In what will be rightly reported as a massive rejection of Brexit by the voters, we predict that Liberal Democrat Sarah Olney will deliver the Lib Dems’ first by-election win in 10 years, beating a famously anti-European candidate, and not in recount territory either.
This will quite rightly be seen as the latest green shoots in a Lib Dem revival, a disastrous result for Labour (who should never have run a candidate here but did so out of sheer mulish stubbornness), a disastrous result for UKIP who very volubly backed the dilletante right winger Zac Goldsmith, and will support many Parliamentarians’ calls for a second referendum to be held on the terms of any “Brexit” before it is approved.
We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the pound firm overnight. And we look forward breathlessly to all the excuses from Farage, Johnson, May, Rees-Mogg and the rest of the Brexit rabble, who, of course, will blithly deny it has anything to do with Brexit at all.
We estimate a Lib Dem majority of between two and four thousand, a massive swing in itself.
If Brexit never happens, its demise will be tracked back to this day.
Sarah Olney (LD) 20,510 (49.68%, +30.41%)
Zac Goldsmith (Independent former Tory) 18,638 (45.15%)
Christian Wolmar (Lab) 1,515 (3.67%, -8.68%)
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 184 (0.45%)
Fiona Syms (Ind) 173 (0.42%)
Dominic Stockford (CPA) 164 (0.40%)
Maharaja Jammu and Kashmir (Love) 67 (0.16%)
David Powell (ND) 32 (0.08%)
LD maj 1,872 (4.53%)
Electorate 77,243; Turnout 41,283 (53.45%, -23.01%)
Well we got one right, fractionally under-estimating the Lib Dem majority with overturned a previous Conservative Party 20,000 majority for Goldsmith, breaking our string of ducks recently.
Sarah Olney’s victory speech was gracious and historic. After the shock Conservative victory in 2015 and collapse of the Lib Dems, the lie-riddled farce of the Brexit advisory referendum, the weak-kneed response by the Conservative Party, and the ludicrous election of Donald Trump, it makes cheering reading. And as for all those who have gleefully predicted the demise of the “liberal elite”, this is what a fightback looks like … We know you’ll just rush to your keyboards to agree.
Here is an extract.
A year and a half ago I was not involved in politics, I was not a member of a political party, I had never been involved in a political campaign, I had never thought about being a politician. But I knew I was a liberal. I believed in openness, tolerance, compassion, working with our neigbours around the world.
When I saw what happened at the general election last year I felt I had ot get involved.
I think a lot of people in this community had the same feeling after the referendum. Richmond Park is full of people like me who felt something was going wrong, that the politics of anger and division were on the rise, that the liberal tolerant values we took for granted were under threat. We perceived the Ukip vision of Britain in the ascendancy, intolerant, backward-looking, divisive, just as we see it in America and across Europe.
Well, today we have said no. We will defend the Britain we love. We will stand up for the open, tolerant, united Britain we believe in. The people of Richmond Park and North Kingston have sent a shockwave through this Conservative Brexit government and our message is clear: we do not want a hard Brexit, we do not want to be pulled out of the single market and we will not let intolerance, division and fear win.