Historic Lib Dem Victory - what does it mean for Shrewsbury?

December 2, 2016 10:43 AM
By Hannah Fraser

The Liberal Democrats won a by-election in Richmond Park last night, sending their newest MP Sarah Olney to the Houses of Parliament. The result New Lib Dem MP Sarah Olney celebraing election victory in Richmond Parkwas a shock to the establishment, with former Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith losing the seat. Zac Goldsmith previously held the seat with a majority of over 23,000 votes, but lost last night by 1,872 votes. Mr Goldsmith was a staunch supporter of Brexit.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said "The message is clear: The Liberal Democrats are back and we are carrying the torch for all of those who want a real opposition to this Conservative Brexit Government. We are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and the only party that has said, loudly and proudly, that we want Britain to remain a member of the Single Market and that we want the people to be given the final say over the Brexit deal. That message has been resoundingly backed by the people of Richmond Park ".

So what does the result mean for the rest of the country, and for Shrewsbury in particular? There was a big voter swing last night from Conservative to Liberal Democrat. If the same swing were seen in Shrewsbury and Atcham, the Liberal Democrats would win with 38.3% of the vote compared with 32.4% for the Conservatives.

Local Councillor Hannah Fraser said 'If this result were duplicated across Britain, many Conservative MPs would lose their seats to Liberal Democrats. In Shrewsbury, many people are deeply concerned about Brexit and about the direction this country is heading in. The Lib Dems are the only party speaking for these people. We deserve an MP who will stand up for the people of Shrewsbury and stand up for an open, tolerant and united Britain."