If you had asked the Lib Dems after the 2019 General Election about the sort of seat where they would like to fight a by-election they would have probably said somewhere that voted Remain, where they were in a clear second place and not too far from the M25.
The last point is relevant because one of the prerequisites to pull off by-election surprises in the past is by being able to flood the area for several weeks with experienced activists. Chesham and Amersham (C&A) fits the other two requirements on what happened at the referendum and at GE2019.
But based on the 2019 outcome the party is a long way behind. This was the result:
CON 55.4%, LD 26.3%, LAB 12.9%, GRN 5.5%. The turnout was 76.8 which was far in excess of the national average.
The difference between the general election and the coming by-election is that Brexit is done and the threat of Corbyn becoming PM is not there. The former MP, the late Cheryl Gillan thought to have a large personal vote. Also the LDs are looking for a way to make them appear relevant and it would be hard to skip this opportunity.
On Thursday all eyes will be on the local results in the constituency. The message I am getting is that Tory voter enthusiasm has not been helped by the recent revelations.
On Smarkets the LDs are 4/1 to win it. I’ve not been tempted.