Last week was the last of the current Parliament. It was quite hectic as legislation bounced back from the House of Lords and had to be resolved before the process known as prorogation.
During prorogation Parliament still exists and Members of Parliament continue as MPs, but the Palace of Westminster is empty and Parliament does not meet.
This rather odd situation continued until dissolution. Dissolution occurs at a minute past midnight yesterday (Monday).
In the meantime, Ministers continue in office but MPs do not. After dissolution there will no longer be any Members of Parliament until the votes are counted and up and down the country Returning Officers announce the results of the General Election and return members to Parliament.
For this reason current MPs have to stop using everything from banners to stationery if it contains the letters ‘MP’. Facebook and Twitter pages must also carry a disclaimer and even the posters in my office window have to be changed.
Before all this happens the corridors seem to be full of three types of MP.
The first group know that they will not be returning, they have announced their retirement. The second group know that they will be coming back; they are the MPs with safe seats. The third group are those who do not know the outcome of the election.
That’s the group that I am in and there are some interesting new additions.
The changing political mood in Scotland has moved some Scottish Labour seats from the ‘safe’ to the ‘marginal’ group, as has the change in fortunes of the Liberal Democrats. The arrival of Ukip has also had an impact.
No one knows what is going to happen in May but most people agree it will be an important election for our futures and the future of our country.
If you want me to, it will be my privilege to continue as your MP.