For the next two weeks Chucktown will be running profiles of the prospective MPs for Somerton and Frome, introducing our readers to their local politicians before the general election next year.
The current representative, David Heath MP (Liberal Democrat) confirmed he will not be running again earlier this year, which means the South West agricultural seat is seemingly up for grabs in May.
Well, actually, the Conservatives are pretty confident they will pick it up and history suggests that they are right. Before Heath’s inaugural win in the 1997 General Election, the Somerton and Frome seat was exclusively held by Conservative representatives.
In 2010 the Tories finished 3 percent behind the Liberal Democrats, a difference of 1,817 votes, but are expecting to jump ahead of them next year, particularly after their rivals lost the region’s most recognisable politician.
The loss of David Heath MP cannot be underestimated and Chucktown’s opening profile will take at look at the man charged with taking his place, David Rendel.
Hopefully the added exposure of all of the candidates between now and May will help to increase upon 2010’s 74.3 percent voter turnout, while also allowing the local populace to approach their ballot paper with confidence come Springtime.
Today, David Warburton is the favourite to win and reinstate the Conservatives into Somerton and Frome, although the Greens might surprise everyone.
If Natalie Bennett’s party can scoop up some of the liberal vote then they just might beat the Tories and secure another seat in the House of Commons.
In fact, the Green leader is so focussed on the Somerton and Frome seat that she will be holding a Q&A at Rook Lane Chapel, Frome, on Saturday December 13th . Tickets for the 7pm event are available here.
Around the other parties, as it stands, the Liberal Democrats have drafted in a career politician to see over what could be another embarrassing loss, while UKIP are said to be still unsure about the credentials of their candidate from Salisbury.
At least Labour can claim to have a prospective MP actually from the area, even if he finished 26,118 votes behind the winner last time round. The total count was 60,612.
And, while it is no surprise to see Labour in third place, as they have been in every single general election since the Somerton and Frome seat was created in 1983, it is a genuine mystery to see no Independent candidate standing, especially considering a near total local dominance in recent years.
This Sunday a profile of the prospective MP for the Liberal Democrats, David Rendel, will be published.
Tags: Chucktown magazine, chucktown politics, david heath steps down, david rendel somerton and frome, david warburton somerton and frome, Natalie Bennett in frome, prospective mps for somerton and frome, somerton and frome general elections