This day next week the voters of Eastleigh in Hampshire, UK will go to the polls to elect a successor to the now infamous Chris Huhne, who resigned after the director of public prosecutions announced he would face a criminal charge in connection with allegedly dodging a speeding offence.
This bye-election represents the best chance the Lib Dems have to arrest their slide over the last two years and prove, at least to themselves, that they are still capable of winning seats in their core areas. Can they do it?
Candidate list here: BBC News - Eastleigh by-election candidate list
Back in 2010, Huhne had a majority in Eastleigh of 3,864. He took 47% of the votes, against 39% for the Tories' Maria Hutchings, who is standing again, and 10% for Labour, whose vote has been squeezed by the Lib Dems over the years. Ukip was a distant fourth, with 4%.
So all the indications are that it will be a straight fight between the coalition partners, despite recent surges for UKIP nationally and Labour's selection of a "celebrity" candidate in John O'Farrell, comedy writer of Spitting Image fame and author of the "Fever Pitch" for politics junkies and diehard Labourites, "Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter." (Thoroughly recommended, by the way, a rattling good read.)
So, what do the posters of P.ie think? Been following this at all?
Great article on the state of play here, by Martin Kettle. From that:
Read the article to find out why.....If the consensus is right, however, a Lib Dem win in Eastleigh will be a pivotal political event, and by far the most important byelection result of this parliament. Its effects will be felt in several different ways through to the next general election and beyond.