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General Election 2024: Somerset seats – runners and riders, odds, polls and more

PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak has called a general election for July 4.

The UK will head to the polls to select their MP in the next Parliament, with many predicting a bitter campaign over the next six weeks or so.

Here in Somerset, we thought we would give a picture of where things currently stand.

Perhaps surprisingly – and as an indication of how unexpected the PM’s decision to go to the country was – a number of candidates for the major parties have not yet been selected.

So below is a breakdown of who has been confirmed as standing on July 4, as well as a summation of the current predictions for the seat from polling website, Electoral Calculus.

Bridgwater

A new constituency for the 2024 general election, Bridgwater is somewhat unpredictable. It was previously part of the now-disbanded Bridgwater & West Somerset seat, held by Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con).

Note – both Labour and the Conservatives appear to be branding this seat ‘Bridgwater & Burnham’ in campaign literature – we can only presume in a bid to reassure voters they haven’t forgotten the seaside town, even though it is not, officially, in the constituency name.

Mr Liddell-Grainger has decided to stand in Tiverton & Minehead at the next election, so this seat is unpredictable.

Electoral Calculus says Labour has a 70% chance of taking this seat, with the Conservatives on 28% and the Lib Dems and Reform UK on 1%.

As we said, this is an unpredictable seat, so expect polling to be difficult too. We would suggest this is closer than it appears. There is also the added unknown of independent, Pele Barnes, standing for the Somerset Unionist Party.

Betting odds (from Bet365): n/a

Frome & East Somerset

Another new seat, Frome & East Somerset boasts a long list of confirmed candidates, including an independent.

Frome assumes a greater importance under the new boundaries, which could be significant, as it is known for the home of a strong, independent town council and strong Green Party representation in national votes, making it very unpredictable.

Electoral Calculus agrees, with this seat up in the air.

The Conservatives are favourites to take it – just – with a 36% chance. They are followed by Labour, on 33%, and the Lib Dems on 31%.

It could all come down to how the vote splits – including the independent – which the Tories will hope means they can squeeze in with a minority of the vote.

Betting odds (from Bet365): n/a

Glastonbury & Somerton

Another new seat and another broad slate of candidates.

Glastonbury & Somerton features the incumbent Somerton & Frome MP Sarah Dyke (Lib Dem), who romped to victory in a 2023 by-election after the resignation of Conservative MP David Warburton.

The changes make this a touch unpredictable, as the new seat includes both Somerton and Langport, alongside Glastonbury.

Electoral Calculus has it firmly in the Lib Dem camp though, perhaps on the back of Ms Dyke’s huge win last year, giving the party an 85% chance of winning, with the Conservatives way back on 14%.

Betting odds (from Bet365):

Liberal Democrats – 8/15
Conservatives – 11/8
Labour – 33/1
Reform – 125/1
Green Party – 150/1

Taunton & Wellington

Another rejigged constituency, Taunton & Wellington features much of the old Taunton Deane seat, which has been represented by Rebecca Pow (Con) since 2015.

It has also been contested by Lib Dem hopeful Gideon Amos for a number of years, who Electoral Calculus think has his best chance yet of finally taking the seat, giving him a 71% chance of victory. The Conservatives are on 19% and Labour on 10% – though Labour have not yet confirmed a candidate.

Betting odds (from Bet365):

Liberal Democrats – 4/11
Conservatives – 11/4
Labour – 9/1
Reform – 50/1
Green Party – 200/1

Tiverton & Minehead

A new cross-county constituency, Tiverton & Minehead is yet another unpredictable seat.

As mentioned, the current Bridgwater & West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) has chosen to contest this seat in the election, perhaps in response to more favourable polls.

Electoral Calculus would suggest that is a wise move, with the Tories given a 44% chance of taking the seat, compared to 28% for Labour and 26% for the Lib Dems.

Betting odds (from Bet365): n/a

Wells & Mendip Hills

Yet another new seat, Wells & Mendip Hills has been thrown into a bit of confusion for the Conservatives after current Wells MP, James Heappey (Con) announced he would not stand at the next general election.

It leaves the party without a confirmed candidate at the time of writing.

However, whoever does take on the role is up against a former MP in Tessa Munt (Lib Dem), who previously held the Wells seat.

Labour has selected shepherd Joe Joseph to contest the seat, with Helen Hims (Reform UK), Peter Welsh (Green Party) and independent Abi McGuire also set to be on the ballot.

Electoral Calculus reflects the tight nature of the new seat, putting the Lib Dems as favourites on 51%, with the Conservatives on 38%. Labour sit on 11%.

Betting odds (from Bet365):

Liberal Democrats – 4/5
Conservatives – 1/1
Labour – 14/1
Reform – 150/1
Green Party – 250/1

Yeovil

Another interesting seat in Somerset, Yeovil could be a bellwether for the whole general election.

Previously represented by a number of high-profile Lib Dems, Conservative Marcus Fysh took it in 2015 and has held it ever since.

However, should it return to Lib Dem hands in July, it would be a real sign of the Lib Dems breaking through the ‘blue wall’ in the south west.

Interestingly, this is another Somerset seat where Labour are yet to select a candidate.

Reform UK, however, have – which could be an issue for the Conservatives, as UKIP previously performed fairly well in the constituency.

Electoral Calculus has it as a strong target for the Lib Dems, giving them a 70% chance of winning, followed by the Conservatives on 24%, and Labour on 5%.

Betting odds (from Bet365):

Liberal Democrats – 2/5
Conservatives – 15/8
Labour – 25/1
Reform – 80/1
Green Party – 150/1

READ MORE: General Election 2024: Results from the Somerset Leveller poll

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