Landslide victory for Liberal Democrats in Somerton and Frome

At 2:45 in the sparsely decorated central hall of the Bath and West Showground just outside Shepton Mallet, the High Sheriff of Somerset, Robert Drewett declared that Sarah Dyke of the Liberal Democrats will be the new MP for Somerton and Frome.

Locally popular doesn’t quite cover it. Sarah has overturned a Conservative Majority of 19,213 now enjoying one of 11,009.

Clearly delighted, she said: “Love and support has made me put everything into this campaign. Thanks to the wonderful people of Somerset. I promise to be an MP standing up for you in Somerset. The Liberal Democrats are back in the West Country. I will work every day to repay your faith in me.”

While by elections have their own logic, if this result extended to a general election the Conservatives would be looking at winning less than 50 seats. Labour would be in government and the LibDems the official opposition!

The decisive nature of Sarah Dyke’s victory will have local Conservative MPs worried. Especially James Heappey (Wells) and Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane) who are members of a clearly unpopular government.

The second story of the night is that of the advance of the Green Party. Overtaking Labour, who have come a solid third in the last two elections. The Greens this time got 3,944 votes while Labour only got 1,009. Any Labour plans to compete in the new Frome seat (that will come about at the enactment of the boundary review this Autumn) must now be considered optimistic at best.

Labour’s national picture may be rosier but in Somerton and Frome less so. They also have suffered the double ignominy of losing their deposit and having the newly emergent Independent Socialist Rosie Mitchell poll only 374  fewer votes. Labour didn’t even manage fourth place, being pushed into fifth by Reform UK’s Bruce Evans.

“We are very pleased to be making progress like this in Somerton and Frome. When it comes to the General Election the new Frome seat will be high amongst the Green Party’s targets” said Green Party candidate, Martin Dimery.

The full results were as follows

Sarah DykeLiberal Democratic Party21,18754.5%
Faye PurbrickConservatives10,17926.2%
Martin DimeryGreen Party3,94410.1%
Neil GuildLabour Party1,0092.6%
Rosie MitchellIndependent6351.6%
Peter RichardsonUKIP2750.7%
Bruce EvansReform UK1,3033.4%
Lorna CorkeChristian Peoples Alliance2560.7%


  • Ms Dyke epitomises all that is wrong with the calibre of MPs today. Having witnessed her performance at SSDC meetings, I was not surprised at her dreadful interview early in the campaign. It is a shame that anti-Tory sentiment meant that the best candidate was not elected, but elections are not about the intellectual capacity and capability of the candidates. The seat is being abolished at the next election, but in the meantime it will be interesting to see how Ms Dyke copes with the challenges of being an MP….

    By the way, have you seen that she is selling a vintage red light fully restored Sex Shop sign on her ‘Vintage Ghetto’ website Tacky or what?!

    • The general calibre of MPs is extremely poor these days. I just look at the choice of Prime Minister at the last election. Where are the statesman?

  • This article needs to mention the relatively low 44% voter turnout (GE is usually nearer 70%).

    Looks like many habitual Conservative voters sat on their hands this time around.

    Will they turnout in late in 2024 when the next GE is expected?

  • “The ‘people never give up their liberties except under some delusion”!

    Public ‘life’ is indeed ‘transitory’ the King is dead! Lest we forget a Coalition Government of Messrs Cameron & Clegg, the latter adjourned to the Californian ‘sun-rise’! Lest we forget, The Rt Hon, Robert Jenrick MP the ‘progenitor’ the Tower Hamlets ‘imbroglio’ of ‘Compassionate Conservatism’!*

    REFORM, the ‘franchise’ always bottom up; this ‘octogenarian’ not around to ‘envision’ a future Prime Minister, New Labour MP Keir Mather, joked that he had “heard far worse” when asked how he felt about becoming “the Baby of the House”.

    *Robert Edward Jenrick is a British politician serving as Minister of State for Immigration since October 2022. He served as Minister of State for Health from September to October 2022. He served as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government from 2019 to 2021. Wikipedia

  • Spending two-thirds of the year in Ireland and one-third in Somerset, it has been difficult not to be aware of the diverging fortunes of the two countries. In terms of raw GDP per capita, Ireland stands second in the world while Britain has declined into mediocrity.

    Part of Britain’s problem is that populism is anti-capitalist. Brexit was a vote against the free market and for economic nationalism. The act of self-immolation baffled people in Ireland but has brought benefits to an already booming economy.

    It is hard to see a way back. I remember Tory MPs in Somerset who were men of standing. The days of the grandees seem long past.

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