Richmond Park is having a by-election because Zac Goldsmith promised to resign if his party decided to go ahead with a new runway at Heathrow. Well, with the excuse #BrexitMadeMeDoIt, Theresa May has pushed ahead with a new runway as well as other contentious projects like HS2 and Hinckley Point’s new nuclear plant. So Zac has stuck to his guns and stepped down, forcing a by-election.
Only, he’s standing as an independent that’s got the full support and backing of the Conservative Party and they’re not standing against him. So we’re not really sure what the point is.
All of the main candidates in the election are standing against the new runway so this election has become about something else: Brexit.
Goldsmith is a keen Brexiteer but Richmond voted roughly 70% in favour of Remain. The Green Party have bowed out of the race in order to increase the chances of a pro-EU candidate winning. UKIP have decided to support Zac. This is a Brexit-by-election!
We’ve been to meet the main pro-EU candidates: Sarah Olney of the Lib Dems, Christian Wolmar of Labour and Andree Frieze of the Greens (who we think deserve a bit of kudos for stepping down).
We’ve got 45 second introductions to each candidate and then 10-15 minute interviews with each one. Have a look below, get to know them, give them some support online and maybe let us know what you think about this idea of stepping down to put more weight behind the pro-EU candidate that has the best chance.
We also met Tim Farron, who was in town to support Sarah Olney, and had a chat to him about science and the EU and the by election, his video is at the end.
Sarah Olney, Liberal Democrats
Christian Wolmar, Labour Party
Andree Frieze, Green Party
Tim Farron, Leader Liberal Democrats