North East Somerset

2015 Result:
Conservative: 25439 (49.8%)
Labour: 12690 (24.8%)
Lib Dem: 4029 (7.9%)
Green: 2802 (5.5%)
UKIP: 6150 (12%)
MAJORITY: 12749 (24.9%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Avon. Part of the Bath and North East Somerset council area.

Main population centres: Keynsham, Radstock, Midsomer Norton.

Profile: An unusually shaped seat that takes in all the western part of the Bath and North East Somerset council area, and the rural outskirts of Bath (known as Bathavon) in the east, meaning the Bath constituency is entirely surrounded by a thin belt of North East Somerset. The seat contains some contrasting areas. The northern parts of the seat, especially the town of Keynsham, are very much affluent commuter areas for Bath and Bristol. To the east the seat is more rural, covering the patchwork of farmland and rural villages that make up the Chew Valley. The southern part around Midsomer Norton and Radstock is part of the old Somerset coalfield. The last of the coal mines closed in the 1960s, to be replaced by light industry, but the close knit industrial heritage of the area remains.

Politics: Called Wansdyke (after the old local authority) until 2010, this was a Conservative seat through the 80s, fell to Labour in the 1997 landslide and was regained by the Tories in 2010. As might be expected, the rural and suburban parts of the seat tend to the Conservatives, with Labour`s support strongest in the former mining areas and parts of southern Keynsham.

Current MP
JACOB REES-MOGG (Conservative) Born 1969, Somerset, son of Times editor Lord Rees-Mogg. Educated at Eton and Oxford University. Former fund manager. Contested Central Fife 1997, The Wrekin 2001. First elected as MP for North East Somerset in 2010. Jacob Rees-Mogg cuts an other-worldly and young-fogeyish figure, often revelling in speeches litt ered withhistorical and classical references. In his first Parliamentary contest in 1997 he famously went canvassing accompanied by his former nanny.
Past Results
Con: 21130 (41%)
Lab: 16216 (32%)
LDem: 11433 (22%)
UKIP: 1754 (3%)
Oth: 670 (1%)
MAJ: 4914 (10%)
Con: 18847 (37%)
Lab: 20686 (41%)
LDem: 10050 (20%)
UKIP: 1129 (2%)
Oth: 221 (0%)
MAJ: 1839 (4%)
Con: 17593 (36%)
Lab: 22706 (46%)
LDem: 7135 (15%)
GRN: 958 (2%)
Oth: 655 (1%)
MAJ: 5113 (10%)
Con: 19318 (35%)
Lab: 24117 (44%)
LDem: 9205 (17%)
Oth: 755 (1%)
MAJ: 4799 (9%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005, name changed from Wansdyke

2015 Candidates
JACOB REES-MOGG (Conservative) See above.
TODD FOREMAN (Labour) Born Kansas. Educated at Grinnell College. Solicitor. Kensington and Chelsea councillor since 2010. Contested West Central 2012 London Assembly elections.
WERA HOBHOUSE (Liberal Democrat) Born Germany. Rochdale councillor 2004-2014, originally elected as a Conservative.. Contested Heywood and Middleton 2010. Defected to the Liberal Democrats in 2005.
ERNIE BLABER (UKIP) Former manager and royal marine.
Comments - 548 Responses on “Somerset North East”
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  1. Yes, when a dank one bedroom flat in a tower block, in a rough part of town costs the same as a five bed detached in a nice part of North Yorkshire overlooking a village green, only a short trip to York, Harrogate or Leeds…. something isn’t quite right.

    How to solve it is anyone’s guess. I remember Victoria Coren on QT basically saying that people in ‘normal’ jobs should just move out.

    I’ve heard ideas as radical as scrapping housing benefit inside the M25, sounds a bit like social cleansing but some of the figures quoted for those flats in Grenfell made my eyes water. Someone could sub let ‘their home’ to as many people as you could cram into it, probably draw £50-60k in cash, work cash in hand and have a cracking lifestyle in a cheaper area.

  2. ‘ But they’re not exactly research symposiums are they? ‘

    Yet its not by following ‘pub talk’ that Britain is in such difficulties.

    But rather the faux intellectualism of the Oxford PPE and its equivalents.

  3. ‘ How to solve it is anyone’s guess. I remember Victoria Coren on QT basically saying that people in ‘normal’ jobs should just move out. ‘

    Which is effectively what they are doing – London is the only region of Britain which has negative net internal migration.

  4. “Yet its not by following ‘pub talk’ that Britain is in such difficulties.
    But rather the faux intellectualism of the Oxford PPE and its equivalents”.

    I sometimes get the impression, Richard, that you are more concerned with apportioning blame for the problems in the UK’s current economic model than you are with coming up with solutions.

  5. That’s mental ur just cleansing london of anyone with a normal job

  6. ” I sometimes get the impression, Richard, that you are more concerned with apportioning blame for the problems in the UK’s current economic model than you are with coming up with solutions. ”

    The solution is obvious and has been for years ie the UK lives within its means.

    Of course that’s not to the liking of people who instead of living within their means prefer to live to the style they think they deserve and expect someone else to provide the means.

    Perhaps Kieran and his fellow academics would like to suggest some solutions in their next ‘research symposium’.

    As to apportioning blame it is right and proper that blame is attached to those people who are to blame. By doing that it reduces the risk that the mistakes of the past will be repeated in the future.

  7. Last week’s ONS data shows that the UK had a balance of payments deficit of £115bn in 2016 or 5.9% of GDP.

    The equivalents for the other G7 countries are:

    Germany 8.3
    Japan 3.8
    Italy 2.6
    France -0.9
    USA -2.6
    Canada -3.3

    with thanks to Robert Smithson for the data.

    Now if some of the UK’s consumption of imported consumer goods and foreign holidays was instead supplied from within the UK how many tens of billions would be saved ?

    We would certainly have more money available for house building, investing in infrastructure, reducing student debt and paying for health and social care.

  8. Canada has a balance of payments deficit? That’s very surprising for a country with such vast natural resource wealth comparable to its population.

  9. Yes but oil prices especially have tanked in recent years, taking exports (and the economy of Alberta) with it

  10. As an addition to the previous discussion the UK had proprtionally the lowest capital investment of the 32 OECD countries in the 1997-2017 period:

  11. An ex-Conservative Cllr has been jailed (and lost his appeal) for being the head of a sophisticated £1m drug gang.

    The rogue estate agent was said to have used fake names and ID documents to fraudulently rent out properties to some Thai overstayers who used the 7 properties here as cannabis factories.

    The raids were led by the UKBA who found that the electricity had been dangerously bypassed.

    Donal Hassatt was jailed for 2 years and 9 months.

  12. Four protestors wearing balaclavas entered a meeting at UWE where a debate was being held.

    Scuffles broke out and police were called. Jacob Rees-Mogg attempted to break up the altercation but was not injured.

    The only local reporter present said the protestors shouted, “Tory scum.”

    For Labour, Angela Rayner has condemned the violence and said MPs’ security should be considered as they often travel to events alone.

  13. I think it is high time these brainless idiots calling themselves ‘anti fascists’ were exposed for what they are. Thugs.

  14. I don’t think it’s necessary to “expose” them to be honest. The actions speak for themselves.

    I feel somewhat sorry for these people, actually. They’re so consumed by the hatred of their opponents and desperation for change that they fail to realise how counterproductive this sort of behaviour is for the causes they hold so dear.

  15. Absolutely cracking bit from the archives:

    For those who still think Jacob Rees-Mogg adopts his persona as a political gimmick, it’s worse than you think – he really is like that.

  16. Terrifying

  17. Jacob Rees Mogg has my support to succeed Theresa May after yesterday’s brexit betrayal. The sooner it happens the better.

  18. Hahahahaha.

  19. I realise past denials mean little, but JRM has said he doesn’t even want to be in the Cabinet let alone Leader, as he prefers to Q the Executive from the backbenches.

    He also said, although before becoming an MP – as did his father – that a Roman Catholic should not be PM, but that he is very proud to be one.

  20. Jacob Rees-Mogg’s house has been vandalised:

    The thing is, JRM himself won’t care. He could pay for the damage thousands of times over. The only people to benefit from this are Daily Mail BTLers and their ilk, for whom this is ammo in their culture war.

  21. ‘Jacob Rees-Mogg’s house has been vandalised’

    I had to chuckle when I heard that, although I suspect that rather than some left-wing do-gooders the culprits are far more likely to be right-wing thugs from the criminal underworld – the sort of people Mt Rees Mogg speaks of behalf of

  22. If a hard Brexit vandalises the country I won’t be weeping for JRM’s house.

    I don’t condone this kind of thing but controversial politicians can’t expect to be immune from the chaos they bring about.

  23. Jacob Rees-Mogg has announced he will vote for the deal next time it returns. But the deal still faces a battle to pass with the DUP utterly opposed and hardline of the ERG, Cash, Braverman, Francois, still planning on voting against. Labour switchers don’t seem that forthcoming.

  24. Yes some others like Fabricant have joined him but they seemed to have fallen out with the rest of the ERG and without the DUP who aren’t having any of it it seems insurmountable. Apparently the PM hasnt bothered with some Tory MPs which seems stupid

  25. Worth noting that the tweet in which JRM announced this has about 4000 replies, most of them from angry Brexiteers calling him a traitor.

    If you thought the ERG were unappeasable, wait until you see the members…

  26. Most of those won’t be Conservative Party members, however.

    More likely members of none or UKIP, Brexit etc.

    I’m amazed any MP – other than Lammy, Soubry & the LDs – want a second Ref though – even Alan Johnson says Remainers would be slaughtered.

    Posters up here of Dominic Grieve & Oliver Letwin, with a slogan something akin to Tweeds Take Back Control? Tell Them Again! would see off the Hezza/Clegg/Blair/Adonis clan for good.

  27. He has now rowed back slightly and put DUP support as the one condition he has (which is not certain to be achieved in time forn a vote to happen this week.)

  28. In fact he’s said if the DUP abstain, he’ll support MV3.

  29. He didn’t say that this morning but rowed back further this afternoon to include abstention.

  30. The Lib Dems have taken Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ward on a 65% vote share and, even more impressively, a 54% turnout.

    Hard to read that as anything other than a (non-binding) vote of no confidence in their local MP.

  31. Jacob Rees – Moog is now a cabinet member – as Leader of the House.

  32. JRM opposes the relocation of Parliament to Richmond house- looking like that might be scraped and instead it’s a slower part decant.

  33. And Edward Leigh is strongly encouraging JRM and Johnson to cancel the full relocation – Boris has publicly opposed the move previously

  34. Will he be sacked on Friday – since the Grenfell remarks he has been barely seen or heard

  35. Funnily enough…once Boris has his majority and passes his Brexit bill, the likes of JRM are no longer useful to Johnson. If anything, Boris will have to tilt a bit more to the liberal, One Nation wing of the party, who are probably massively pissed off at present.

  36. ‘If anything, Boris will have to tilt a bit more to the liberal, One Nation wing of the party, who are probably massively pissed off at present.’

    But Johnson has had such a toxic effect on the Tories that there no longer is a liberal, one nation wing. There hasn’t been for sometime at local level and now the bulk of the One Nation MPs in Parliament have either been de-selected or have stood down on their own accord.

    And given that today’s Tory supporters are millionaire bankers, old people and wwc Brexiters, Johnson’s government will feel no need to cater to moderate, one nation former Conservatives who because of Brexit no longer support the party and focus more on appeasing his new base with income tax cuts, generous pensions and sticking up 2 fingers to Brussells whenever the opportunity arises

    Johnson’s government almost certain to be the most right wing since Lord Liverpool’s in 1812-27

  37. In addition to all that, passing a Brexit deal ISN’T THE END OF BREXIT, and the ERGers will retain the whip hand through years of negotiations. The Tories’ “get Brexit done” line has been even more effective than I thought if even Tristan has uncritically swallowed it.

  38. What a farce.

    You all know what I’m talking about.

  39. Not now we don’t!

  40. Dan Norris, who was the MP for the predecessor Wansdyke seat here, won the West of England mayoral for Labour. Went to a second round, but a strong result, coming out with almost 60% at the end of the contest. He took a huge chunk of 2nd preference votes, most likely from a significant number of Green and Lib Dem 1st preference voters.

    Very little coverage of this on the BBC.

  41. Yeah, this is by far the Tories’ biggest defeat. Aside from this it’s just a couple of Holyrood seats, and Cambridgeshire County Council.

  42. I noticed there was a big independent vote last time for an ex Labour candidate. Would this have partly been the reason for an easy win this time? I know 2nd preferences should have made this like for like in the second round but 2nd preferences don’t always work out like you think they should (either not filled in or going randomly if people don’t understand the system).

    Anthony Wells said on twitter that polling multi candidate constituencies was “a pig” because you can’t write an easily understood question and many think they have to give a different party for their second vote (less likely in the polling booth I think).

    Be interesting to see the Bristol results- lots of factionalism there between different strands of Labour. The Greens did have hopes there until Corbyn showed up.

  43. This might be the case – large numbers of voters do not fully understand the run-off system and so vote transfers are not as efficient in practice as in theory. I haven’t looked at the numbers to judge how plausible it is that this cost them the vote last time. However, it is clear that this area is trending Labour – just six weeks after Tim Bowes was elected in 2017, the Tories lost the parliamentary seats of Bristol North West and Bath, and they don’t look like ever winning either seat back.

  44. @ Polltroll

    Bristol area certainly leaning leftward/progressive but that Bristol Mayor result was not good for Labour with the Greens pushing them close. Be interesting to see the council results today.

    The story of Starmer’s first year as LOTO is that he has turned off the left of the party while failing to make any gains of significance among the “Red Wall”.

  45. Okay, so that’s one narrative, the other version of events is this:

    The first year of Keir Starmer’s leadership has taken place in extraordinary times where everything is on the government and hence there’s not really any data on Starmer. The election results were a Tory win rather than a Labour defeat. In circumstances where covid deaths are down 99% from January, half of all British people have been given at least one dose of vaccine, and the economy is forecast to grow 7% this year – how could the government not benefit from that? (See also Wales, where an incumbent Labour government did exactly that!)

    It’s a very real groundswell of optimism, but it’s also very temporary and certainly won’t be in play by 2024. So no need to panic yet – if (as we all hope) the pandemic is a thing of the past in Britain by this time next year, and results do not improve, then action must be taken.

    Now, I’ll be honest the various factions in the Labour Party will push their own line. My own motivated reasoning pushes me to believe what I have just written over what you have, Shevii, but I’m trying to avoid believing things that flatter my priors because people doing that sort of thing is a huge part of why Labour are in the mess they’re in.

  46. Neil:
    “Very little coverage of this on the BBC.”
    Doesn’t fit the narrative.

    I think that’s a reasonable perspective, PT. “Tories fail in London again” is also a non-story for the media, I’m guessing (I don’t consume huge amounts of news).

    The idea that Starmer could be making gains in the “red wall” so soon after they voted Tory in 2019 seems unlikely – perhaps by the next GE.

  47. Funny you say that Starmer shouldn’t be expected to pick up Tory seats at this stage in the electoral cycle, because the national projected share from these elections would give the Tories somewhere in the region of 345 seats if the same votes played out in a general election. That would halve their current majority…

  48. Well, I suppose SHEVII was talking about gains of “significance” in the ‘red wall’. And recent polling does indicate that Starmer would take quite a few of those seats in a GE:

    “Red wall” is quite a disparate term used for any of Labour’s long-held seats outside London, north of Watford.

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