Conservative MP David Mackintosh has decided not to stand for re-election in Northampton South (not to be confused with Andrea Leadsom’s South Northamptonshire constituency). It follows an ongoing police investigation into a £10m loan made by Northampton Borough Council, to a local football club, whilst Mackintosh was council leader.
Mackintosh denies any wrongdoing but could the taint of scandal improve Labour’s chances of gaining the seat on Thursday June 8?
Labour performed better than expected here in 2015, increasing their vote share by 6.4%. They have form too; the seat went red during New Labour’s peak in 1997 and 2001. We should be able to see how the Labour vote is holding up, from next week’s council elections. The three districts of Abington & Phippsville, Castle, and Dallington Spencer will at the very least need to stay red, if Labour has any chancing of winning a month later.
Labour are still 10 points behind the Tories though and with popular former MP Brian Binley (2005 and 2010) suggesting he could stand, combined with Labour’s current polling, Northampton South may prove just a stretch too far for the party. That said, the noise around the incumbent MP has made this one to watch.