Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Green who won the by-election by over 8,000 votes
The Liberal Democrats secured a historic by-election win in Chesham and Amersham this morning, overturning a majority of more than 16,000 to snatch the previously safe Tory seat.
Liberal Democrat Sarah Green won with a majority of 8,028 over Conservative David Fleet, gaining 21,517 votes – nearly 57% of the total – to his 13,489, 35.5%, on a turnout of just over 52%.
Green candidate Carolyne Culver got 1,480 votes, with Labour’s Natasa Pantelic receiving just 622.
Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said taking the Buckinghamshire seat showed ‘the Tory blue wall is beginning to crumble’.
‘This is a huge victory for the Liberal Democrats,’ he said. ‘The people of Chesham and Amersham have sent a shockwave through British politics.
‘We were told it was impossible for any party to beat the Tories here in Buckinghamshire.
‘We were told this seat was too safe and the Tories too strong. This Liberal Democrat win has proved them utterly wrong.
‘Across the south, the Tory Blue Wall is beginning to crumble. Here and in great swathes of the country, only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Conservatives and breach their Blue Wall.
Sarah Green, centre, making her victory speech in which she said: ‘This Conservative Party has taken people across our country for granted for far too long’
Counting underway in Chesham leisure centre earlier today
‘Sarah Green will be a great local champion for the people of Chesham and Amersham, and the Liberal Democrats will be a strong voice for everyone who feels let down and taken for granted by this dreadful Tory Government.
‘This amazing win will strengthen our fight to safeguard our precious natural environment and build a fairer, greener, more caring country.’
Looking down: Losing Tory Peter Fleet
A Tory source told the Press Association: ‘By-elections are always difficult for the governing party, particularly 11 years into government, but there is no getting away from the fact this is a very disappointing result.
‘The work of regaining the support of the people of Chesham and Amersham starts now.’
It is the first time the seat, which was formed in 1974, has ever been lost by the Conservatives. Dame Cheryl Gillan held a 16,000 majority from the 2019 General Election when she died in April.
The Tory Party co-chairman Amanda Milling tweeted: ‘For decades Cheryl stood proud for the people of Chesham and Amersham.
‘I’m deeply disappointed @pdfleet can’t carry on that legacy The people of C&A have spoken.
‘Work starts now to show how it’s @Conservatives that can deliver on the people’s priorities and regain their support.’
FULL CHESHAM AND AMERSHAM BY-ELECTION RESULTS
Sarah Green (LD) 21,517 (56.69% share)
David Fleet (C) 13,489 (35.54%)
Carolyne Culver (Green) 1,480 (3.90%)
Natasa Pantelic (Lab) 622 (1.64%)
Alex Wilson (Reform) 414 (1.09%)
Carla Gregory (Breakthrough) 197 (0.52%)
Adrian Oliver (FA) 134 (0.35%)
Brendan Donnelly (Rejoin) 101 (0.27%)
Lib Dem majority 8,028
Turnout 37,954 (52.11%)
In her acceptance speech, the new MP Ms Green said: ‘Tonight the voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakable.
‘Together we have said “Enough is enough, we will be heard and this Government will listen”.
‘This campaign has shown that no matter where you live, or how supposedly safe a constituency may appear to be, if you want a Liberal Democrat member of Parliament, you can have a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament.
‘If you wish to reject Conservative mismanagement and vote for a voice that will represent you and stand up for your rights then it is the Liberal Democrats who will continue to fight your corner.’
She added: ‘This Conservative Party has taken people across our country for granted for far too long.
‘We will continue the work of holding this Government to account for letting Covid rip through the care homes.
‘We will speak up for the three million people excluded from financial support throughout the pandemic and we will challenge Boris Johnson to be far more ambitious in tackling climate change, supporting our frontline workers and backing our small businesses.’
Defeated Tory candidate Peter Fleet said: ‘Clearly this was a very disappointing result, not the result that I was expecting nor my team.’
He added: ‘It’s an absolutely extraordinary result which must take into account the fact that the Liberal Democrat party didn’t just throw the kitchen sink at this constituency, I think it was the microwave, the table, the oven, the dishwasher, the dog, the cat and anything else that was lying around as well.
‘And we should consider that when we reflect upon the extraordinary nature of the result.
‘It’s clear that that on this occasion the constituents here in Chesham and Amersham have chosen a different candidate to represent them, to serve as their Member of Parliament.
‘I look forward to how we can start to rebuild that trust and understanding amongst all those people in Chesham and Amersham and as far as the Conservative Party is concerned that work actually starts in the morning.’
And Orkney and Shetland Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael tweeted: ‘A fantastic result tonight for our new MP @SarahGreenLD – a testament to her dedication and that of the many @LibDems volunteers and staff who met Chesham and Amersham voters and gave them a voice after they felt left behind by Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. This is huge.’
Chesham and Amersham, named after the market towns in the constituency, had had just two MPs in its history, Sir Ian Gilmour until 1992, and former Welsh secretary Dame Cheryl Gillan until her death in April.
Source: Daily Mail UK