This week in Richmond Park – all to fight for

This was the headline in the print version of the Observer yesterday, although it came out rather differently online.


It states:

The Liberal Democrats are to target pro-EU Labour supporters and “soft Tories” who backed remain, in a final canvassing blitz ahead of Thursday’s Richmond byelection, amid growing confidence in their camp that they are within striking distance of winning the seat.

Party documents obtained by the Observer, laying out their strategy for the final days, suggest undecided Labour voters will be key, and failure to persuade enough of them to vote tactically may prevent the Lib Dems pulling off one of the biggest byelection upsets of recent years.

… The Lib Dems’ own internal polling now puts Goldsmith on 46.7%, the Lib Dems on 43.3% and Labour on 9.5%.

Meanwhile, out on the streets of Richmond and North Kingston  we are …


… canvassing


… delivering


… getting posters up


… and smiling a lot.


Not sure that will be recorded.


Apparently there is a Zac Goldsmith poster in this photo – can you find it?

Here is everything you need to know if you want to help Sarah Olney become our MP for Richmond Park this week.

Thanks to everyone who posted photos to the campaign page which I have unapologetically nicked.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames and is a member of Federal Conference Committee.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Campaign Corner and News.


  • Mick Taylor 28th Nov '16 - 2:30pm

    Greetings from S India. Ruth and I can only cross our fingers and wish you luck. We can’t deliver or phone canvass from here. Go to Richmond for us and wipe that grin off Goldsmith’s face!

  • Richard Underhill 28th Nov '16 - 5:57pm

    The leaflet showing a pair of hands should be shown, other campaigns may copy it.

  • John Peters 28th Nov '16 - 9:56pm

    Labour seem to have a different view of the progressive alliance.

    Christian Wolmar, the rail expert chosen to fight the seat
    for Labour, said backing from Green members in south-west London
    was “recognition” of his record on Heathrow and measures to cut
    road traffic.

    He spoke out after Green activists condemned national
    leader Caroline Lucas for recommending her members vote for
    Sarah Olney, the Lib Dem candidate.

    “We hope that voters in Richmond Park will remember the Lib
    Dems’ regressive role with the Tories in government: putting
    austerity into practice; enacting the bedroom tax; and raising
    university tuition fees after they promised to scrap them”,
    seven Green members, including the Kingston and Surbiton
    candidate in the general election, wrote in a Guardian

    Lucas had backed Olney, even campaigning with her this
    weekend, to the annoyance of many in the area.

  • The Greens stood down, supposedly with a view to avoid splitting the anti-Zac vote. If a few local members think that standing down to support a different person who has no chance of winning is wise, then I seriously doubt their integrity.

    I could understand that local Labour voters might feel they have to vote for their own, but once you’ve decided you aren’t standing, then to treat this as an opportunity to have a go at the people who are your allies, then it shows a gross disregard for the result. These are people just playing at politics, and would happily keep the Tories in power for ever, so long as they get to moan about it. Goldsmith will be sending them thank you letters.

    Thankfully, most people are better than that, and I have to give myself my regular reminder that every party has some idiots as members, and you shouldn’t judge them all by the worst behaviour amongst them.

  • Richard Underhill 28th Nov '16 - 10:49pm

    Tim Farron is on The Agenda on ITV at10.45 pm.

  • Polling accurate to a tenth of a percent. Impressive 🙂

    Those figures should turn into a fairly reasonable majority with a decent bit of momentum in the last few days.

  • Just seen on Facebook Zac Goldsmith saying some greens are supporting him. Has anyone checked the MRLP twitter feed lately 🙂

  • Fiona 28th Nov ’16 – 10:20pm………….The Greens stood down, supposedly with a view to avoid splitting the anti-Zac vote. If a few local members think that standing down to support a different person who has no chance of winning is wise, then I seriously doubt their integrity….

    Who are YOU to doubt their integrity? It’s called ‘Democracy’; people vote for who THEY choose. If they wish to vote for Goldsmith or Wolmar that is their right…..
    You, or I, might not agree with that choice but to call them ‘idiots’ and guilty of ‘worst behavior’ is completely uncalled for..

  • Jayne Mansfield 29th Nov '16 - 8:10am

    @ Fiona,
    It is not a matter of Labour voters feeling that they have to vote for their own, it is about people having the opportunity to vote for a party that comes closest to representing their values. It is called democracy.

    When has voting against something or someone (even a dog-whistling tory like Zac Goldsmith) been a sign of good political judgement? In my opinion, true progressives vote FOR something, a vision that inspires.

    If your party can’t win in an area which has one of the highest number of graduates in the country and was heavily in favour of remaining in the EU, without the help of other parties, you need to look to your own position as a party.

    Anti-democratic behaviour is not ‘grown up’ behaviour as a poster tried to rebrand it, quite the reverse.

  • Thanks expats. I’m not allowed to respond to a letter they sent to the Guardian, in which they said not to vote LibDem, because we are to blame for the expansion of Heathrow, but I can’t comment on the damage their actions will cause, without you having a go at me. They can mislead in their letter to a national newspaper, which is of course delighting the Tory activists, but I shouldn’t be critical. Excellent logic here.

    I have a great deal of respect for many in the Green party. As the saying goes, some of my best friends are Greens, but I am also hugely aware that some of them would much rather agitate than do anything constructive, and IMO those ones lack credibility. I’m fairly sure that many local Greens will be angry with them too.

    And yes, I do think that people who put agitation ahead of actual progress are the worse elements of every party. I know not to judge everyone from that party by their behaviour, but it’s still my view.

    This by-election is a genuine opportunity to reduce the majority of what I, and apparently The Greens, think is a highly damaging and dangerous government. I get fed up with people who say they are against the Tories, yet would rather punish us than help us to do something about it. These particular members would rather bad mouth their own party leader than get rid of a Tory.

    However, I’m aware that some in the Green Party actually wanted us out of Europe, so that may explain it.

  • The Green vote would be miniscule, so it is not important. Quite an impressive looking leaflet from Goldsmith this week, mind you in style and approach, not colour, it could be a Lib Dem effort.
    Looks like being a dry day on Thursday, we should have a better organisation than Goldsmith in order to maximize the turnout , but i suspect the postals will see him home.

  • Fiona 29th Nov ’16 – 8:13am…….. I get fed up with people who say they are against the Tories, yet would rather punish us than help us to do something about it. These particular members would rather bad mouth their own party leader than get rid of a Tory……
    However, I’m aware that some in the Green Party actually wanted us out of Europe, so that may explain it…..

    Fiona, It is only 18 months ago that we, as party, were working ‘hand in glove’ with these same Tories..Those of us, on LDV, who consistently criticised the leadership for doing just that, came under constant vitriolic attack for doing so…
    As for “some in the Green Party actually wanted us out of Europe”, a cursory glance at LDV posts will show that they are far from alone in that department…

  • David Evershed 29th Nov '16 - 11:48am

    It should be pointed out that Zac Goldsmith is standing in the by-election as an Independent, not as a Conservative.

    There is no Conservative candidate.

  • The slight betting movement continues Lib Dem now 15/8 at Ladbrokes.

  • Jayne Mansfield 29th Nov '16 - 2:38pm

    @ David Evershed,

    Not officially,. However, the tory party have chosen not to put up an opposing candidate and Mr Goldsmith had some tory big guns out on the stump supporting him. On Sunday, he refused to be drawn on whether he would re-join the Conservative party.

    To quote Douglas Adams, ‘ If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family Anatidae on our hands.

    He is not the only Tory who opposed Heathrow expansion. If he failed in his opposition to Heathrow expansion when he was a member of the Conservative party, I can’t imagine him being any more persuasive and successful as an independent?

  • Typical Labour misrepresentation. Who are these unnamed Green activists, and in what medium have they spoken out? Could be a couple of Greenish Labour members or some bloke in a pub. Wolmar should be ashamed.

  • @Simon Banks

    Wouldn’t the Guardian have printed their names when it published their letter?

  • @Simon Banks
    Wolmar was just responding to a letter in the Guardian from local green party activists.
    The Richmond Park byelection and prospects for a progressive alliance

  • Jayne Mansfield 1st Dec '16 - 12:20am

    @ AndrewR,
    Your link had scathing letter from Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics Nick Spencer. I remember Nick as a student in Sheffield. His anger is palpable and rightly so.

    Anyone truly interested in reducing the the effect that unjust and avoidable social inequities and inequality have on child morbidity and mortality should read his books and research findings.

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