UKIP has sent a strong message that it has Ludlow in its key list of target seats at the General Election next year.
In choosing a candidate to fight the seat more than a year before the vote UKIP has put MP Philip Dunne under notice that he faces a strong challenge.
David Kelly, a retired headmaster of a large High School in Worcestershire, will be the candidate.
He previously taught for almost 20 years in secondary schools in the Ludlow constituency.
Before becoming deputy head at Bridgnorth Endowed School in 1990 Mr Kelly taught at Shifnal and Bishops Castle.
David Kelly and his wife Gill live in the Ludlow constituency at Broseley where they brought up their three sons who all attended local schools.
“It will be a privilege to campaign for UKIP and to offer the people of south Shropshire a real choice in 2015,” said Mr Kelly, who says that his interests outside politics include walking, writing, music, and amateur dramatics.
The news comes at a difficult time for Mr Dunne, the Conservative MP, who now has all three Ludlow seats on Shropshire Council in Liberal Democrat hands.
Christopher Gill, who was a Conservative MP for Ludlow for 14 years until defecting to UKIP where he is president of the Ludlow Branch,expects a close contest.
“My guess is that he’s going to give Philip Dunne a real run for his money in 2015,” said Mr Gill.