Friday 2 August 2019 8:15 am

Boris Johnson’s majority cut to one after Liberal Democrats win Brecon and Radnorshire by-election

The Liberal Democrats have won the seat of Brecon and Radnorshire from the Tories in a by-election, leaving Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new government with a majority of one.

Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds beat incumbent Conservative Chris Davies by 1,425 votes, overturning a majority of 8,038.

Read more: Boris Johnson at odds with Leo Varadkar over Irish backstop

Davies stood again, despite the election being called after he was recalled by a petition after being convicted of claiming false expenses.


The defeat is a blow to Johnson’s new administration, reducing its majority to just one ahead of an expected parliamentary clash over whether the UK should leave the UK on 31 October.

The pro-European Liberal Democrats said they would oppose Johnson’s promise to leave the EU by that date with or without a deal.

“Boris Johnson’s shrinking majority makes it clear that he has no mandate to crash us out of the EU,” Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, whose party now have 13 seats in parliament, said following the result early on Friday.

“I will do whatever it takes to stop Brexit and offer an alternative, positive vision … We now have one more MP (Member of Parliament) who will vote against Brexit in parliament.”

Johnson’s Conservative government already relies on a confidence-and-supply agreement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to pass legislation in parliament.

Labour’s share of the vote also fell 12.4 per cent in a dramatic set of election results.

The vote for the Lib Dems is also significant for the party’s firm anti-Brexit stance. The constituency returned a Leave vote with a 51.9 per cent majority in the 2016 EU referendum.


Read more: Boris Johnson repeats pledge to leave EU on 31 October

The Brexit Party came third with 3,331 votes. Had those votes gone to Brexit-supporting incumbent Davies it would have been enough to get him over the line.

The Green Party and Plaid Cymru agreed not to field candidates for the election to avoid splitting the Remain-supporting vote.

Share