Portsmouth councillor and MP Mike Hancock has been handed a lifeline in his first electoral test since claims that he sexually harassed a vulnerable constituent — in the form of a broad field of opponents with minor parties threatening to split the left-wing and right-wing votes.
With suspended Lib Dem Hancock preparing to defend his Fratton council seat as an independent (despite claims he is still in hospital) he faces opposition not only from Labour, Tories and UKIP but candidates from parties including ‘Justice and Anti-Corruption Party’ and ‘Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts’.
With previously second-placed Labour having a mountain to climb to topple Hancock even the handful of votes garnered by minor parties could save the controversial MP, who denies the allegations against him.
Here’s the statement of persons nominated (FULL PDF):
But there’s one main party which has chosen not to stand a candidate in the poll.
No prizes for guessing which one.