There was a 21.7% swing towards the Lib Dems in the by-election called after Goldsmith stood down to protest against his Party's Heathrow expansion. Goldsmith was the first sitting MP to step down and lose in a by-election since 1986.
Sarah's defeat of Goldsmith in a historic Richmond Park by-election was credited to an anti-Brexit wave in Richmond – where the vote was 70% for Remain.
Speaking at the count following her victory, newly elected MP Sarah Olney said:
"Well today we have said no. We will defend the Britain we love. We will stand up for the open, tolerant, united Britain that we believe in. 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."
Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said the party’s first by-election gain since 2006 was a sign of their recovery. The race had been close but betting markets were predicting a 76% chance of a Goldsmith victory, Sarah only became the favourite after polling closed.
Sarah follows Jenny Tonge (1997-2005) and Susan Kramer (2005-2010) as a Lib Dem Member of Parliament for Richmond Park & North Kingston, seen here with Baroness Kramer just before the Richmond Green rally.
Neighbouring Conservative Kingston MP James Berry congratulated Sara but worried it would give the green light for Heathrow expansion. As new to the Kingston seat, perhaps does not realise that the LibDems have fought against Heathrow expansion for more than 40 years. As opposed to his Party with Cameron's “no ifs, no buts” promise to oppose a new runway at Heathrow introduced days before the 2005 general election. Heathrow's "green light" was give by the Conservative Party in government and caused precipitated Goldsmith's resignation.
MP for Twickenham, Dr Tania Mathias, also welcomed Sarah on being elected to serve Richmond & North Kingston residents and looks forward to working together with her on many SW London matters.