Voters in London take to polls for 'Brexit by-election'

Liberal Democrat challenger Sarah Olney, whose party wants a second referendum on Brexit, is hoping the result will shock Downing Street, as the government forges on towards the EU exit door.

Voters in London take to polls for 'Brexit by-election'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Residents of the posh London suburb of Richmond took to the polls on Thursday in a local by-election that has turned into a mini-referendum on Brexit in a pro-EU heartland.

Olney is running against Zac Goldsmith, who held the seat for Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party but quit in protest after the government backed expanding the nearby Heathrow Airport.

He is now standing as an independent candidate.

"While some people feel very strongly about Heathrow expansion, lots more people feel much more strongly about Brexit," Olney said during the campaign.

"That's really alarmed and upset people and they want to use this opportunity to send a message."

In the June referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union, 52 percent nationwide voted to leave.

But in the well-heeled borough of Richmond in southwest London, 69 percent voted to remain in the bloc.

Its 82-percent turnout, one of the highest in the UK, showed it was an issue locals felt passionate about.

The centrist and unambiguously pro-EU Lib Dems, reduced to a rump in the 2015 general election, are eyeing a comeback by filling the void for disgruntled 'Remain' voters.

afp

 

Last Mod: 01 Aralık 2016, 13:49
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