May by-election could be headache for Lib Dems
There's to be a new by-election in Leicester South, almost certainly on 5 May. The sitting Labour MP Sir Peter Soulsby is standing down to fight the election for mayor of Leicester, also to be held that day.
It will be a huge test for the Lib Dems, who won the previous by-election in the seat in 2004. Soulsby, a former leader of Leicester Council, then took the seat back for Labour in 2005. The Lib Dem MP for the seat between 2004 and 2005, Parmjit Singh Gill, is the only ethnic minority MP the Liberal Democrats have ever had.
In normal times the Lib Dems would have high hopes in the by-election. This time? Forget it. Indeed, they may struggle to come third, fourth or even fifth.
Sir Peter is, incidentally, a good example of how successful council leaders often fail at Westminster. He was overlooked for ministerial jobs by both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.