UK ruling Conservatives lose safe seat in major upset

Ruben Hill
Июня 19, 2021

In a surprising result, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party has been easily defeated in a special election for a seat that it has held for decades. Green won 21,517 votes - against 13,489 for the Conservative candidate Peter Fleet.

The seat is made up of affluent towns and villages to the north-west of London.

In a tweet Ms Green seemed to suggest Conservative voters in the Chesham and Amersham constituency had felt taken for granted by the party headquarters in the same way as Labour voters had in Hartlepool.

The Liberal Democrats on Thursday inflicted a severe defeat over the Conservatives, with candidate Sarah Green winning the Chesham and Amersham constituency with a majority of 16,000 and a swing of 25 percentage points to the party.

"We are a great one-nation party and we will continue with our mission to unite and level up because that is the best way to deliver jobs, prosperity across the whole country", he told reporters.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: "Everyone's talking about the (Labour) red wall in the north, they should think about the blue wall in the south".

The result may cause some nervousness in the Conservative Party, which has targeted traditional Labour-supporting voters in northern England but, according to some of its lawmakers, has increasingly ignored its strongholds in the south.

While governing parties often lose out at so-called by-elections, the Lib Dems focused their campaign on local issues, such as the new High Speed 2 rail link between London and northern England which cuts through the area.

The contest was triggered by the death in April of former government minister Cheryl Gillan, who had held the seat for 29 years. She died of cancer earlier this year, aged 68.

The Times newspaper said the defeat raised questions over the Conservative strategy of focusing efforts on seizing seats from the main opposition Labour party, rather than on defending traditional Tory seats, known as the "Blue Wall" due to the party's logo colour.

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