The Conservatives have suffered a surprise by-election defeat as the Liberal Democrats secured a historic win in Chesham and Amersham.
Lib Dem Sarah Green is the UK’s newest MP after winning the seat, which has been a Conservative stronghold since its creation in 1974.
The contest was triggered by the death of former cabinet minister Dame Cheryl Gillan, who took the seat in the 2019 general election with a 16,233 majority, around 55% of the vote. The stunning result saw Ms Green defeat Conservative candidate Peter Fleet by a majority of 8,028.
In her acceptance speech, Ms Green said:
“I am humbled by the faith you have placed in me. The voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakable. Together we have said enough is enough, we will be heard. 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.”
Peter Fleet acknowledged the need to rebuild “trust and understanding” with voters and also suggested the Tories had been out-campaigned by the Lib Dems. He said:
“Clearly this was a very disappointing result, not the result that I was expecting nor my team. 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… it was the microwave, the table, the oven, the dishwasher, the dog, the cat – and anything else that was lying around as well.