After a disastrous night for Labour and the Liberal Democrats, we are several steps closer to knowing the identity of the next pensions minister.
Having come up with a list of 24 contenders before election night, most of the Lib Dem and Labour options can now be discounted - indeed many lost their seat.
Which leaves a clutch of Tories and a couple of wild cards. All the Conservatives named by PA's sister title Professional Pensions as potential pensions ministers survived the night, with most enjoying healthy majorities.
The main criteria for the industry is someone who is committed to the brief.
It is important that we have another enthusiastic pensions minister who will see these initiatives through to the end
Society of Pensions Professionals president Duncan Buchanan said: "It is important that we have another enthusiastic pensions minister who will see these initiatives through to the end - rather than a short term 'journeyman' keen for a promotion to the department of agriculture and rural development."
Candidates include Andrea Leadsom (MP for South Northamptonshire and ex- economic secretary to the treasury) and Priti Patel (MP for Witham and former exchequer secretary to the treasury) - both of whom have spoken for the government on various issues relating to pensions.
Lincoln Pensions managing director Alex Hutton-Mills believes Patel would be a sound choice, as a "big hitter with Treasury experience" who could provide some continuity.
Harriett Baldwin (MP for West Worcestershire, former government whip and lord commissioner of HM Treasury) has also been rumoured to be a contender for the post.
Conservative members of the work and pensions select committee include Graham Evans (MP for Weaver Vale and formerly PPS to energy and climate change minister Greg Barker); Kwasi Kwarteng (MP for Spelthorne); Paul Maynard (MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys); and Anne-Marie Morris (MP for Newton Abbot).
Nigel Mills (MP for Amber Valley) is also a Conservative member of the select committee but may have damaged his chances of becoming the pensions minister after he was spotted playing popular mobile puzzle game Candy Crush Saga during a key committee evidence session on pension reforms late last year and was later forced to issue an apology.
This didn't stop him holding onto his seat with a 9.2% majority.
There may also be contenders among the members of the all-party parliamentary group on pensions - most notably its chairman Richard Graham (MP for Gloucester) who has previously worked in the pensions industry, holding the position of head of institutional business at Baring Asset Management until 2010.
Or David Cameron could see the post as a chance to fast track a new face into the cabinet.
Newcomers include Rishi Sunak, who held William Hague's Richmond seat comfortably and Chris Philp, who took Croydon South by 30%, both of whom have a background in asset management.
‘Big tent' candidates
The slender nature of the Conservative's majority might see Cameron look outside of his own party to fill a few cabinet positions and shore up support in parliament.
One pensions figure who is already on the way to being ennobled is Ros Altmann (pictured). The Tories announced before the election that Altmann would sit in the House of Lords a Conservative peer, and would be made minister for consumer protection. Some within the industry are now suggesting this brief could be extended.
Barnett Waddingham senior consultant Malcolm McLean says: "One possible solution might be to expand the new role proposed for Ros Altman to operate as the next pensions minister from the House of Lords.
"I await with interest to see who the prime minister selects in the new Conservative government and what changes if any to pensions policy may result."
A quick fire poll of PA readers on our general election live blog revealed the following preferences for the next pensions minister:
17% David Gauke ( financial secretary to the Treasury)
25% Andrea Leadsom (economic secretary to the Treasury)
33% Priti Patel (exchequer secretary to the Treasury)
17% Harriett Baldwin (government whip and lord commissioner of HM Treasury)
8% Nigel Mills (he of Candy Crush Saga fame)
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