Voters go to the polls in by-election as Tories battle to hold off Lib Dem surge in leafy Bucks seat


BORIS Johnson is facing a major electoral test today as voters head to the polls in a “knife-edge” by-election.

The Lib Dems are confident of overturning a massive 16,000 Tory majority in leafy Chesham and Amersham.

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The Lib Dems are gunning for the Tories in Chesham and Amersham

The Buckinghamshire seat, which voted by 55% to remain in the EU, is being contested after the death of long-serving MP Dame Cheryl Gillan.

It has been Conservative ever since being created in 1974 but is now in danger of turning yellow for the first time.

If the Lib Dems pull of a shock win it would put a dent in the bounce the PM has enjoyed thanks to the vaccine rollout.

Its leader Sir Ed Davey has poured heavy resources into campaigning in the seat and has visited himself several times.

A party spokesman said: “It is neck and neck in Chesham and Amersham. This election will go down to the wire.”

Such a result would also be a welcome reprieve for Sir Keir Starmer who has faced his own by-election woe in Hartlepool.

The leafy seat voted 55% Remain in 2016

Lib Dem candidate Sarah Green hopes to unseat the Tories

Labour sources were last night piling pressure on the Tories to hold the constituency.

One told Politico: “We expect the status quo to be maintained in a seat like this.

“The Lib Dems have worked the seat hard, bussing people in from all over the country and ramping up their campaign way beyond what they could ever do during a general election.”

Dame Cheryl, who served as Welsh Secretary under David Cameron, tragically died from cancer in April at the age of 68.

She was one of only two MPs to ever hold the constituency, which she first won in 1992.

At the 2019 election she secured it for the Conservatives with a massive majority of 16,223.

She was a major campaigner against the HS2 railway line, which will run through the seat and which is a huge local issue.

There are eight candidates vying for the constituency this time round.

Former Ford executive Peter Fleet is standing for the Tories, up against Lib Dem entrepreneur Sarah Green.

Labour, which came in third place in 2019, is being represented by Natasa Pantelic.

Carolyne Culver is standing for the Green Party, Brendan Donnelly for Rejoin EU, Alex Wilson for Reform UK, Carla Gregory for Breakthrough Party and Adrian Oliver for Freedom Alliance.