I’m quite curious to see the results of today’s by-election in Richmond.
Tory MP Zac Goldsmith resigned to protest Heathrow’s third runway and ran as an independent. The Tories decided, very unusually, to not to field a candidate. Because Zac is not really independent and is in fact a Tory. They even campaigned for him.
Ukip also decided not to field a candidate because the Tories might as well be Ukip at this point.
The Greens decided to rally behind the Lib Dem candidate.
Labour, despite having absolutely no chance, did run a candidate and will split the anti-Tory vote slightly as a result, lending credence to the hypothesis that Jeremy Corbyn is also a Tory.
Richmond as a whole is a ‘remain’ area and Zac is a prominent leaver.
Given these very unusual set of circumstances, a surprise Lib Dem win is very much within the realms of possibility. Counting in their favour are brexit and Zac’s disastrous Mayoral campaign.
It’s funny politics across the board here, with the exception of the Lib Dems and Labour. I do think that the Tory, Ukip and Green policy of tactical abstinence is unacceptable for national parties (if the voting system is broken – and it is! – they should be fixing it), but I also think that given the circumstances as they were, Labour should have followed their leads.