Lib Dem leader hails 'best-ever' by-election win

Lib Dem leader hails 'best-ever' by-election win

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered an embarrassing defeat in a election on the outskirts of London on Friday, when his governing Conservative Party lost a previously safe parliamentary seat to the Liberal Democrats.

The leader of the Liberal Democrats has said the party's by-election win in Chesham and Amersham was the best in its history. She added around 30 percentage points to the party's result from the 2019 general election.

In an address to supporters, Fleet admitted that he faced "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".

Since its creation in 1974, the Conservatives had comfortably held the leafy, affluent Chesham and Amersham constituency, capturing more than 50 per cent of the vote on every occasion. Support for the Conservatives grew significantly in northern England.

He said: "I think this will send a shockwave through British politics".

"Across the south, the Tory Blue Wall is beginning to crumble", he said in a statement.

The Conservatives have made big inroads into Labour's "Red Wall" in recent years, winning a swathe of seats on a combination of factors, notably Johnson´s insistence that he would ensure that Britain leaves the European Union after years of parliamentary haggling. In the 2016 Brexit referendum, 55% of voters in Chesham and Amersham voted to remain in the EU.

Asked about the huge swing, junior interior minister Kit Malthouse said: "It's tough and disappointing".

The reasons for the Conservatives' defeat are unclear although local issues featured heavily. Voters have repeatedly expressed concerns about a high-speed rail link running through the area and London with major northern England cities such as Birmingham and Manchester as well as Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland You must call. Also the government's proposed planning reforms have sparked fears about more buildings in the countryside.

The result will not dent Johnson's grip on power as his party holds a majority of around 80 seats in the House of Commons.

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