The Liberal Democrats could be poised to help "change the direction" of the country if they successfully pull off a spectacular by-election victory in Zac Goldsmith's constituency, Tim Farron has said.
Environmentalist Mr Goldsmith announced on Tuesday that he would quit as Tory MP for Richmond Park following the government's decision to nominate Heathrow as its preferred choice for airport expansion.
Speaking to ITV News, the Lib Dem leader said: "Given this is the constituency most hit and worst hit by the extreme version of Brexit Theresa May has chosen to adopt, this is an opportunity for them to send a message to this government that could change this government's direction."
ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship said: "This by-election is in an area where 70 per cent of people voted to remain in the EU. The Lib Dems position themselves as the most pro-EU party, so they are hoping for something good from this."
Tory MPs are taking lumps out of each other on Heathrow, grammar schools and - above all - the true meaning of Brexit.
Environmentalist Goldsmith called the move "catastrophic" - and announced he will now stand as an independent in protest.
The expansion of the London airport will affect the whole of the UK, with more domestic routes, while impacting air fares and house prices.