THE Liberal Democrats’ hold on Portsmouth South may be wavering, according to a new political poll.
The survey, carried out for former Tory treasurer Lord Ashcroft, suggests that the Lib Dems face a tough fight to hold on to the seat.
However, of 11 key marginals where Lib Dems are under challenge from Conservatives, the poll suggested deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s party would hold on to nine, while losing North Devon and Portsmouth South, where MP Mike Hancock is sitting as an independent.
About 1,000 adults were questioned for the Ashcroft poll between October 27 and November 20 in each of 18 selected parliamentary seats.
While Mr Hancock’s admission of inappropriate behaviour towards a female constituent had created ‘the opposite of an incumbency effect’, in most cases Lib Dem MPs ‘seem quite well entrenched’, said Lord Ashcroft.
He said: ‘In the 11 Lib Dem-Conservative seats the powerful incumbency factor enjoyed by many Lib Dem MPs is clearly on display.’
Mr Clegg claimed Lib Dems will retain most of their 56 MPs in next year’s election despite dismal opinion polls.