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Chesham and Amersham by-election Lib Dems overturn huge Tory majority to claim historic victory

Chesham and Amersham by-election  Lib Dems overturn huge Tory majority to claim historic victory


Chesham and Amersham by-election: Lib Dems secure historic win … Fri, 18 Jun 2021 08:00:00 +0100-The Lib Dems have overturned a large Tory majority to win the Chesham and Amersham by-election, claiming a seat that had been a Conservative stronghold for decades. The result sees Lib Dem Sarah Green become the country's newest MP, taking 56.7 …

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Lib Dems overturn huge Tory majority to claim by-election victory

June 18, 2021

The Lib Dems have overturned a large Tory majority to win the Chesham and Amersham by-election, claiming a seat that had been a Conservative stronghold for decades.

The result sees Lib Dem Sarah Green become the country’s newest MP, taking 56.7 per cent of the vote to secure a majority of 8,028 over the second-placed Tories.

The Lib Dem victory “sends a shockwave through British politics”, said the party’s leader Ed Davey, exposing the potential fragility of Boris Johnson’s party in the “Blue Wall” of southern England.

The contest was triggered by the death of former minister Dame Cheryl Gillan, who won in Chesham and Amersham with a majority of 16,233 in the last general election in 2019.

At the declaration, Ms Green said the result showed “this Conservative Party has taken people across the country for granted for far too long”.

In her acceptance speech Ms Green said: “Tonight the voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakable. Together we have said, ‘Enough is enough, we will be heard and this Government will listen’.

“This campaign has shown that no matter where you live, or how supposedly safe a constituency may appear to be, if you want a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament, you can have a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.”

She added: “We will continue the work of holding this Government to account for letting Covid rip through the care homes. We will speak up for the three million people excluded from financial support throughout the pandemic and we will challenge Boris Johnson to be far more ambitious in tackling climate change, supporting our frontline workers and backing our small businesses.”

The Tories sought to downplay the result, saying it was historically difficult for governing parties to win by-elections, but defeated candidate Peter Fleet acknowledged the Conservatives had to rebuild “trust and understanding” with voters.

Mr Fleet said: “Clearly this was a very disappointing result, not the result that I was expecting nor my team.”

He added: “It’s an absolutely extraordinary result which must take into account the fact that the Liberal Democrat party didn’t just throw the kitchen sink at this constituency, I think it was the microwave, the table, the oven, the dishwasher, the dog, the cat and anything else that was lying around as well.”

Additional reporting by agencies


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Chesham and Amersham by-election: Lib Dems overturn huge Tory majority to claim historic victory Fri, 18 Jun 2021 08:00:00 +0100-Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said the 'Blue Wall' victory had 'sent a shockwave through British politics'

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Lib Dems secure historic by-election win in Chesham and Amersham

June 18, 2021

T

he Conservative Party have suffered a humiliating by-election defeat as the Liberal Democrats secured a historic win in Chesham and Amersham.

Lib Dem Sarah Green is the country’s newest MP after winning the seat, which has been a Tory stronghold since its creation in 1974.

The contest was triggered by the death of former Cabinet minister Dame Cheryl Gillan, who took the seat with a majority of 16,233 in the 2019 general election – some 55 per cent of the vote.

The stunning result saw Ms Green defeat Tory Peter Fleet by a majority of 8,028.

Ms Green said she was “humbled by the faith you have placed in me” and promised she would hold the Government to account.

“This Conservative Party has taken people across the country for granted for far too long,” she said.

The victory saw Ms Green take almost 56.7 per cent of the vote, with the Tories second, the Green Party in third with 1,480 votes and Labour trailing in fourth with just 622 votes, losing the party’s deposit in the process.

In her acceptance speech Ms Green said: “Tonight the voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakable. Together we have said ‘Enough is enough, we will be heard and this Government will listen’.

“This campaign has shown that no matter where you live, or how supposedly safe a constituency may appear to be, if you want a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament, you can have a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.

“If you wish to reject Conservative mismanagement and vote for a voice that will represent you and stand up for your rights then it is the Liberal Democrats who will continue to fight your corner.”

She added: “We will continue the work of holding this Government to account for letting Covid rip through the care homes. We will speak up for the three million people excluded from financial support throughout the pandemic and we will challenge Boris Johnson to be far more ambitious in tackling climate change, supporting our frontline workers and backing our small businesses.”

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey said the result – in a so-called “Blue Wall” seat in the Tory heartlands – had “sent a shockwave through British politics”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday, he said: “It's the Liberal Democrats' best ever by-election result or one of the very best ever and it will mean that if repeated across the South dozens of Conservative seats will fall to the Liberal Democrats.”

He added: “I think what was happening is people around here and actually across the South, we found this in local elections, feel they've been ignored by the Conservatives, taken for granted, and a whole range of issues show that.”

Mr Davey cited proposed planning reforms as an example of a local issue which would not result in “the affordable housing people need”.

He added: “There's actually a lot more dissatisfaction with Boris Johnson than the polls would suggest.”

Policing minister Kit Malthouse branded the by-election result “very disappointing” and said that there would have to be a “fairly significant post-match analysis” on what went wrong for the Tories.

“It's obviously very disappointing, can't pretend anything otherwise,” he told Sky News.

“Really sad for our fantastic candidate Peter Fleet. I was there myself just a couple of days ago, knocking on doors for him.

“We'll obviously have to have a fairly significant post-match analysis and understand what has actually gone on.

“Traditionally, it's always tough for governments, whatever 11 years in, mid-term, to win a by-election, but there are lessons there for everybody and no doubt they will become clear in the days to come.”

The scale of the defeat will be ringing alarm bells in Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).

Major issues in the campaign included the HS2 rail line, which cuts through the constituency and the Government’s proposed planning reforms which have sparked fears about building in the countryside around the seat in the Chilterns.

Mr Fleet acknowledged the need to rebuild “trust and understanding” with voters and also suggested the Tories had been out-campaigned by the Lib Dems.

“Clearly this was a very disappointing result, not the result that I was expecting nor my team,” he told reporters.

“It’s an absolutely extraordinary result which must take into account the fact that the Liberal Democrat party didn’t just throw the kitchen sink at this constituency, I think it was the microwave, the table, the oven, the dishwasher, the dog, the cat and anything else that was lying around as well.

“And we should consider that when we reflect upon the extraordinary nature of the result.”


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– June 18, 2021
Chesham and Amersham by-election Lib Dems overturn huge Tory majority to claim historic victory

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