Yesterday I did my best to explain why it was likely that Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat candidate, would win the Richmond Park by-election. In brief, I pointed out that Mr Goldsmith’s chosen single issue for the campaign (whether there should be a third runway at Heathrow) was an obvious non-starter, because all the other candidates were just as opposed to it as he was. That left only one other issue, which was whether the result of the EU referendum should be honoured. Mr Goldsmith said it should be. Ms Olney said it should not be. In that referendum the people of Richmond voted by 70% to 30% to remain in the EU. In those circumstances, had Ms Olney not won the by-election the result would have been extraordinary. She did win, though she didn’t manage the previous 70%. Indeed, she didn’t even get to 50%.
I went on to predict that a Liberal Democrat victory in the by-election would lead to hilarious screeching by the leaders of that party to the effect that Richmond’s continued support for our membership of the EU proved that all the rest of the British people had now changed their minds about Brexit. I was right.
Someone called Farron, apparently the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has joined with Ms Olney in declaring that Richmond has spoken for the rest of the country and conclusively established that we are all now remainers.
I never cease to be amazed at how politicians (of all parties) assume we are all bone stupid. Does this Farron man really think we all woke up this morning to the news of Ms Olney’s success and said to ourselves “goodness me, if Richmond is still in favour of our membership of the EU I suppose I must be as well”?
Still, I am told that the BBC is going along with Mr Farron’s strange theory, so I suppose it must be right.