Richmond’s result marked a 7 per cent swing from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives, as a staggering 76.9 per cent of the electorate turned up at the polling stations to cast their votes.
Goldsmith took 29,461 votes – or 49.7 per cent of the vote – to pip incumbent Liberal Democrat candidate Susan Kramer to the post with 42.8 per cent.
The result came despite a campaign that has been marred by controversy over the non-domiciled tax status of Goldsmith, the son of wealthy industrialist Sir James Goldsmith, who was forced to relinquish it after his party took a hard-line stance on so-called “non-doms”.
“This is the end of a long and hard campaign, but it is the beginning now of a much harder campaign,” Goldsmith said after the polling results were revealed in the early hours of this morning.
He is also an avowed environmentalist and today reiterated that green issues were the primary reason for him getting into politics in the first place.