Across the South West Labour has held on to it’s areas of major concern and whilst the Tories have massively strengthened their position it’s clear that the Lib Dems have not been able to make a breakthrough and that UKIP have been wiped out.
A Labour spokesman said “I think we can take some satisfaction from retaining our 3 seats in Somerset against the national swing. It wasn’t a given that we would manage that. I’m disappointed that we didn’t make any gains as I know how much work we all put in to this. It’s frustrating that the Tories benefited from the Ukip collapse – wholly unearned but it’s clearly been the Tories plan for some time to occupy that pro-Brexit mantle, while also proclaiming themselves the party of social justice. I don’t think it’s sustainable in the long term given that it’s rubbish, and I think before long the public will grow heartily sick of Theresa May – but for the time being it’s working for them in electoral terms – though not so much for the country and the people they claim to serve.
Also frustrating that many voters seem to have been voting on national issues rather than on who would do a better job of running Somerset. Ever thus I suppose, but you’d think this time they might have at least considered the dire consequences on local council services and that the Tories run most of the district councils, Somerset CC, have 5 MPs and run the government and drawn the obvious conclusion.
We did get rid of Osman for the time being, so there is that.
Poor night for the LDs. There will be a higher turnout for the General Election but based on that result I can’t see them retaking any of the Somerset seats.
Ukip are gone. While that collapse benefited the Tories I am delighted we no longer have them polluting the council by their presence.
The picture in the rest of the South West was mixed. In Dorset we lost all our seats bar one. Lost half our seats in Gloucestershire. Retained our 7 seats in Exeter on Devon CC. That one is positive for retaining Exeter at the GE.
Disappointed for Lesley Mansell in the Metro Mayor election. It was always going to be challenging given the areas that it covered but I struggle to understand why so many LD voters appear to have lent their second preference to the Tories. Some positives in the Bristol area for the GE – we were apparently only 500 votes behind the Tories in Bristol NW.”