Tim Farron has just been on the BBC claiming that a win here will change the narrative of the whole Parliament- wishful thinking I think, I doubt we’ll be seeing any sudden improvement in the Lib Dem poll ratings. However, his overall point is solid- when real voters go out and vote, the Lib Dems can hold marginal seats, which is certainly more than many people (including myself) thought before this by-election was called.
The polls will be very interesting to watch in the wake of Eastleigh. Will UKIP get a bounce following a strong result here? Will Labour be adversely affected by being out of the limelight?
John Curtice has been as brilliant as ever- discussing the impact of scandals on by-elections. It seems that in this case voters are prepared to overlook Huhne’s errors in favour of local representation for the party that they believe will do best for Eastleigh. He has made another great point- Clegg was already very unpopular even amongst his own voters, so his role in the Rennard scandal has been unimportant to this by-election despite the national prominence of the story.
Still no confirmation of any declaration time- it could be a long night.