Tag Archives: zac goldsmith

Richmond Park by-election: Liberal Democrats have very big smiles

“The mood music,” says the BBC’s Chris Mason, “is that the Liberal Democrats are running Zac Goldsmith very close.” He says that the Liberal Democrats have the biggest smiles.

The Guardian live blog has some piles of votes looking very close. They report that Labour and Betfair are saying we have won. Mind you, Labour are not always the best judges of such things, though, so that comes with a big health warning. We had to convince them that they had won in Glenrothes in 2008. Our box counts had the result within half a percentage point. They thought the SNP had won when it was clear to us that they hadn’t.

Let’s put some context into this.

Last year, we were absolutely stuffed in that seat, not to put too fine a point on it. We had an excellent candidate in Robin Meltzer, but this was on of the seats where the Conservatives’ scare tactics about Ed Miliband and the SNP took hold. Our support bombed from 42% to 19.3%, while Zac took 58.2%. The Labour vote unsqueezed itself. Their 12.3% was their best result since 1997.

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++Lib Dems select Sarah Olney to be our candidate at the Richmond Park by-election

Sarah Olney has been selected to contest the Richmond Park and North Kingston December 1st by-election for the Liberal Democrats.

An opinion poll has shown it is a two-horse race between local woman Sarah and Zac Goldsmith, the out-going Conservative Brexit MP whose resignation triggered the by-election. Sarah, an accountant and married mother of two, was selected at a meeting of the local party in Richmond today.

Sarah Olney said:

This by-election is a chance for people to have their say on Brexit, the NHS and Heathrow. Only a vote for the Liberal Democrats will make a stand against Heathrow and Brexit, not to mention the scandalous underfunding of the NHS.

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Tim Farron reacts to UKIP’s endorsement of Zac Goldsmith

Following UKIP’s endorsement of Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election, Tim Farron commented:

Zac Goldsmith claimed Brexit has nothing to do with this by-election. The very public endorsement he has picked up from the party of Nigel Farage nails that lie.

Zac Goldsmith was already the Conservative Party candidate. Now he is also the UKIP candidate. His campaign is the Nigel and Zac show.

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Reasons to doubt Zac Goldsmith will be re-elected

So we have the first by-election test in London for the Prime Minister who wants a country that works for everyone. How does Zac Goldsmith stack up against this mantra (even if not the official Tory candidate)?

Firstly he voted to cut disability benefits by £30 a week, resulting in him being dumped by a local disabled charity.

Secondly he has never railed against the lack of affordable housing in his own area as Richmond Council allows more and more luxury flats to be built in a form of Bosnian style ethic cleansing as his friend Boris described the London housing crisis. He also supported the sale of precious social housing stock.

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In the mayoral election, why did Zac Goldsmith get such a low vote in his own backyard?

Zac Goldsmith’s bid to become London mayor was memorably described as a “dog whistle campaign in a city with no dogs.” And few places in the capital demonstrate that better than Richmond Park itself.

As the local MP you would have thought his personal vote would make it a walkover. First preference mayoral votes, a good indicator of popularity, in Richmond Park shows that Boris Johnson won his second term in 2012 by a greater share in all but one of the constituency’s eleven wards compared to Zac in 2016.

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++BREAKING NEWS : Zac Goldsmith has resigned as MP for Richmond Park

The Conservative MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith has, as expected, resigned his seat. You can view his speech in Parliament earlier today here.

More information on the by-election will appear here as we get it.

Update: Zac Goldsmith will stand as an Independent and the local Conservative party will not put up a candidate.

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++ BREAKING NEWS: Heathrow decision


As expected, the Government has favoured the expansion of Heathrow, over its rival Gatwick.

The Transport Minister will make an announcement at about 12.30pm today, but the BBC reports that the decision was approved by a Cabinet Committee earlier this morning.

The political interest in this will be to see how many Conservatives speak out against the decision.  Ministers will be allowed to state their opposition to the plans, but have to get permission from the Prime Minister first – these will include Justine Greening and Boris Johnson.

Down in Richmond all eyes are on Zac Goldsmith, the Tory MP for Richmond Park. He has said on a number of occasions that he will resign as an MP if Heathrow gets the go-ahead. He reiterated his promise again last week, and wrote:

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