Lib Dems celebrate anti-Brexit ‘shockwave’ in Richmond
Watch: Sarah Olney said her by-election win sent out a clear message.
The Liberal Democrats have celebrated their shock victory in the Richmond Park by-election as a vote for an “open, tolerant and united” Britain.
The party caused a major upset by overturning ex-Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith’s 23,015 majority.
Lib Dem candidate Sarah Olney polled 20,510 votes, while Goldsmith – who stood as an independent – only picked up 18,638 votes.
The remaining six candidates, including Labour's Christian Wolmar, all lost their £500 deposits as they did not receive a big enough share of the vote. The Conservative Party, Ukip and Green Party did not field candidates.
Following the victory, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron claimed: "The message is clear: The Liberal Democrats are back and we are carrying the torch for all of those who want a real opposition to this Conservative Brexit Government.
"We are the only party fighting to keep Britain open, tolerant and united, and the only party that has said, loudly and proudly, that we want Britain to remain a member of the Single Market and that we want the people to be given the final say over the Brexit deal. That message has been resoundingly backed by the people of Richmond Park."
As the new Lib Dem MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, Olney will be the party's only female MP - joining eight male colleagues.
She said the by-election result was a rejection of the "politics of anger and division".
She added: "The people of Richmond Park and North Kingston have sent a shockwave through this Conservative Brexit government, and our message is clear - we do not want a hard Brexit.
"We do not want to be pulled out of the single market, and we will not let intolerance, division and fear win."
Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images