British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party suffered a defeat in an election on Friday as the PM’s governing Conservative Party lost a previously safe parliamentary seat to the Liberal Democrats.
Since its creation in 1974, the Conservatives had lead the affluent Chesham and Amersham constituency in southern England conquering more than 50% of votes on every occasion. At the last poll in 2019, late Conservative Cheryl Gillan, won by a majority of 16,223 votes.
Since a divisive referendum in 2016, Brexit has helped reshape Britain’s political landscape, with people switching party loyalties in a way not seen for generations.
Support for the Conservatives has grown in northern England.
On Wednesday, Sarah Green, the candidate for the Liberal Democrats – a centrist, pro-European Union party won a majority of 8,028 votes over the Conservative candidate.
The main opposition Labour Party came fourth, with 1.6% of the vote, its worst showing in decades.
Johnson said it was a “disappointing result”, suggesting there were “particular circumstances” in the area and “it was a bit bizarre” to suggest his party were on the back foot.
“We are a great one-nation party and we will continue with our mission to unite and level up because that is the best way to deliver jobs, prosperity across the whole country,” he said.
However, Lib Dem leader Ed Davey said it was a sign of things to come, with his party ousting the Conservatives from traditional strongholds in England’s affluent south.
The result may cause some nervousness in the Conservative Party, which has targeted traditional Labour-supporting voters in northern England but, according to some of its lawmakers, it has increasingly ignored its strongholds in the south.