Courtesy of David Allworthy, who published the list of candidates at 6.39 a.m. (get some sleep, David...), I can stop worrying about whether or not my nomination papers arrived or not.
So, what's my opposition like?
Well, six are incumbents - Ruth Coleman-Taylor, Jonathan Fryer, Jo Hayes, Gordon Lishman, Peter Price and myself. Seven - Aladdin Ayesh, Ian Bearder, Bob Blezzard, George Dunk, Edward Keating, Brian Mathew and David Simmons - ran last time. The rest - Jeremy Bell, Nasser Butt, Neville Farmer, Paul Hienkens, Antony Hook, Doreen Huddart, Allis Moss, Turhan Ozen, Iain Smith, Winnie Smith and Allan Siao Ming Witherick throw their hats into a surprisingly open contest.
Surprisingly open, because last time, one candidate, my lovely wife, Ros, scooped up nearly 30% of the first preferences, the best tally ever in the history of ELDR Council delegations, and she's not running this time. Also, Phil Bennion has become an MEP since the last election, and is not running (by the way, get well soon, Phil, as I understand that you're a bit poorly).
Last time, the quota was 176.12 and, with the distortion caused by Ros hoovering up as many first preferences as she did, 48 first preferences were enough to get Peter Price elected. Admittedly, 67 first preferences weren't enough to get John Ault elected, but that's the joy (and pain) of STV, I suppose. David Grace (Disgruntled Liberal) was also overtaken, and missed out - pity really, as he's a genuine Europhile, not utterly in thrall to everything that comes from Europe, but a believer in a liberal Europe, and excellent company too.
I got 90 first preferences, and with an astonishing number of transfers from Ros, was fourth to be elected last time, so, if I can earn some of those votes this time, I've got a chance, although it's bound to be rather tighter this time. Running on my record might be a gamble too.
So, the campaign starts here. Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye...