A by-election in Portsmouth South would be an intriguing contest. There’s no certainty there will be one despite the latest news about sitting Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock. Sky News are currently reporting that the Liberal Democrats are planning to expel him from the party. I would say it is odds-against that he’ll resign as an MP, but no harm in being prepared. Here is the result from 2010, courtesy of UK Polling Report
Some people are speculating that, even if Hancock felt obliged to resign, he might still stand in the by-election as an Independent. I think I’d make him about 50/1 if he did.
I think it’s extremely likely that the Liberal Democrat and Conservative votes would both fall as a result of the recent government decisions about the dockyards. It’s a certainty that UKIP will do well following their extremely good showing in last month’s council elections in the city. That might even present an opportunity for Labour, although based on their woeful efforts in Newark, I wouldn’t be in a rush to back them.
Here’s how I think I might price up a by-election;
- 7/4 Conservatives
- 2/1 UKIP
- 9/4 Liberal Democrats
- 10/1 Labour
It would certainly be a very interesting betting heat.