The Tories are running scared. As their house of cards begins to topple seriously into a quicksand of their own making, they look behind them and see the mild mannered Jeremy Corbyn nonchalently, yet politely, about to pass them by with a genteel wave and a smile and a newly invigorated Labour Party that the people actually want to see in power.
The latest YouGov poll suggests the Conservatives are on 43pc and Labour 38 as campaigning is about to resume
But what of the rest – what other choices do we have around our County??
No-one trusts the Lib Dems….
The Lib Dems failed in their bid to take the County Council and in fact lost seats, and people have similarly lost interest in them. No surprise there though, since the last time they were given a chance at power, they simply put the Tories into government and then imploded as a party. They lost all 4 MPs in Somerset and on their current showing don’t look likely to get them back…..however, this won’t stop them proclaiming ‘Lib Dems -Winning Here’
UKIP are finished…
UKIP lost every last seat on Somerset County Council, and nationally have shed members like a sponge being squeezed over Paul Nuttalls shiny bonce as he tries to find even more ways to blame muslims, immigrants and Europe for everything that’s wrong in the world ‘Yea but will it be Strong Brexit, Brexity Brexit or Ready Brexit!? That’s what we want to know!! Oh yea and ban the burkah’.
Greens face a ‘tactical’ dilemma…
The Greens remain a marginal force as a National Party although they made some inroads, in places around Somerset such as Frome and Glastonbury, but generally have been caught in an ideological dilemma which has led many members and supporters to either urge a Labour vote or to advocate a ‘Progressive alliance’ .
Labour make their move
Around Somerset however, it’s the Labour Party that has been making great inroads. Local parties have quadrupled in size and new activists have re-motivated the party alongside old loyalists.
In Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour has it’s best chance. The town of Bridgwater is a Labour bastion with a 14-2 control of the Town Council, 5 Labour to every 1 Lib Dem district councillor and a 2-1 Labour victory at County level. Candidate Wes Hinckes is a Sedgemoor District Councillor and a community activist and is appealing to a cross party vote plus a sizeable chunk of people who have freshly registered to vote for the first time. Plus, of course, the massive unpopularity of the sitting Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger who is relying on his feudal backers to shift the rural tory vote in by the barrowload. Follow Wes here.
In Yeovil, Labour has been building strongly for years as the Lib Dem vote dwindles. A new seam of Labour councillors at grass roots level is challenging the Lib Dem hegemony which even lost out to UKIP in a key seat a couple of years ago while Tories have also been grabbing seats including deposing top LibDem Coalition merchant David Laws. Yeovil Labour activists are out leafletting most evenings and have a town centre stand on saturday mornings.
Their Candidate is Ian Martin. Follow Ian here
In Wells area it’s a tough battle as the Lib Dems will be pushing their former MP Tessa Munt as the ‘tactical’ vote against the ham fisted James Heappey, who recently had to apologise after telling a young SNP supporter to ‘F*** off back to Scotland’ . In a choice between Tessa and ‘Tossa’ Labour might find it hard to make inroads, but experienced candidate Andy Merryfield is out there putting the Labour case with strong member support on the ground. Andy, a teacher and committed human rights activist, has been getting stuck in. To follow Andy click here.
In the county town, Taunton, Labour’s Martin Jevon is the candidate and aiming to make inroads into a battle being seen as Tory v Libdem. However, Martin is the candidate who Taunton needs, growing up in Taunton, living in Taunton and working in Taunton in the frontline world of social care.
Martin was a former chairman of the North Taunton Partnership and a service director for a National Health Charity. Rebecca Pow is a Tory and Gideon Amos is a Libdem – the choice isn’t rocket science. Follow Martin here.
In Frome and Somerton the Labour candidate is Sean Dromgoole. Sean who grew up in Theale outside Wells, went to school in Wedmore, Blackford and Street and read Philosophy at London University. He then worked in the film and television industry where he was a member of the ACTT and then BECTU trade unions.Sean then moved to New York for five years where he worked as a television writer. Sean was in New York at the height of the AIDS crisis and as a result has never been confused about the limitations of profit-based health care.
Sean now works in market research commuting to his London based consultancy from his family home in Somerset and is running a people-powered campaign to win in Somerton and Frome. Whether it’s stuffing envelopes or delivering leaflets in your area, there’s a role for everyone.Follow Seans campaign here.