Voters in the Eastleigh by-election go to the polls today with three parties hoping for victory. The constituency is near Southampton, nestled between the South Downs and New Forest National Parks.
The election was called after Liberal MP, Chris Huhne resigned after admitting perverting the course of justice, after it was revealed that, whilst an MEP, he persuaded his wife to take the blame for a motoring offence he had committed.
In 2010, Huhne beat the conservative candidate by under 4,000 votes with Labour coming a distant third.
The two coalition partners are in a bitter fight with each other… and UKIP, who have gained steadily throughout the election campaign.
The Conservatives are dismayed as their highly Eurosceptic candidate is considered to have had a poor campaign, with failing to appear at hustings. David Davis, considered as a right wing challenger in waiting for the party leadership said that a loss would be a "crisis" for the Tories.
UKIP have campaigned on an anti-immigration platform and their candidate had to apologise for referring to Romanian migrants as criminals, a charge party leader, Nigel Farage MEP repeated, saying, "people should use this byelection as an opportunity to send a shattering message to the coalition that we do not want total open-door immigration to Romania and Bulgaria." The Eurosceptic was hopeful of a suprise victory, "We're excited. If Cameron loses it's a disaster, if Clegg loses it's a catastrophe. Us losing doesn't do us a lot of harm, us winning will break the dam."
The Liberals have been fighting off a sex scandal at national level, but remain hopeful of victory. Party leader, and deputy Prime minister, Nick Clegg said, "I've got a sense we are on the cusp of a great, great victory. We can, and will, win."
The polls close at 10pm UK time and tomorrow we will learn the result and the people of Eastleigh can return to their lives, no longer having armies of politicians and their aides. A relief after all parties flooded the constituency with activists and top ranking politicians.