The Chesham and Amersham by-election is on Thursday. Thank God it’s almost here — hopefully then we can stop hearing any rubbish about how the Lib Dems are set to tear down the Conservatives’ ‘blue wall’ in the home counties. As the campaign has demonstrated, the Lib Dems are miles away from being able to cause such an upset.
This by-election is to some extent the undercard for the Batley and Spen by-election in two weeks’ time, that one possibly deciding the fate of Keir Starmer. Nothing so existential is on the line in Buckinghamshire this Thursday. But only because a party that just six years ago had 57 MPs and a seat in government has fallen so far already.
The current Lib Dems are a party for nothing and no one. They worked hard to become the anti-Brexit party only to ditch this signature policy after the 2019 general election. Given any anti-Brexit hope has been extinguished by the result of that election, you might think this was a sound idea on their part. That is, until you ask yourself who else but fanatically pro-EU individuals would bother to vote Lib Dem these days? In other words, they stopped being the anti-Brexit party, which was at least something, to become a completely nebulous entity instead. This has hurt them in their bid to win Chesham and Amersham.
For instance, here is an actual campaign email sent out to Lib Dem activists to engage them with the by-election:
As we’ve repeatedly seen, dramatic results dominate the national media for weeks. Dramatic results dominate the national media for days. Media narratives take hold as truth. And these truths can alter politics for years to come. By-election results hold so much power. So if you’re angry and baffled by Boris Johnson’s electoral success, here is our opportunity to change the game.