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UK

Last night City AM published an internal Liberal Democrat opinion poll showing the party just four points behind the Conservatives in the race in the by-election for the wealthy Home Counties seat of Chesham and Amersham being held tomorrow (17 June).

  • The poll shows the centre-right Conservatives on 45% to the centrist Liberal Democrats' 41%. This compares to the 55.4% of the vote won by then-Conservative MP Dame Cheryl Gillan in the 2019 general election, with the Lib Dems in a distant second place on 26.3%.
  • While a local by-election would not usually garner much attention (and indeed the Chesham and Amersham by-election has gained far less media attention than that in Hartlepool held in May, or the upcoming vote in Batley and Spen in July), the Chesham and Amersham result could cause some concern for PM Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party.
  • While the Conservatives have had success in winning over working class, social conservative, Brexit-supporting former Labour voters in the north of England in the 2019 general election and 2021 local elections, there are concerns among some MPs that this has come at the expense of alienating middle class, socially liberal, Brexit opponents in the south of England (the party's historical heartland).
  • In the council and mayoral elections held in England in May, the Conservatives were widely talked up as the 'winners' in England having taken a large number of seats and councils from the centre-left Labour party.
  • However, in a number of areas of southern England, the Conservatives lost many council seats or even control of councils due to inroads made by the Lib Dems. Should this trend continue, it could lead to the Conservatives being vulnerable in seats they have held for decades in wealthy areas of south-east England, shifting the political base of the party further northwards.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com

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