Friday, 2 December 2016

Liberal Democrats win back Richmond Park

Sarah Olney won the by-election over Zac Goldsmith by over 2,000 votes. Christian Wolmar, someone who would have been well-known to hard-pressed commuters by rail in the community, mustered only 1,515 votes on behalf of the Labour Party.

For the reasons set out earlier this is a good result. Additionally, it emphasises that the Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to keeping the UK within the EU and that Labour has lost trust, not only over the EU, but in its ability to deliver coherent opposition to the cuts in social services imposed by the Conservatives.


Stan said...

An astounding win for the Lib Dems that shows the only predictable thing about how the public will vote these days is the unpredictability of it.

Frank Little said...

Stan, it was very predictable. In fact, I may have referred to LibDems being presented with an open goal in an earlier post. Apart from anything else, it was a vote against the Establishment, which fits the recent pattern. Goldsmith was still the rich white male Establishment figure, even though he had given up the Conservative whip. (This in turn prevented him accessing the Conservatives' electoral database, which was a handicap. There is a use for the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 after all!)

Where we will have difficulty is Sleaford next Thursday. The area voted "Leave" in the Referendum, so our USP is not going to be so effective. I would expect the UKIP vote to collapse (though probably in favour of the Conservatives increasing their vote share). It all depends on whether Labour can maintain their fairly healthy vote in 2015 and to some extent on the more "liberal" Conservative voters whether we can get back second place or better.