November 15 is the most likely date for a byelection Eastleigh News understands. An unconfirmed, but well placed source has revealed that an election, if needed, would be most likely held on the same day as voting for a new police commissioner. All three major parties agreed to the date last week.
Eastleigh’s MP Chris Huhne is due to face trial on charges of perverting of Justice – allegations which he strongly denies – by October.
If found guilty he could face a jail sentence but former cabinet colleague Baroness Warsi has also said she believes Mr Huhne could decide to stand down anyway.
Her recent comments ignited election fever in the town and Eastleigh News has been told that Labour, the Greens and TUSC all now have candidates selected in readiness.
Maria Hutchings, a 2010 candidate is believed to be the likely choice again for the Conservatives and Eastleigh News has exclusively reported how the Tories have been upgrading facilities at a local Tory club under the smokescreen of the local elections in preparation of a byelection tussle.
If Mr Huhne is at all perturbed at the prospect of vultures circling round he isn’t showing it and has thrown himself into his constituency work since resigning his cabinet post.
The former Minister for Energy expended a considerable amount of the stuff to run Sunday’s Eastleigh 10k in a creditable 53 minutes – he has also been campaigning for a reduction in local road speed limits.
Even so, one local politician – who did not wish to be named – described Mr Huhne as an isolated figure telling Eastleigh News:
“Huhne is dying the death of a thousand stabs in the back with plenty of time to think about those he has stabbed in the back. None of them have any sympathy for him – a painful death”