Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Amanda Milling said voters’ concerns were “loud and clear” after the Lib Dem won the Chesham and Amersham by-election.
The Conservative government has been sent a “warning shot” by voters over planning reforms for England and the HS2 rail link, the co-chairman of the party Amanda Milling has said.
The byelection saw a historic 25% swing to Liberal Democrats, enabling their newest MP Sarah Green to overturn a 16,000-majority in a constituency that had been Conservative since it was created in 1974, the Guardian reported.
Sarah Green won with 8,028 more votes than the Conservatives, with the Green Party in third place. Labour had the worst by-election result in the party’s history, with 622 votes, the BBC reported.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, as quoted by BBC, Amanda Milling said voters’ concerns were “loud and clear” after the Lib Dems won the Chesham and Amersham by-election. She said the Conservatives would look at how they could regain their trust.
Milling says: “I am in no doubt that Thursday’s result is a warning shot and we are listening. And as co-chairman, I will ensure that we learn the lessons from this campaign.”
According to BBC report, local opposition to the HS2 high-speed rail line being built through the constituency and the government’s proposed changed to the planning system, which could see more homes being built in rural areas, were major factors in the poll.
Downing Street came under renewed pressure to ditch Johnson’s controversial planning reforms, which many blamed for the humiliating loss of the Buckinghamshire seat.
In her article, Milling says: “Over the coming weeks and months, we will take stock of what happened in Chesham and Amersham and look at how we can regain the trust of voters there.”
Addressing concerns the government’s focus on the so-called former red wall seats in the Midlands and North of England has left people in traditional “blue wall” Tory areas feeling left behind, Milling says the prime minister’s levelling up agenda “was a promise to people – North, South, East and West – to help them take the opportunities that our country and government can provide”, BBC reported.
Many Conservative MPs remain opposed to the plans and are using the by-election defeat to argue for a rethink before the government publishes draft legislation.
Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the result for his party as “disappointing”.
Appearing alongside Green at a victory rally in the Buckinghamshire constituency, Sir Ed Davey quoted as saying by BBC: “This is a great result, a huge swing to us. There are many Conservatives across the country who are now worried.
“People have been talking about a red wall, well after Chesham and Amersham and Sarah Green’s victory they’ll be talking about a blue wall, and how the Lib Dems are the main threat to the Conservatives.
“People here felt ignored and taken for granted, and we listened. Sarah Green is going to take these concerns to Parliament and hold this appalling Tory government to account,” he was quoted as saying.
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