By Ray Fleming

MPs don't seem to be dying off as fast as they used to. It seems ages since we had a by-election just when they would be at their most interesting and informative.

But Louise Mensch has come to the rescue by resigning her Conservative seat at Corby and Northants in order to be with her husband in New York where he is manager of Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Mrs Mensch won her seat at the general election by 1'951 votes from a former Labour junior minister who had held it for thirteen years. Ed Miliband and Labour will have to show that their big lead in the opinion polls can be converted into votes at a by-election.

It will be a severe setback if they are unable to do so.
The poll is likely to be on mid-November by when the political landscape may well have changed after party conferences that for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats promise to be quite difficult.

Mr Clegg's statement yesterday that the LibDems will not support boundary change legislation on which the Conservatives are counting for extra seats was a strong response to Mr Cameron's admission that he cannot get his backbenchers to vote for Mr Clegg's House of Lords reforms.

In 2010 the LibDems got almost 8'000 votes at Corby and will presumably be standing again.


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