Hatrick for Lib Dems
Another resounding by-election victory for the Liberal Democrats has given them a Hatrick in Taunton Deane elections this year. Having taken control of the Council in May, they have followed this up by winning by elections in Vivary a fortnight ago and Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove this week to gain two more seats on the Council.
In Norton Fitzwarren and Staplegrove the Liberal Democrats won 54% of the vote, beating the Conservatives on 39%. The Green Party and Labour both also ran; Labour received only 31 votes, one less than in Vivary a fortnight ago, and the Green’s only 67 despite it being one of only four wards they contested in May.
The Lib Dems victory means that their candidate, Andy Sully, will be joining the rest of the Lib Dem team of Councillors on Somerset West and Taunton Council, becoming their 32nd Councillor and increasing their majority to 5. Commenting on his victory Andy said “This is a vote of confidence in the Lib Dem administration and I am delighted to be joining such a fantastic group of councillors”.
The Liberal Democrats parliamentary candidate Gideon Amos said “There is a growing surge of support for the Lib Dems not only in our area but across the country. As the leaders of Labour and the Conservatives have gone to the extremes we are offering hope for the future”.
Andy was welcomed on board by Lib Dem leader of the Council Federica Smith, who said “This is a fantastic achievement. It is not only a vote of confidence in our administration and the progress we are making, it also demonstrates we are the voice of moderation and reason people want. We are making a difference to the lives of those we represent in our area, and if elected as our MP Gideon will do the same on the national stage”.
The election casts further doubt on Rebecca Pow’s ability to hold Taunton Deane if there is a general election in the near future. She has not responded to constituents asking on social media how these result affected her re-election chances.