PM’s trip to North Shropshire a ‘panic visit’ ahead of by-election, say Lib Dems

Two weeks ahead of the North Shropshire by-election, the Liberal Democrats have suggested that a visit yesterday by Boris Johnson to the constitutency was a ‘panic measure’.  Boris Johnson visited Oswestry town centre and also met people at a vaccination centre.

Historically, Prime Minister’s have tended to avoid campaigning in by-elections, but this is a trend that has changed in recent years.   Last month both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak campaigned on the ground in Old Bexley and Sidcup.

The Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader and Health Spokesperson Daisy Cooper MP said, “The Prime Minister turning up in North Shropshire is nothing less than a panic visit, two weeks out from the election because he’s scared of an upset”.

Her comments come after the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election on Thursday in which the Liberal Democrats lost their deposit and polled just 3% of the vote.   However, the party is much more optimistic of performing better in this ‘shire county’ by-election to be held on December 16.

The background to the Shropshire North by-elecition, triggered in the wake of sleaze allegations against the former Conservative MP, Owen Patterson, is also seen as being more fertile ground for a political upset.  In June this year, the Lib Dems secured a 19.9% swing against the Conservatives when winning the Chesham and Amersham by-election.