Sarah Green selected for Chesham & Amersham

The Chesham & Amersham by-election, following the death of Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan last month, will be held over the summer, although no date has been announced yet. In the General Election we came a solid second, so we will be fighting this with all the energy we can.

Congratulations to Sarah Green who has been selected as our candidate. Sarah is a training and communications professional, and many of you will have come across her at party training sessions.

Here’s how you can help.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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51 Comments

  • nigel hunter 5th May '21 - 3:39pm

    I will be donating later. For now be aware that the Tories will use every trick in the book to put them ahead.The party must be very quick to react to any negativity from the opposition

  • Barry Lofty 5th May '21 - 4:28pm

    I wish Sarah Green well in the Chesham and Amersham by- election, the home for generations of my family and myself. The Liberal and Liberal Democrats have a fine tradition in the area and always came a worthy second with some strong councillor representation. I sincerely hope she can go one better and win the seat!

  • Well let’s hope she gets a better result than Hartlepool will tomorrow, and where the latest poll shows the Lib Dems cutting through the pack with a rampant 1%. Bit of a come down from 34% and a close second in the Mandelson exit by-election of 2004.

    On a more serious level, what sort of legacy was left in Hartlepool back in 2004, or was it a case of here today and the Caravanserai gone tomorrow ?

  • Barry Lofty 5th May '21 - 4:52pm

    I must admit David it does get a bit depressing, as with other elements in life at the moment,I live in hope rather than expectation.

  • Roger Roberts 5th May '21 - 5:28pm

    Llongyfarchiadau ! The electors are very fortunate to have such a brilliant candidate as Sarah. I campaigned with her in the past. Let this be the byelection that marks the turn of the Lib Dem tide !

  • This by-election is practically do or die, We may not win but we must strongly advance by squeezing Labour and winning over soft Conservatives. Well done to Sarah Green-she looks and sounds good.

  • What’s our stance on High Speed 2?

    I imagine opposition would play well in Chesham and Amersham as I think HS2 goes right through it but doesn’t stop.

  • Mark Blackburn 6th May '21 - 10:31am

    *more, not M-O-R, obv!

  • RogerRoberts 6th May '21 - 11:06am

    General election 2019: Chesham and Amersham[5]
    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Cheryl Gillan 30,850 55.4 -5.3
    Liberal Democrats Dan Gallagher 14,627 26.3 +13.3
    Labour Matt Turmaine 7,166 12.9 -7.7
    Green Alan Booth 3,042 5.5 +2.5
    Majority 16,223 29.1 -11.0
    Turnout 55,978 76.8 -0.3

  • If this party is serious it will talk to the Greens and to Labour in Chesham asap.

  • Hilton Marlton 6th May '21 - 12:48pm

    Bendigedig. Byddai’n wych cael y llais Cymreig gwych hwn yn San Steffan. Pob lwc Sarah

  • David Evershed 7th May '21 - 2:02am

    HS2 is the hot topic in Chesham and Amersham. The environmental destruction that HS2 and East West Rail construction is causing is very apparent in Buckinghamshire.

    Local Conservatives are anti HS2 despite the national policy promoting it.

    With the long term fall in need for business travel and the failure of HS2 to reduce CO2 emissions, it is becoming more and more difficult to defend.

    What will be the Lib Dem policy on HS2 in Chesham and Amersham and what will be the local Lib Dem candidate’s position?

  • David Blake 7th May '21 - 7:21am
  • Noel Hadjimichael 7th May '21 - 8:24am

    Given the terrible results / narrative for Labour this week, this summer by-election is the ideal opportunity to reaffirm our very real standing as the only viable non-Conservative option in large numbers of seats across the country.

  • >David Evershed – “What will be the Lib Dem policy on HS2 in Chesham and Amersham and what will be the local Lib Dem candidate’s position?”

    What will be the NATIONAL LibDem policy on the HS2 now it is abundantly clear it is all about political vanity and obstinance of those who wish to stand in the way of progress.

  • Andrew McCaig 8th May '21 - 10:47pm

    I think I am correct in saying that there has not been a by-election in decades against the Tories in govt, with us starting in 2nd place, where there has not been a swing sufficient to win this seat. The govt is unusually popular at the moment but nevertheless I think we should put our optimistic boots on and spend the money required for a winning campaign.

  • Alex Macfie 9th May '21 - 10:44am

    The silver lining in otherwise disappointing election results is that we made gains in places like Chesham & Amersham that we are hoping to gain from the Tories at the next GE. I find it rather surprising that the Tories didn’t try to rush the by-election to have it later this month, to stop the Lib Dem bandwagon. We have a very strong chance of a gain if we work at it.

  • Patrick C Smith 10th May '21 - 4:40pm

    What goes around comes around! In this crucial Chesham and Amersham By-Election the L/D candidate Sarah Green is a skilled medi operator and renowed performer and her comments on local impact on the impact of HS2- that is known to be unpopular-with so many local residnts and homes with resonate in naional news.

    HS2 has respresented a thorn in the side of the residents in the Chilterns and is of prime concern to them and in districts and the Government foresquare under `Bo-jo’ must take the rap for it..

    In this hotly contested campaign the gun-ho L/D victors in the Amersham Council Local Elections must lead the campaign team to compound their starting line electoral advantage and win more hearts and minds and with self-belief and highest ambition can pull off an unexpected victory as the HS2 is a Tory minefield.

  • It is the biggest mistake not to optimise Dan Gallagher 14500 votes +13.3% in the last General election by letting him stand again.after all he is Local and can touch base with local electorates and issues.
    With the tories gaining popularity nationaly and taking 90% of local councillors seats, i am afraid that i feel that she has no chance of winning and 2nd place is automatically guaranteed as Labour is a No Contest in Chesham and Amersham.

  • Andrew, I think you are slightly mistaken – We need 14.6% swing to win in Chesham and Amersham. The sadly now lost Brecon and Radnor by Election only swung by 12%. Though we did win it.

    If we had got a bigger swing and Jane had been given a bit longer to bet bedded in, we might have held it.

  • Please think about who you send out to canvas. I was planning to vote Lib Dem but having someone come to my door complaining and making ignorant comments is enough to turn me Blue! They also inferred they WERE Sarah Green but I suspect not.

  • Mohamed: Not being a member in C&A, I cannot comment on the selection process. Maybe this Dan Gallagher didn’t try for the seat again. I don’t see why it rules us out of the game. In the Richmond Park by-election, our previous GE candidate didn’t stand for reselection for personal reasons. and we took a punt on another Sarah (Olney), then an unknown fairly new member, but very local. And it worked. I remember there were some people suggesting we should have chosen a big national name instead of Sarah (our then-former MPs for both neighbouring constituencies were mooted, never mind that both had ruled themselves out), but in general local connections are more effective than national profile in winning voters. The “big name” strategy is most effective where we have little local organisation.

    Sarah Green is also local to the seat she has been selected to fight, and she seems to have been chosen over at least one high-profile candidate (I gather Philip Lee was shortlisted).

    Also while the Tories did well in the so-called “Red Wall”, they are losing popularity in places like C&A. Indeed there seems to be some resentment in the south of the Tories’ indulgence of their new friends in the North (only the smaller towns, mind you; Tories remain as rare as hens’ teeth in Northern cities like Liverpool and Manchester). Lib Dems did well in C&A so have a strong chance of winning.

    Pollymere: Sorry to hear about your experience. Are you sure this person was a genuine Lib Dem campaigner? We do get opponents trying to infiltrate and undermine our campaigns (one “canvasser” for us in our area in 2019GE was unmasked as a Tory activist).

  • “Indeed there seems to be some resentment in the south of the Tories’ indulgence of their new friends in the North”.

    The poor old long suffering two car Chelsea tractor Home Counties….. where widespread poverty stalks the leafy lanes…..and there was me thinking C & A was an online clothing store selling underwear.

  • Alex Macfie 16th May '21 - 1:34pm

    David Raw: The Home Counties is not all Chelsea tractors and two-car households. There are working class people there. About 5 years ago I canvassed in a local Council by-election in a Council estate in Guildford. And anyway how else would people be found to deliver the post, or staff the supermarkets, for instance? But they are less visible than in the Red Wall because (yes, I’ll grant you) they’re smaller (but not insignificant) in proportion to the general local population, but also because they didn’t work in heavy industry and so tended not to be seen as natural Labour supporters. A large part of previous Lib Dem success in the Home Counties and similar areas came from courting this working and lower-middle class, rather than the 2nd-home&SUV vote.

  • Alex Macfie 16th May '21 - 1:43pm

    I remember when C&A (the clothing retailer) had physical stores in the UK, where it catered for the market now served by Primark. A Belgian-German-Dutch company, it withdrew from the UK market in 2000, so when I found a C&A store in Munich when visiting in 2009 I was reminded of childhood clothes shopping with my parents. Its online shop doesn’t appear to serve the UK, probably because of Brexit.

  • HS2 has been a big issue in Chesham & Amersham. The Green Party candidate has been endorsed by the Stop HS2 campaign https://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/19285979.green-party-announces-chesham-amersham-mp-candidate/
    LibDems have momentum here finishing a strong second to the Conservatives. In Amersham Lib Dems went from 0 seats to a majority on the Town Council.
    Philip Lee has urged Labour and the Greens to stand aside so as not to split the opposition vote https://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/19298597.lib-dem-dr-phillip-lee-urges-labour-green-party-not-stand-chesham-amersham-by-election-so-tories-will-lose/

  • Peter Martin 16th May '21 - 2:31pm

    The Tories are at 1/20 for the bye election. This means that if you stake £20 you’ll win £1.

    The Lib Dems are more like 10/1. So you’ll only have to put up £1 to win £10.

    The snag, of course, is that the Tories will almost certainly win.

  • Peter Martin 16th May '21 - 2:48pm

    “Philip Lee has urged Labour and the Greens to stand aside so as not to split the opposition vote”

    Has he? I suppose Keir Starmer might suggest that the Lib Dems stand aside to avoid splitting the anti-Tory vote.

    I know the counter to that would be that the Lib Dems, in the last elections, secured 26% of the vote whereas Labour and the Greens could only manage 13% and 6%. So the fairest solution would be to put 26 yellow balls, 13 red balls and 6 green balls in a bag and draw one out. It would be most likely, but not certainly, a yellow ball.

    It wouldn’t make any difference to the the result. The Tories will still win. But it would be interesting to see how the votes transfer. I suspect nowhere near as well as many might think.

  • To win the seat, the challenger has to be able to take a high proportion of votes from the Conservative candidate (a 14.6% swing). The LibDem candidate is better placed to do that than either the Labour or Green candidate.

  • Alex Macfie 16th May '21 - 3:13pm

    Peter Martin: “the Tories will almost certainly win.” we shall see. When Zac Goldsmith did his vainglorious flounce in Richmond Park, the consensus among the commentariat was that he’d win by a landslide because everyone would admire his principled stand.
    Meanwhile those odds look tempting. Bookmakers don’t have any special knowledge of politics or elections. They set their odds according to the total value of bets received.

  • Peter Martin 16th May '21 - 3:17pm

    @ Pollymere,

    “…….having someone come to my door complaining and making ignorant comments is enough to turn me Blue! ”

    I know what you mean! I had someone like that at the last election. He went on about how Cameron should never have called a referendum, how hardly anyone was sufficiently knowledgeable, ( I think he was going to say too stupid but he managed to correct himself in time) to be able to vote on the EU issue. And, that if they won they were going to revoke the leaving Bill and then stay in the EU without asking anyone ever again.

  • Peter Martin 16th May '21 - 3:30pm

    @ Joe,

    So you’re saying that it always has to be everyone else who has to stand down because previous Tory voters might switch to Lib Dem, their usual second preference, but they wouldn’t switch to Labour or Green?

    I can’t see even Keir Starmer agreeing to that. He might agree in this bye election if the Lib Dems promised to stand down in the next one. But this would only make sense for Labour if there were a reasonable likelihood that Lib Dem second preferences would be mainly to Labour. But are they? If Tory second preferences are more likely to be Lib Dem then isn’t it more likely that Lib Dem second preferences, or at least half of them, would be for the Tory?

  • Alex Macfie 16th May '21 - 3:51pm

    Talk of pacts between Labour and Lib Dems is really rather pointless because it isn’t going to happen, and it wouldn’t benefit the Lib Dems.

  • Peter Martin,

    the arguments are set out in Left foot forward https://leftfootforward.org/2021/05/fresh-calls-for-starmer-to-form-progressive-alliance-as-tories-sweep-up-brexiteer-vote/
    If Keir Starmer is ready to try something different, the Chesham and Amersham by-election is his chance to engage with LibDems and Greens.

  • Peter Watson 16th May '21 - 5:50pm

    @Alex Macfie “The Home Counties … There are working class people there.”
    This was a point that Matthew Huntbach used to make regularly — with eloquence and passion — on this site a few years ago but, as I recall, it was with a sense of despair that the party seemed to have forgotten this in the pursuit of a more affluent core vote.

  • Peter Watson 16th May '21 - 6:02pm

    @David Raw “If this party is serious it will talk to the Greens and to Labour in Chesham asap.”
    @Alex Macfie “Talk of pacts between Labour and Lib Dems is really rather pointless because it isn’t going to happen”
    The best way to displace the Tories from this safe seat might well be some sort of electoral pact, but I suspect that for Labour, Lib Dems and Greens, making a small dent in Boris Johnson’s majority will be less of a priority than showing improvement and progress in their own performances.

  • Alex Macfie 16th May '21 - 6:26pm

    Peter Watson: As I explained earlier, a pact with Labour would backfire because many soft Tory voters would see us and Labour as the same and so would stay with the Tories. The best chance of the seat falling to Lib Dems is for Labour to stand but not campaign seriously. Likewise, Lib Dems should put up a paper candidate in Batley & Spen.

  • Peter Watson 16th May '21 - 8:11pm

    @Alex Macfie “The best chance of the seat falling to Lib Dems is for Labour to stand but not campaign seriously.”
    I agree, but I don’t think it is in Labour’s (well, Keir Starmer’s!) interest to follow up a dismal showing in its traditional heartlands in May with an equally dismal performance here. Also, I suspect that a priority for Labour / Lib Dems / Greens will be competition for a respectable vote share, even if that allows the Conservatives to hold the seat.
    I wonder if the situation in Batley & Spen, potentially a Conservative gain from Labour, might mean the political calculations are quite different.

  • Peter Watson: Lib Dems are fighting Chesham & Amersham to win, whatever the Greens decide to do. We’re not likely to put much effort into Batley & Spen, but we’ll have a candidate, if only to give voters there an option to vote for us, especially in those areas of the constituency where we do have local strength.

  • David Evans 17th May '21 - 5:35pm

    There are quite a number of posts here where the author is insufficiently aware of the mechanism for winning by-elections. The first is that in the vast majority of by-elections turnout is substantially down compared to a general election. It is almost always in excess of 15% down. Hence the primary factor in winning is getting out our previous vote, and that is what we do when we win. After that comes getting out our supporters who don’t normally vote because we aren’t in with a chance. Thirdly is gaining anti-Tory votes from Labour and the Greens. Last and most difficult of all is winning Tory votes.

    Chesham and Amersham will be difficult, but should not be impossible so long as we get the campaign focussed on the “Boris Brexit Mess” and that Boris’s deal actually “IS WORSE THAN NO DEAL”, the Greens do actually accept they can’t win from 5.5%, and in particularly that Ed has managed to build on our Remain stance.

    If not, he and the rest of us could all be in trouble.

  • Alex Macfie ” We’re not likely to put much effort into Batley & Spen, but we’ll have a candidate”.

    I spent the first twenty plus years of my life in Batley & Spen and I was heartbroken when Jo Cox was killed. I know her sister Kim Leadbeater and the family. I know what they do and what they’ve done for the people of Spen Valley (including for my late parents).

    In the words of the Proclaimers, I would walk the proverbial 500 miles – and back again – for Kim. If she gets the nomination I would ask Lib Dems to ponder very carefully on the situation.

  • Chris Rennard published a memoir in 2018 “Winning here” in which he wrote that his approach in any by-election campaign was to find out the issues on voters’ minds and to address those issues head-on.
    Polly Toynbee explores some of the issues in her article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/may/13/labour-party-deals-seats-chesham-amersham-byelection
    “Lib Dem polling and door-knocking in the seat suggests why the Tories deserve to lose: 55% here are remainers, many of them Tories who only stayed loyal for fear of Jeremy Corbyn. Brexit is still the great definer, and remainer Tories were alarmed by the hard Brexit deal.”
    “Out of 70 sample doors knocked by the Lib Dem head of campaigns, all but one voter claimed they’d never met a Tory canvasser: there are many such taken-for-granted Tory “safe” seats, as neglected as Labour’s proved to be.”
    “Labour must show an open mind in the face of the avalanche of motions being sent to its conference this year from local parties calling for adoption of proportional representation (PR). Labour For a New Democracy has organised a massive 214 so far, backed both by Momentum and by Blairites: Blair was for it, until barred by party dinosaurs. This new surge suggests a profound shift in thinking: all too often Labour people hate other left-of-centre parties almost as much as they hate the opposite factions within their own party “

  • Alex Macfie 17th May '21 - 8:41pm

    @David Raw: “If [Kim Leadbeater] gets the nomination I would ask Lib Dems to ponder very carefully on the situation.” and do what exactly? As I have explained already, it is not at all clear that Lib Dems standing aside would necessarily help the Labour candidate, whoever that person might be. In the last 2 GEs, Lib Dems in Con~Lab marginals generally took votes that would otherwise have gone to the Tories. I see no reason why Batley & Spen would be any different, unless you know differently (if Kim Leadbeater is as popular in the region as you say then she wouldn’t need anyone to stand down for her).

  • Jackie Mabey 27th May '21 - 2:44pm

    I am all behind Sarah Green but I really believe that if we are going to get rid of the Conservatives in the near future the Liberal Democrats should think of joining forces with the Green Party and perhaps even Labour as well.. Good Luck

  • Dear Sarah
    I have emailed most of the candidates for council and government with the same response 0 .my points are about public bodies wasting public funds ie changing Bucks logo,all there transport stationary,notice board’s etc would cost 100of thousands .Sending out letters to every home about COVID late last year when the only person that’s not aware is on another planet .
    Also why does the police need more money when they tell us they are down on numbers (less men less money) also what does a crime commissionaire do,nobody in our are has any idea and why does it cost millions
    The NHS is being robbed of Billions of £s each month as reported on the B B C ,there are many more areas of concern but unlike HS2 the public get nothing for waste and incompetent use of our funds

  • Pauline J Pruce 17th Jun '21 - 2:52pm

    Voted for Sarah Green as dis not want to see Tory candidate win but a little disappointed to learn later that Lib Dem’s want to stay in the EU

  • Bernard Gibbins 18th Jun '21 - 10:33am

    @Alex Macfie 16th May ’21 – 3:51pm
    You said: “Talk of pacts between Labour and Lib Dems is really rather pointless because it isn’t going to happen, and it wouldn’t benefit the Lib Dems.”

    Hmmm, what about things that would benefit the country and it’s people? 🙂

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