Cumbria lesson for Somerset?
As the heavy duty business of counting gets underway across Somerset, elsewhere results are in. Cumbria, like Somerset is making the journey to a new unitary authority. Unlike Somerset, the votes here were counted overnight.
At a county council level, the two counties were very similar. The difference being the leading opposition party here were Labour, in Somerset the LibDems. In Cumbria the Conservatives were the largest party with 37, followed by Labour with 26, LibDems with 16 and 5 Independents.
Compare that to Somerset where the Conservatives had 35 seats, the LibDems 12, Labour 3, Independents 3 and Greens 2.
What we saw in Cumbria overnight, was a flip from Conservative to Labour. Labour won 30 of the 46 seats with Conservatives on 7, LibDems 4, Greens 2 and Independents 3. They are now comfortably in control of the new council.
No-one is expecting Labour to win in Somerset. But the LibDems will be hoping for something similar. A collapse in the Conservative vote of similar proportions would see them take control of Somerset Council.