As the good members of Eastleigh gather to decide on their candidate in the by-election here are my suggestions for some names likely to be in the frames, based on no inside knowledge whatsoever. Lets see how well I do...and you know something - this is a brilliant list
(Sunday morning update - ha; all wrong. Congrats to Mike Thornton - and good luck!!!)
Evens favourite: Martin Tod
Candidate at the last election for the constituency next door, a long experienced campaigner much admired in the party and surely it's his turn?
2-1 Gerald Vernon-Jackson
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire born and bred. also Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Local Government in England and Wales, at the Local Government Association and serves on the National Executive.
8-1 ( drifting from 4-1 earlier) Olly Grender
Everyone's favourite ex No 10 staffer, Olly was close to Chris so will know the constituencies issues well. She'd be a formidable MP and has all the press contacts any candidate could ever need. Whatever happens though, don't try and contact her on Linked In.
Now drifting in the betting as she has denied any interest
15-1 Keith House
Leader of the Council, a formidable campaiger who has increased the local Lib Dem share of the vote. Keith would be the nailed on red hot unbeatable favourite if he wanted it. But he says he doesn't...
20-1 Anne Winstanley
Deputy Leader of the council, again very popular locally, and a name that keeps getting asked about. But there's no buzz around her on the net so I'm guessing she's not interested
50-1 Evan Harris
Would be brilliant if he stood and wouldn't it be brilliant if he was back in Parliament - but does he want to stand again?
There's my runners and riders. Odds are spurious and made up. Lets see on Saturday...
Couple of other names being kicked around. Stephen Knight (local to Ham Common!) and Dr Prateek Buch of the SLF
Now being suggested there is a different person, unnamed by the press, who is very strong contender. WHO CAN IT BE?