Liberal Democrats clinched an extraordinary victory in the North Shropshire byelection on Thursday with a swing of 34%.
Helen Morgan, the Lib Dem candidate, won 17,957 votes, 5,925 more than the Conservatives’ Neil Shastri-Hurst, while Labour’s Ben Wood was third with 3,686.
North Shropshire is the second supposedly safe seat won from the Tories at a byelection this year, after the Lib Dems took the Buckinghamshire constituency of Chesham and Amersham in June.
In 2019 Tory Owen Paterson got 35,444 votes and (Lib Dem) Helen Morgan got 5,643 - in yesterday’s by-election Morgan got 17,957 and the Tory candidate 12,032. The swing against the Conservatives was the biggest in a governing party by-election defence since Christchurch in 1993, and one of the biggest swings since 1945. North Shropshire was the 58th safest Conservative seat in the country
Party leader Sir Ed Davey said: “From Buckinghamshire to Shropshire, lifelong Conservatives have turned to the Liberal Democrats in their droves and sent a clear message to the prime minister that the party is over.”
The Liberal Democrats now have 14 MPs. In her victory speech, the new North Shropshire MP, Helen Morgan, a 46-year-old accountant and parish councillor, repeatedly targeted the prime minister, saying Conservative voters had been “dismayed by Boris Johnson’s lack of decency and [were] fed up with being taken for granted”.