RESULT: Zac Goldsmith back in Government as Conservatives take back Richmond Park

Zac Goldsmith is celebrating a comeback victory in Richmond Park after snatching back his seat from Sarah Olney.

Merely six months after losing the seat to the Liberal Democrat candidate, Mr Goldsmith won with 28,588 votes, edging past Miss Olney’s 28,543.

This is a long awaited victory for Mr Goldsmith, who resigned as MP in October when the Government backed the expansion of a third runway at Heathrow.

He stood as an independent candidate but lost the bye-election to Miss Olney.

Mr Goldsmith said: “I’m grateful to my constituents to put their trust in me again.

“I hope they know I will never let them down.”

Labour candidate Cate Tuitt scraped together 5,773 votes, while UKIP’s Peter Jewell secured just 426.

The turnout for the vote stood at 79.3% (63,462 votes) a significant increase on the December by-election of 53.33%.

The constituency proved a testing ground for the campaign for ‘progressive alliance’ as the Green Party candidate, Andree Frieze, stood aside and voiced their support for Miss Olney.

The victory will symbolise a rejuvenation of Mr Goldsmith’s image, which was left somewhat tarnished after he was heavily criticised for a mayoral election campaign which associated Sadiq Khan – who beat Mr Goldsmith – with extremist views.

Mr Goldsmith campaigned to present himself as a ‘liberal-minded’ and ‘moderating’ influence on the government and promising to protect the status of EU nationals in the UK.

Miss Olney said: “It’s heartbreaking to have lost out by such a small amount but I hope it is any reflection on the campaign we have run”.

The announcement of the vote was delayed for four recounts before being confirmed at 7:05 on Friday morning.

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