The Liberal Democrats’ victory in Chesham and Amersham is undoubtedly a famous partial election victory, seemingly out of nowhere, with repercussions that will ricochet for a long time.
This is their best by-election result for almost 30 years. But what is its significance?
Conventional wisdom is still wrong
It’s a bad day for group thinking – MPs of all stripes, pundits and the media. The result is all the more painful for the Tories because they did not see it coming.
Even this week, Conservative MPs thought they would win again by a slim, probably four-digit majority.
The Lib Dems were also not confident: I spoke to high profile figures earlier in the week who were divided over whether they would achieve the desired result.
It was also widely missed by the media and pundits, with one prominent journalist saying he would eat his hat if the Tories lost. Jim Pickard, chief political correspondent for the Financial Times, has since tweeted a video of himself doing just that.
In recent years, Labor has been routed in Scotland and the Tories have won in the Tees Valley, including Sedgefield, the former constituency of Tony Blair.
Sinn Fein could win the most seats in Northern Ireland if there is an early election in Stormont. Despite all the headlines that followed the May local election predicting another decade of Conservative hegemony, today’s message is that you cannot take the British electorate for granted.
The Lib Dems are not dead
Former Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson quit a party on life support after the December 2019 general election, although she entered the contest believing she could become prime minister.
Now his successor, Ed Davey, is celebrating a 25-point swing from Tories to Liberal Democrats, their third-best byelection result and the kind of …
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This notice was published: 2021-06-18 11:23:00