In a historic win, the Liberal Democrats have decisively won the Chesham and Amersham by-election, with voters making Sarah Green the country’s newest MP.
Ms Green overturned a 16,000-majority to win the seat, which had been been a Conservative stronghold since its creation in 1974, gaining 8,028 more votes than the Tory candidate.
The victory marks an erosion of what the Liberal Democrats are calling the “Blue Wall” – affluent constituencies in the south that have traditionally been Conservative safe seats, but could be at risk in light of the party’s political realignment.
A clash over Brexit, as well as more localised issues – notably the HS2 railway line and Conservative planning reforms – were central to swinging the vote in the leafy Buckinghamshire constituency and handing a stunning victory to the party.
But who is Sarah Green, the UK’s newest MP?
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Liberal Democrat, a marketing executive who founded her own training company in 2014, backed the movement to remain in the EU and was involved as an organiser in the campaign.
Ms Green has been a member of the party for 16 years, joining the Liberal Democrats due to their opposition to the Iraq war.
The MP has run for the party twice before, though this is her first win. She was selected as the Lib Dem candidate for the Ynys Môn constituency in Wales during the 2005 general election, before being chosen as the party’s candidate for Arfon at the 2010 general election. She finished fifth and fourth, respectively.
Ms Green opposes the construction of the HS2 line that is planned to pass through Chesham and Amersham, and is against the government’s planning reforms which she claims would lead to “more unwanted destruction to our countryside”.
Her campaign also prioritised supporting the recovery of small- and medium-sized businesses, conserving green spaces and ensuring support for local public services.
In her acceptance speech, Ms Green said: “Tonight the voice of Chesham and Amersham is unmistakable. Together we have said: ‘Enough is enough, we will be heard, and this government will listen.’
“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.”
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