Lib Dems battle to persuade voters to turn out in today"s crunch Eastleigh by-election amid fears sex scandal could decide result

Lib Dems battle to persuade voters to turn out in today's crunch Eastleigh by-election amid fears sex scandal could decide result Polls open in Hampshire town to elect successor to disgraced Cabinet minister Chris HuhneContest billed as three-horse race between Lib Dems, Tories and UKIPLib Dems thought win was 'in the bag' until allegations emerged against ex-chief executive Lord RennardTories fear they could be forced into third place by a surging UKIP By Matt Chorley, Mailonline Political Editor PUBLISHED: 08:54 GMT, 28 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:45 GMT, 28 February 2013 Panicked Liberal Democrats launched a drive to persuade their supporters to turn out in today's crunch Eastleigh by-election amid fears voters will desert them in protest at the Lord Rennard scandal. Voters go to the polls in the Hampshire seat today to choose a successor to disgraced Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, who quit after being warned he faces jail for pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice. The Lib Dems are battling to see off challenges from the Conservatives and the UK Independence Party, who claim they could be on course for a historic first Commons win