Zac Goldsmith reclaims his seat in Parliament but not everyone is enthusiastic about his return
The Tory’s political career had been left in tatters after he was ousted from the Richmond Park constituency by the Lib Dems.
The General Election has served up some surprising upheavals but none as shocking as the return of Zac Goldsmith to parliament.
The Conservative candidate managed to reclaim his Richmond Park seat after scraping to victory over the Liberal Democrats’ Sarah Olney by just 45 votes – a win that has divided the nation.
If anything, the tight majorities tonight prove that there is no such thing as a 'wasted vote'. Goldsmith has won by 45 votes! #GE2017— Harry Sherlock (@Harry_Sherlock) June 9, 2017
Constituents shared their disappointment and disbelief at the news of Goldsmith’s victory by one of the smallest margins in the country.
Many expressed anger at those who didn’t exercise their right to vote and Labour supporters who perhaps chose not to use their ballot to vote tactically for Olney and keep Goldsmith at bay.
Goldsmith (Richmond) wins seat by 45 votes. Why did Labour voters not vote tactically. Madness.— Jude (@jude5456) June 9, 2017
To the 46 people in Richmond who didn't vote Lib-Dem, thus ensuring Zac Goldsmith won: may your BMWs always have flat batteries.— Jayne Nelson (@kakapojayne) June 9, 2017
Goldsmith’s decision to run as a Conservative candidate for the seat was questioned by some, given his resignation as a Tory MP in October 2016.
He objected to a third runway being built at Heathrow Airport – a move his party supported – and triggered a by-election in the Richmond Park constituency, where he’d served as MP since 2010.
If Heathrow was such a matter of principle for him why has Zac Goldsmith rejoined the Tories to stand in Richmond Park #GeneralElection— Lee Fergusson (@LeeFergusson) April 26, 2017
He promised to never run as a Conservative candidate again until the Tories changed the stance on the airport expansion, and so ran as an independent candidate for the seat against Olney. She dealt him an embarrassing blow, beating him with 20,510 votes to his 18,638.
However, when Theresa May called the snap election, Goldsmith decided to rejoin and represent the Tories in Richmond Park, despite the fact that the party still very much backed the expansion of Heathrow.
Goldsmith’s doomed campaign to become London mayor drew widespread criticism last year as he was accused of using divisive to gain votes over Sadiq Khan.
Nevertheless, some voters were happy to see him reclaim his place in Parliament.
Zac Goldsmith is a fundamentally decent bloke. Great to see him back in Parliament. #GE2017— Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) June 9, 2017