Zac’s 23k majority looks strong
One of the most predicted by-elections of this parliament, at Zac Goldsmith’s Richmond Park, looks set to come about if the government, as expected very shortly, announces that it is going ahead with the expansion at Heathrow.
Zac, of course, was the Tory candidate in May’s London Mayoral election and would likely have resigned his seat then if he’d beaten Sadiq Khan. That wasn’t to be but Zac’s long-standing threat to resign if LHR3 goes ahead remains. He reiterated it again over the weekend and there can be little doubt about his intentions.
Such has been the high possibility of a by-election there that the Lib Dems already have a candidate in place and much groundwork has been done for a campaign. Other parties the same.
What we don’t know is whether Zac himself would fight the seat as an independent. He’s said to be hugely popular locally and saw a huge increase in his vote at GE2015. His majority was 38.9% which looks impregnable.
Large parts of his seat used to be in Lib Dem hands and the party has a strong organisation. So we could have a three way fight with Zac facing the reinvigorated Lib Dems and an official Conservative candidate. This could be very hard to call.
I’d think that the official Tory would be third.