Eastleigh candidates announced

The Liberal Democrats have announced Mike Thornton as their candidate for the Eastleigh by-election, and the Conservatives have selected Maria Hutchings as theirs. Labour and UKIP have yet to announce their candidates.

Clegg admits Huhne scandal will impact election

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has admitted that the Chris Huhne speeding scandal will be an important issue influencing the Eastleigh by-election.

When asked if trust of the Lib Dems would be an issue, he replied:

It's undeniably an issue. That is why the by-election is taking place.

As I have said before I was very shocked and sad to see what happened, to see, frankly, that his whole family is engulfed in this in a very public way. You'd have to have a heart of stone not to think that is a pretty shocking and sad thing.

I took what Chris said at face value. He than rang me the night before he entered his guilty plea to tell me he was doing so. But I am not going to start providing a running commentary on events that happened. And of course the sentence has not even been handed down to him yet.

– Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg made the comments on Sky News' Sunday Live with Murnaghan.

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Liberal Democrats remain in front in Eastleigh

According to a new poll released late Saturday, the Liberal Democrats remain in front in Eastleigh, spelling potential defeat for the Prime Minister.

The Survation poll for The Mail on Sunday put the Lib Dems on 36%, ahead of the Tories on 33%. The poll also put the UK Independence Party on 16%, ahead of Labour on 13%.

Survation polled 504 people in Eastleigh by telephone on Thursday.

Profile: Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings

Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings Credit: Twitter/Maria Hutchings

The Conservative candidate for the Eastleigh by-election is Maria Hutchings.

She has already run for the seat once before in the 2010 general election, when she lost out to Chris Huhne by 3,864 votes.

Hutchings describes herself as a "straight-talking businesswoman and mother of four". She is running under the slogan "vote for a local MP you can trust".

In 2005, she shot to fame when she challenged the then Prime Minister Tony Blair on a live TV debate about the planned closure of a school for children with special needs.

A few weeks later, she switched from being a Labour supporter to the Conservative party.

Mike Thornton: It is an 'incredible honour' to be selected

Mike Thornton, the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Eastleigh by-election, has tweeted that it is an "incredible honour" to be selected.

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Delighted to have been chosen as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Eastleigh. It's an incredible honour and I look forward to the campaign!

Profile: Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Thornton

Liberal Democrat candidate Mike Thornton Credit: Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have announced local councillor Mike Thornton as their candidate for the Eastleigh by-election.

Mr Thornton is a business and development manager and has been a parish and borough councillor since 2007.

He has lived in the area for 19 years and is involved with the annual Bishopstoke Carnival and is an active member of the local church.

Read his campaign blog here.

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Lib Dems choose councillor to fight Eastleigh by-election

The Liberal Democrats have selected local councillor Mike Thornton to contest the Eastleigh by-election following Chris Huhne's resignation.

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Mike Thornton selected as candidate for the #Eastleigh by-election. Find out more about @mike4eastleigh here - http://t.co/9hIBgkYN

Watch: Chris Huhne announces he will resign as an MP