Sunday, 14 March 2010

A Look @: Somerset (Part I)

This is the first of a three part series on Somerset. This one isn't too interesting but there are some close contests in the rest of the county. I'll save the excited ones until last to keep you all on tenterhooks! Part I covers the constituencies within the unitary authority of North Somerset. In the 2007 council elections here the Conservatives won an astonishing landslide taking 43 of the 61 seats. This should give their two incumbent MP's a lot of foot-soldiers for the forthcoming campaign.



Notional Majority

Swing Needed




John Penrose




CON Hold

Somerset North

Dr Liam Fox




CON Hold

Weston-Super-Mare has been a closely fought LD/CON Marginal in recent elections. 1992 is the last election either party secured a majority of over 5%. John Penrose (CON) won the seat from the Lib Dem incumbent, Brian Cotter, in 2005 and the first term MP is regarded as the favourite. With a strong councillor base, and the national picture looking good for the Tories, it's hard to disagree with this assessment. His Lib Dem challenger is Mike Bell, who was a local councillor until the 2007 landslide. It'll be tough to take seats off the Tories this year and I suspect Penrose will be returned with a similar majority; Conservative Hold.

The Shadow Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, has held the seat formerly know as Woodspring since 1992. In fact, the Tories have won here every election since the constituency was created in 1983. However, Fox's majority has consistently been reduced and Dr Brian Mathew will be hoping to continue this trend and take Somerset North for the Lib Dems. Fox has had some expenses woes, but he has repaid the money. If the Lib Dems target this area for a gain they'll probably look at Penrose first. And a stubborn Labour vote in the North Somerset area is not going to help their cause. Unless the 20% plus that vote Labour break a habit and switch to the Lib Dems, which doesn't seem likely, then this will be another Tory hold.


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