Richmond Park by-election defeat sends message from London to the UK
The Liberal Democrats’ byelection triumph is a local reassertion of the capital’s social values in all their difference from much of the rest of Britain
A bizarre suburban byelection has been rescued from meaninglessness by 20,510 Richmond Park electors who have put Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney into the House of Commons and given erstwhile Tory pin-up boy Zac Goldsmith an almighty boot in the Brexits. The billionaire’s son who was once the environmentalist facelift of David Cameron’s rebranded Conservatives and who began the year with hopes of becoming London mayor will end it twitted, tarnished and politically unemployed.
Everything about the contest was unreal. Goldsmith resigned as the affluent, Thames-side seat’s Conservative MP in protest at the Conservative government’s decision to expand capacity at Heathrow airport despite regretting having promised to do so when initially winning the seat in 2010. The party he has formally left in order to see that pledge through indulged him in his act of reluctant principle by not standing a pro-expansion candidate against him.
Source: Guardian Transport