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Pro-Europe Sarah Olney MP won 20,510 votes giving the Liberal Democrats a majority of 1,872 over the former conservative-turned-independent candidate Zac Goldsmith, whose billionaire father founded a short-lived Euro-sceptic party in the UK. The result is widely seen as a signal to the UK’s Conservative government as a desire to fight the hard Brexit that Prime Minister Theresa May is fighting for.
Speaking after her victory, Ms. Olney, who joined the LibDems less than 18 months ago said most voters had "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".
Speaking after the result was declared, LibDem leader, Tim Farron MP, said: "In British politics you've got an extreme UKIP-style Tory government now, an ineffective and extreme Labour party and now, thank goodness, there is a moderate, progressive alternative that is pro-internationalism, pro-strong market economics, pro-public services, pro-health service and wants to form an alternative to the Tories that people can believe in."
Commenting on the fantastic result for the LibDems, LI Vice-President Robert Woodthorpe Browne MBE (LIBG - LI full member) said: “Sarah's victory over intolerance is the one bright spot in an awful 2016”, referring latterly to the result of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.