Richmond Park By-Election


By Austin Rathe | 16 November 2016


More United supporters have voted overwhelmingly in favour of backing Sarah Olney in the Richmond Park by-election. The decision was made on the basis of one supporter, one vote.

We wanted to take a few moments to explain to you why we asked our supporters to back Sarah.

More United have three criteria for supporting candidates:

  1. Candidates must support the values of More United and that their record should reflect that
  2. They must have a realistic chance of winning whatever election they're standing in
  3. A majority of the movement must agree to support them

When the by-election was called, the More United team analysed which of the candidates meeting the criteria there were. Firstly, would they represent our values if they're elected and secondly could they win?

The incumbent, Zac Goldsmith, is long term supporter of Brexit. He has been endorsed by UKIP, and his campaign last summer to become Mayor of London was one of the most divisive in living memory. 

We don’t believe Zac’s position on Europe or previous conduct are consistent with our principles, so we can't consider supporting him.

The Green Party have decided not to field a candidate, and the Labour candidate, Christian Wolmar, doesn’t have a realistic chance of winning. The seat is historically a close Lib Dem/Conservative marginal, and a group of Labour MPs even signed an open letter suggesting they shouldn’t field a candidate because they couldn’t win this time.

That left Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat, as the only candidate with a realistic chance of beating Zac Goldsmith. Sarah isn’t a career politician (she is an accountant who lives in the local area), so we can’t judge her political record. However she has publicly backed our principles and will advocate for them if she is elected. 

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Critically, Sarah is passionate about Britain’s role in Europe and opposition to a hard Brexit is the centrepiece of her campaign.

We believe this is the right moment for us to mobilise More United to make a difference. That’s why we asked supporters to vote on whether or not More United should support Sarah win this election. 

We're delighted to say that our supporters voted 96% in favour of supporting Sarah, and consequently hundreds of volunteers will be taking part in our action day on Saturday 26 November.

If you're not yet a member, you can sign up now so you can vote and be part of our movement in the future.

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