By Kevin Young
Political reporter, BBC News
Nearly a quarter of those who served in the last Parliament have retired as MPs and are not contesting the general election.
But how will they adjust to life after Westminster and what are their plans for the future?
Four of the 146 members who have stood down explain what they intend to do next.
ANN WIDDECOMBE, CONSERVATIVE, MAIDSTONE & THE WEALD
I've bought a house on Dartmoor and the first six months of my retirement will be spent renovating it.
I'm going to be writing much more and, for as long as they want me, I shall keep my Daily Express column.
Ann Widdecombe, 62, had represented her constituency in Kent since 1987
Then next year I will be doing some quite serious travelling. I've never seen the Terracotta Army or the Great Wall of China - I'm almost ashamed to admit that - so that's on my list. Also the Rhine, and I've never had time to explore Australia and have never been to New Zealand.
I think life will be very, very different. At the moment, when I've seen something I haven't agreed with, or I've been shocked at an injustice, I've been able to say I'll take that up, and I've had a means of doing so. That's disappeared so in future I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do. I shall write it in my Express column, I expect.
If I was going to miss politics a great deal I would never have resigned this time. I would have stayed on. But you can't do something for 23 years and not miss it at all. Obviously I will.
ADAM PRICE, PLAID CYMRU, CARMARTHEN EAST & DINEFWR
I've been fortunate enough to get a Fulbright scholarship to go to the United States, and I'll be going to the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard, to do a mid-career Master's degree in public administration.
I always said that I'd probably like to do two terms and I didn't want to commit to anything beyond that. I think it's not a bad thing for politics if people come in, do their bit of national service, if you like, and maybe go back into their other careers.
Adam Price, 41, was elected in 2001 to serve the area where he grew up
It's a total, all-encompassing change for me - not just a change of career but leaving the country as well. It's going to be interesting going back to college.
One of the difficult things about modern politics is that you simply don't have time to think. It's been a fairly breathless nine years.
It was an honour to represent the community where I was brought up and went to school, and that bit I'll miss, but I won't miss Westminster.
I never really felt I was a House of Commons man. There is an air of a gentlemen's club about the place but hopefully that will change with so many new people coming in.
KITTY USSHER, LABOUR, BURNLEY
I'm going to work for the think-tank Demos, based in London, as their chief economist, starting in mid-May. I've always enjoyed working on economic policy, and I've been working on that, inside and outside government, for 15 years.
The reason I'm leaving Parliament is family. It's not that I want to start a new career particularly, it's just that the logistics of it defeated me.
Kitty Ussher, 39, was the MP for Burnley for five years until last month
I wanted to see my children in the evening, and that's not possible. I want to see them while they're at primary school, so the next Parliamentary term was the one to miss.
I'm trying to build a life that means I can carry on doing the things I enjoy, but in a way that means I can be the better parent that I want to be as well.
I'll really miss my constituency. It sounds a bit bonkers but I think all MPs go through a process of falling in love with the physical place and I very much did that, about eight years ago.
Burnley will still be there and I'll be back often, but I'll really miss working on that on a day-to-day basis because I really believe in the town's future.
I'm feeling quite sad about that at the moment.
JOHN BARRETT, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS, EDINBURGH WEST
The two portfolios I've held have been international development and disability. I've gained a lot of information, knowledge and experience, and have visited a very large number of the poorest countries, particularly in Africa.
Two different charities have said it'd be great if we could sit down and find out how we could harness this expertise and energy afterwards.
John Barrett, 55, served as the MP for Edinburgh West from 2001 until 2010
I'm on the Edinburgh International Film Festival's advisory board.
Before I was an MP, I was involved in film and video production. The festival moved a couple of years ago to June, which is during the Parliamentary calendar, so for the first time in three years, I'm actually going to be in Edinburgh for that.
I'm also still 100% committed to the Liberal Democrats and I'm on the federal executive of the party and their Scottish executive.
I'll miss the friends I've made, who'll stick with me for life. Parts of the work were interesting and fascinating, and working with constituents was great, but I feel it's now the right time to pass on the baton.
The full list of MPs who have stood down is as follows:
Claire Curtis Thomas
Tony Wright (Cannock Chase)
Lady Ann Winterton
Sir Nicholas Winterton