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#ZacGoldsmith: Today’s by-election is crucial

Zac Goldsmith MP

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Dear Resident,

Today’s by-election matters hugely.
It is happening simply because I kept my word to you and resigned after the Government U-turned on Heathrow expansion.
It is our chance to tell the Government we will not accept their decision, and to send back to Parliament the person most likely to stop it. There is a reason why the anti-Heathrow campaign groups are backing my campaign despite having been assiduously apolitical for years. There’s a reason why the Heathrow villagers have been knocking on doors for me this week. And there is a reason why Heathrow have identified me as their main barrier. They all know I am the best bet we have for stopping a project that will impact our community enormously. And for Kingston residents, this is a bigger issue than most. An expanded Heathrow means at least two new flight paths right over your homes.
If I lose in this election, Heathrow will win.
Other parties have tried to make this by-election about other issues
I know that the Lib Dems have thrown their entire national party into persuading you that this is an EU referendum re-run. But that makes no sense. Nick Clegg himself has admitted Brexit must happen, and a 9th Lib Dem MP can’t change that. There is an issue about the kind of Brexit we want, and despite the nonsense propaganda you have received from LibDems in recent weeks, my record shows I have been a thoughtful and moderating influence throughout – as leading Remain campaigner Dr Tania Mathias MP explained (LINK).
This by-election is about who will champion our community 

Your choice today will determine who represents our community for the next three or four years. You know that if you back me, you can count on me to fight for you, and to keep my word. That is not common in politics, and it is absolutely not something you can say about my Lib Dem opponent, who has fundamentally altered her positions on key issues in the course of this election, and who has no record or experience of standing up for our community.
You know that if I am returned, I will continue to stand up for our community, I will continue to be Parliament’s pre-eminent champion for the environment, and I will continue to hold Government to account where I believe they are making mistakes.
You returned me in 2015 with the biggest increase majority of any other MP in the country, on the back of my strong record of working for you and delivering for you. If you still believe I have been an effective and good MP, I urge you to give me your vote on Thursday.
The Lib Dems may be exaggerating when they predict a win, but this election will certainly be extremely close.
Best wishes and thank you,

Zac Goldsmith

PS – if you have not already seen it, I hope you enjoy this short film about the by-election. LINK

Zac Goldsmith was the MP for Richmond Park and was a London Mayoral candidate in the 2016 election. He is currently standing as an independent in the Richmond Park by-election.

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#RichmondPark

Lib Dems pull off shock victory in Richmond Park by-election as Zac is thrown out

James Giles

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A ‘shockwave to Downing Street’ has, last night, been pulled off by the Liberal Democrats, with Sarah Olney defeating Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election.

Lib Dem challenger Ms Olney overturned Mr Goldsmith’s 23,015 majority to win by 1,872 votes. The result saw Ms Olney poll 20,510 votes to Mr Goldsmith’s 18,638, on a turnout of 41,367, or 53.6 per cent. The 21.74 per cent swing to the Lib Dems from Mr Goldsmith topped the 19.3 per cent swing the Lib Dems achieved from the Tories in the Witney by-election.

A Green Party spokesperson said: “The Green Party’s decision to stand down and the huge drop in the Labour Party vote show that people will vote tactically. It proves that there is a huge appetite and a need for proportional representation so that people can express a real preference at elections. In Sarah Olney, we now have an MP who will push for the electoral reform that we so urgently need. We look forward to working with the Liberal Democrats, Women’s Equality Party and the Labour Party in a Progressive Alliance for the 2018 local elections and the next General Election.”

 

Ms Olney said the shock victory was a rejection of the “Ukip vision” of Britain, and the politics of “anger and division”.

In her victory speech, she said: “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.”

In a brief acknowledgement of the result, a clearly downcast Mr Goldsmith said: “This by-election that we have just had was not a political calculation, it was a promise that I made and it was a promise that I kept.”

Labour’s Christian Wolmar lost his deposit as he trailed a distant third with 1,515 votes, losing 8% of the Labour vote compared to 2015.

A Conservative Party spokesman said the result would make no difference to Brexit plans, stating: “This result doesn’t change anything. The Government remains committed to leaving the European Union and triggering Article 50 by the end of March next year. Commiserations to Zac Goldsmith on his defeat. We are sorry that he is no longer in the House of Commons.”

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: “The message is clear: The Liberal Democrats are back and we are carrying the torch for all of those who want a real opposition to this Conservative Brexit government.

“This was a remarkable, come-from-nowhere upset that will terrify the Conservatives. A year and a half ago, their man won by nearly 40% and had a majority of more than 20,000. In one fell swoop we have wiped that out completely.

“If this was a general election, this swing would mean the Conservatives would lose dozens of seats to the Liberal Democrats – and their majority with it.

Mr Wolmar said voters had disliked Mr Goldsmith’s “ghastly, disgusting” bid to be London Mayor in which Labour accused him of running a racist campaign against Sadiq Khan.

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