The result in Richmond Park with Sarah Olney of the Liberal Democrats overturning Zac Goldsmith’s 23,015 vote majority is significant, and may lead to a pattern moving forward.
Zac may have said as he stood down from the Conservative Party over the issue of Heathrow Expansion, but Sarah is also opposed to the third runway, and fought the campaign on the issue of Brexit. The other five candidates including Labour also lost their deposits as they did not receive enough votes, with Ms Olney polling 20,510 votes to Mr Goldsmith’s 18,638. The Conservative Party, UK Independence Party and Green Party did not field candidates, as they felt would further split the votes in favour of the other contender they were furthest from supporting.
I have a lot of respect for Sarah, who only joined the party recently like myself, who feel the country is heading to an uncertain future and being worse of, unless we fight for what we think is right.
After the result was announced she said: “The people of Richmond Park and North Kingston have sent a shockwave through this Conservative Brexit government, and our message is clear – we do not want a hard Brexit.”
“We do not want to be pulled out of the single market, and we will not let intolerance, division and fear win.”
She added that if Article 50; the legal process that sparks Britain’s exit from the EU, is put to a parliamentary vote, she will vote against it. Zac held the opposite view as a Leave campaigner even though over 70% of the constituency voted Remain.
The fightback is definitely on the way, which begun with Liz Leffman’s second place result in Witney after David Cameron stood down, and I can see more shock waves on the horizon next week with the Supreme Court case.