema you're bound to get a different perspective. But what constitutues 'local'? I'd say living within a few miles is acceptable if you had lived there all your life or have kids at schools at a delicate age.

Many constituencies now expect that their candidates to move there lock stock and barrel as soon as they are selected - even if they are far from highly marginal. This is very difficult for people who aren't well off. But if you don't have a constituency base, it's something your opponents can use remorsely against you. Be warned.