The Lib Dems are confident of ending 12 years of Tory control of Wimbledon, and believe their opposition to Theresa May’s hard Brexit could be decisive.
They are hoping that they can achieve a similar result to the Richmond Park by-election, where a campaign focussed on Brexit in a heavily remain-leaning constituency saw the Lib Dem challenger topple the Conservatives.
Carl Quilliam, the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Wimbledon, is optimistic about his chances of unseating Stephen Hammond, the Tory incumbent.
Quilliam said: “There’s a real pro-European, liberal, outward-looking sense about this constituency.
“There are people saying that last time I voted Conservative but this time I’m going to vote for you, due to the belligerent hard Brexit agenda that the government is pursuing.
“So many more people are worried about the direction that this government is taking us. They want a real say on the deal, they want a final say on the referendum.”
Tim Farron’s party have seen a surge in membership since the EU referendum, and recently saw their membership climb past 100,000.
The Lib Dems, who are calling for a second referendum once the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU are known, had a mixed set of results in last weeks local elections.
They increased their national vote share from 11% to 18% from the 2015 General Election, but lost 28 seats overall.
But Quilliam is bullish about his chances of causing an upset on June 8th.
“We’re already the main opposition. From our campaigning we know that people are coming to us in their droves.
“One of the first campaigns I was involved in was up in Yorkshire in Leeds North West, where we came from third to win that seat. I think we have every opportunity to do exactly that, here, now in Wimbledon in 2017.”
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