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The Liberal Democrats could be about to pull off a ‘historic’ by-election upset in a traditional Tory seat, according to party leader Sir Ed Davey.
Lib Dem canvassing shows the race for Chesham & Amersham is ‘neck and neck’, said Sir Ed during his 15th campaign visit to the constituency.
But the Conservatives, who are defending a 16,223 majority, played down the Lib Dem claims.
Voters go to the polls Thursday following the death in April of long-serving Tory MP Dame Cheryl Gillan.
The Buckinghamshire constituency has returned a Conservative MP since the seat was created in 1974. The Liberal Democrats came second in the 2019 General Election.
"I accept that if the Liberal Democrats were to win here, it would be an amazing story. It would be one of the most historic by-election victories ever. But because we’ve been campaigning here - I’ve talked to hundreds of people - there is this sense that we might well do it. It is really too close to call," said Sir Ed Davey MP, Liberal Democrats leader.
"I’m fighting this seat as if it’s the most marginal in the land, so I’m just focussed on swimming as fast and as far in my own lane as I can, taking absolutely nothing for granted," said Conservative candidate Peter Fleet.
Chesham & Amersham is on the route of HS2. The controversial £106bn rail line has angered some voters. Dame Cheryl was a vocal opponent.
Green Party candidate Carolyne Culver called on voters to use the by-election as referendum on HS2. Labour candidate Natasa Pantelic said constituents could rely on her to represent their interests with HS2 bosses.
The full list of candidates, in alphabetical order is:
Carolyne Culver - Green Party
Brendan Donnelly - Rejoin EU
Peter Fleet - Conservative
Sarah Green - Liberal Democrats
Carla Gregory - Breakthrough Party
Adrian Oliver - Freedom Alliance
Natasa Pantelic - Labour Party
Alex Wilson - Reform UK