Lib Dems Win Chesham and Amersham Seat From The Tories In Historic By-Election Victory
The Liberal Democrats have taken the Conservative stronghold of Chesham and Amersham, marking the first time the seat has changed hands in 47 years.
Candidate Sarah Green beat the Tory party's Peter Fleet with a majority of 8,028 votes, overturning the party’s 16,000-strong majority won in the 2019 General Election.
Fleet gained 13,489 votes to Green’s 21,517. The turnout for the poll was 52 per cent. At the 2019 General Election, the Tories took 55.4% of the vote to the Lib Dems’ 26.3%.
The result is a stunning turn-around for the Lib Dems, who had said that voters in the area had felt neglected by the Conservatives and had pointed to how changes in planning laws might affect the local area as a potentially decisive factor.
Following her victory, which takes the tally of Lib Dem MPs in the Commons to 12, Green said: "Tonight, the voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakeable. Together we have said enough is enough - we will be heard and this government will listen."
She added: "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 a Liberal Democrat who will continue to fight your corner."
Her opponent Fleet tweeted that he was "disappointed".
The Buckinghamshire seat was previously held by Dame Cheryl Gilligan, who represented the constituency for 29 years until her death in April 2021 triggered Thursday’s by-election.
Her predecessor, former Conservative minister Sir Ian Gilmour, held the seat from its creation in 1974 until he stood down in 1992.
Alarm bells started ringing for the government earlier this week when internal polling by the Lib Dem suggested they were on track to win 41 percent to the incumbent party’s 45 percent.
Ahead of polls opening, a Lib Dem source told PoliticsHome that they believed the race to be “neck and neck” and it would “go down to the wire” when votes were counted.
The party had already seen success locally after it gained control of Amersham Town Council from the Tories in the May local elections.
The Conservatives were initially sceptical about the Lib Dems’ research, however. “The reliability of Lib Dem statistics is well known,” a Tory source said.
Their loss brings the party’s total number of MPs to 364 — neutralising the seat gained from Labour in their historic by-election victory in Hartlepool earlier this year.
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