Taunton Deane

2015 Result:
Conservative: 27849 (50.3%)
Labour: 5347 (9.7%)
Lib Dem: 12358 (22.3%)
Green: 2630 (4.8%)
UKIP: 6921 (12.5%)
TUSC: 118 (0.2%)
Independent: 96 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 15491 (28%)

Category: Safe Conservative seat

Geography: South West, Somerset. The whole of the Taunton Deane council area.

Main population centres: Taunton, Wellington, Bishops Lydeard, Wiveliscombe.

Profile: Set in the vale between the Quantocks and the Blackdown Hills Taunton is the county town and largest town in Somerset, the administrative centre for both Taunton Deane council and Somerset county council. The seat also includes the smaller, but more industrial town of Wellington to the west. To some extent Wellington is a home for Taunton`s commuters but it is also a manufucturing town in its own right, with textile, beds and aerosols all important local industries.

Politics: Taunton was traditionally a Conservative seat, its past MPs including most notably Edward du Cann, long time Chairman of the 1922 Committee and, as of 2015, one of the few surviving ministers from the MacMillan government. Since 1997 it has changed back and forth between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, initially won by Jackie Ballard for the Lib Dems in 1997, it was narrowly gained by the Conservatives Adrian Flook in 2001 (a victory put down to Jackie Ballard`s vociferious support for a hunting ban in an area known for its stag hunting). Flook in turn held the seat for only a single term before he was defeated by Jeremy Browne. Browne retired after a single term and the seat again moved back into the Conservative column.

Current MP
REBECCA POW (Conservative) Born Somerset. Educated at Imperial College London. Former broadcaster, journalist and gardener. First elected as MP for Taunton Deane in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 24538 (42%)
Lab: 2967 (5%)
LDem: 28531 (49%)
UKIP: 2114 (4%)
MAJ: 3993 (7%)
Con: 25191 (42%)
Lab: 7132 (12%)
LDem: 25764 (43%)
UKIP: 1441 (2%)
MAJ: 573 (1%)
Con: 23024 (42%)
Lab: 8254 (15%)
LDem: 22798 (41%)
UKIP: 1140 (2%)
MAJ: 226 (0%)
Con: 23621 (39%)
Lab: 8248 (14%)
LDem: 26064 (43%)
Oth: 318 (1%)
MAJ: 2443 (4%)

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

2015 Candidates
REBECCA POW (Conservative) Born Somerset. Educated at Imperial College London. Broadcaster, journalist and gardener.
NEIL GUILD (Labour) Educated at Kings College Taunton and Swansea University. Local government officer and former soldier.
RACHEL GILMOUR (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and SOAS. Management consultant. Contested Nottingham North 1997, Totnes 2001.
LAURA BAILHACHE (UKIP) Educated at Heathfield Community School and Oxford University. Solicitor.
BRUCE GAULD (Independent) Former lab assistant and porter.
MIKE RIGBY (Independent) Somerset councillor.
Comments - 448 Responses on “Taunton Deane”
  1. I guess one could argue Canada as a counter-example, though, Hemmelig?

  2. This will be interesting
    Six candidates CON LIB LAB IND GRE UKIP
    Weak UKIP good IND Green and LAB. LIB Doesnt live in the constituency and has history.
    CON strongest and biggest profile having been working at it for 18 Months selected at open primary.
    My Prediction
    Con 42
    LIB 38
    LAB 10
    UKIP 5
    IND 3
    GRE 2

    Browne may have held Gilmour unlikely to win. Partly LIB disenchanted Partly not cutting it locally
    all to go for.

  3. I was surprised to discover that


    was still alive.

    Now how many long serving MPs have had more years in retirement than they did as MPs ?

  4. He was a pretty prominent figure in the Tory party at one time.

  5. they had to make a correction in today’s paper for overlooking the rather electorally important fact that browne isn’t standing.

  6. Modesty forbids me pointing out who it was who first flagged this error up on their website!

  7. I think it will be a very narrow Tory gain.

  8. Conservative gain, majority 1100.

  9. don’t think l’ve disagreed with you yet tory. l have with shaun once. wonder when his next tranche will appear.

  10. Can you see my comment Barnaby?

  11. no

  12. Was that a joke, only I can see ‘Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear’.

  13. l can’t see it. it hasn’t appeared.

  14. has to be a Tory gain

    LD – 33
    CON – 40
    UKIP – 15
    LAB – 10
    O – 2

  15. I think it’ll be closer than that, but yes. If I had to hazard a guess:

    CON 40
    LD 38
    UKIP 11
    LAB 8
    GRN 2
    OTH 1

  16. If this is a Tory gain in May, does any think it will revert back to the Lib Dems in 2020 or will this start to become a reliable seat for the Tories like Battersea or Putney.

  17. I don’t think you comparing like with like. The rise in Conservative support in the Wandsworth seats has been driven by social change, partly influenced by council policy. There is nothing similarin this seat.

  18. I’d be expecting a Tory gain here and a fairly comfortable one. Jeremy Browne’s departure at such a late stage, makes it an uphill battle with Rebecca Pow seemingly well-embedded. What is the history ROGER HABGOOD refers to in respect of the Lib Dem candidate?

    There has been a significant LD presence in Somerset for a couple of decades now and so long as that remains, it is unlikely it will be an easy ride for the Conservatives, although to some extent that would dependent on how well Ms Pow performs asan MP.

  19. This seat is nothing like Battersea or Putney. Don’t be ludicrous.

  20. T”his seat is nothing like Battersea or Putney. Don’t be ludicrous.”

    I did not mean in character I meant in the strength of the Tory vote.

  21. Do people agree Pow! is safe here?

    I have this down as very likely CON hold.

  22. Gain.

    Although latest ASHCROFT puts CON only 4% ahead.

  23. Are you on the right thread? The Lib Dems hold this seat.

  24. I’d say CON gain but narrower than people expect.

  25. Local Tories are talking quite confidently about half a dozen gains in the SW, with several other seats potentially in play. This would be one of the first group I would have thought.

  26. I think half a dozen gains in the SW is pretty much nailed on: I’d expect them to gain Chippenham, Mid Dorset & Poole North, North Devon, St. Austell & Newquay, Somerton & Frome and this seat at least. Probably gain Wells as well and chance of two or three others on top of that

  27. I’d say they’ve got a more assured gain in Wells than here.

  28. I have a sneaking suspicion Wells might be a suprise hold, there will be one somewhere, maybe Berwick Upon Tweed for the Liberals?

  29. Here is another candidate. There will likely be one somewhere, maybe two, you’re right.

  30. North Devon following the terrible Ashcroft poll? In any case it will be a night well worth watching for me just to see how the LDs do, and then we consider SNP, UKIP LAB-CON battlegrounds! Will be a cracker.

  31. I agree with Roger Habgood strong Labour Green and Independent candidates put he did not mention weak Tory and Lib Dem candidates and very poor TUSC candidate .

  32. CON win

  33. If the Tories win here in May, does anyone think it’ll swing back to the Lib Dems in 2020?

  34. I am bemused by all the 2020 comments in this site..

    Does no-one take into account that there will be a rather dramatic redrawing of almost all boundaries in 2019? Not to mention quite a number of seats going out of existence?

  35. Labour has a very good candidate here and will make up good ground, Libdems are collapsing here, Torys will hold up in support and will win by 5000 votes the rest are nowhere.

  36. Good Labour candidate, Lib Dems and UKIP okay, Tory weak. However, still expecting the seat to go to the Tories by quite a margin. People are forgetting that Mike Rigby, the independent, has a good chunk of local support and will probably come a good third place. As a left-of-centre independent, he’s taking a lot of votes from LDs.

  37. Conservative Gain. 2,000 maj.

  38. The Conservatives will gain the seat by a big majority.

    The Lib Dems will be smashed. Many people in the south west with left-of-centre values have previously voted Lib Dem ‘to keep the Tory out’. They realise that this is not going to happen this time, so will be more inclined to vote according to how closely their beliefs coincide with those of particular candidates or parties. Most will vote Labour or Green or for Mike Rigby, who is the only other candidate with any credibility.

  39. John W was spot on with his prediction above. I always thought the this was a possible Lib Dem hold and if the Tories were to gain it, it’d be by about non more than 4000 votes.

    Can anyone explain why the Lid Dems were wiped off the face of the earth in this seat?

  40. For much the same reasons as they were wiped out everywhere else? If you look at every Lib Dem seat, the vast majority of the predictions were far too generous to the Lib Dems.

  41. Lib Dems gained Blackdown in a by-election tonight.

  42. Blackdown (Taunton Deane) result:
    LDEM: 71.2% (+49.9)
    CON: 22.5% (-30.4)
    IND: 6.3% (+6.3)
    Other Ind and Grn didn’t stand this time round.

  43. Where’s Gloy Plopwell when you need him, eh?

  44. is it a he?

  45. More stupendous momentum.

  46. Lib Dems got more actual votes in Blackdown ( in a low turnout by-election) than they have since before 2003, including 2015 General Election day.

    It rather gives the lie to the “can’t do well anywhere but Remain voting parts of Britain” idea..

    I think they would win here in a by-election at the moment, and in many other west country seats. A general election would be a different matter..

  47. Taunton Deane is actually, I think, one of the most favorable seats for a Lib Dem recovery in the West Country, if they put up the right candidate.

  48. ““If they put up the right candidate.”
    Isn’t that true everywhere?”

    A very weird comment. Obviously it isn’t true in any of the 600 seats that the Lib Dems have no hope of winning.

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