Mr Lickley, from Winchester, was selected on a 'one member, one vote' basis by constituency party members, the method adopted for the first time at last month's Newbury by-election.
If Labour's Newbury experience is repeated, his vote will be further squeezed by tactical voting for Diana Maddock, the Liberal Democrat, in the two-horse race with Rob Hayward, the former Conservative MP and Tory central office adviser.
The 23,015 majority left by the late Robert Adley, the former Tory MP, is vulnerable to a Liberal Democrat swing of 20 per cent, 8 per cent less than the one achieved in Newbury.
A date has yet to be set for the contest. Other candidates so far include Michael Cleland (21st Century Party). Lord David Sutch has said that he will stand as the Monster Raving Loony Save John Major candidate.Reuse content