Somerset

Election 2015: Lib Dems lose Yeovil seat to Tories

David Laws
Image caption David Laws described it as "a tough night" for the Lib Dems in Somerset as well as nationally

The Liberal Democrats have lost the constituency of Yeovil to the Conservatives, a seat they held for 32 years.

Tory Marcus Fysh won with 24,178 votes, which exceeded the tally of Lib Dem MP David Laws by more than 5,000.

On losing his seat, Mr Laws described it as "a tough night" for the party in Somerset as well as nationally.

The Tories also ousted the Lib Dems in Bath, where they had held the seat for 23 years.

Ben Howlett won with 17,833 votes - a majority of 3,833. His Lib Dem rival Steve Bradley polled 14,000 votes.

Mr Bradley replaced the retiring Don Foster who has been the constituent MP since 1992.

Wells was another Lib Dem constituency which fell to the Conservatives. The party's James Heappey polled 26,247 votes to Tessa Munt's 18,662.

Tory John Penrose has been re-elected in Weston-super-Mare, as has his colleague Liam Fox in North Somerset. Both increased their majorities.

Fellow Conservatives Rebecca Pow and David Warburton won the Taunton Deane and Somerton and Frome seats respectively while Tory Ian Liddell-Grainger held on to Bridgwater and West Somerset.

And the party's Jacob Rees-Mogg will remain as MP in North East Somerset.


BBC Somerset politics reporter, Ruth Bradley

Somerset, once the heartland of the Liberal Democrats, has turned completely blue in the last 12 hours.

Bath and then North East Somerset were first to declare: a Tory gain and hold respectively.

Somerton and Frome delivered a huge Conservative majority of 20,268, overturning a Liberal Democrat majority of 1,817.

Then came the biggest shock of the morning. David Laws, schools minister and successor to Paddy Ashdown, lost Yeovil to Conservative Marcus Fysh by 5,313 votes.

The Tories had thrown everything at the constituency in the last fortnight. David Cameron held a rally in Lord Ashdown's home village, and seven senior Conservatives visited in the space of seven days.

And the Conservative victories kept on coming: Taunton Deane, Wells and Bridgwater and West Somerset saw two gains and a hold.

So Somerset, which before this election had two Conservative MPs and four Lib Dems, now has six Tories and its map is painted truly blue.


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