Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Saturday, December 03, 2016

More on parties in the UK

The Liberal Democrats' candidate won big in a London by-election. Does it portend greater successes in the future?

Election in London, Seen as Gauge of ‘Brexit’ Zeal, Jolts British Government
An election just contested here was supposed to be a referendum on the expansion of Heathrow Airport, and only of local interest. But it turned into something far more profound: a referendum on the referendum for Britain to quit the European Union, and its results sent tremors through the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May and made the Labour Party look irrelevant.

Sarah Olney
The race for a seat in Parliament was won on Thursday by the candidate of the diminished Liberal Democratic Party, which is calling for another referendum on the terms of Britain’s departure from Europe… Sarah Olney, defeated Zac Goldsmith, who had held the seat representing the London borough of Richmond for the Conservatives since 2010.

It was not just that Ms. Olney won, but how. She defeated Mr. Goldsmith by about 2,000 votes out of 41,367 votes cast, after Mr. Goldsmith had a 23,000-vote margin in the previous election.

The Labour candidate drew so few votes, around 1,500, that the party was forced to forfeit a deposit of 500 pounds…

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