The LibDem’s Sarah Green has won the Chesham and Amersham by-election and is now the local Member of Parliament.
The election was called following the death of Cheryl Gillan, MP, who had strongly opposed HS2 ever since it had been announced.
On a local level Green was strongly opposed to the project promising to be a “thorn in the side of this government and HS2 contractors” (on a national level the LibDem’s support it).
In addition, the LibDems had thrown huge resources into the constituency, with campaigners coming from as far away as Bournemouth to support the candidate: one local resident reports getting 14 election leaflets from the LibDems alone.
There have been suggestions that many Conservatives stayed at home: the total turnout was 18,000 fewer then in 2019.
Meanwhile, a YouGov poll out this week, shows that a mere 6% of the public strongly support HS2: it is not a project people want.
Was the Chesham and Amersham by-election a referendum on HS2? We wouldn’t go that far, but if Boris Johnson had chosen to cancel HS2 instead of issue Notice to Proceed, this by-election would have been a lot more favourable for them.