Breaking News: Somerset election results 2022: Lib Dems win control

after 13 years of Tory dominance.

The only rural area of the South West having council elections this year. Not good news for Tory chances in the upcoming by-election! – Owl

www.bbc.co.uk 

Bill Revans Liberal Democrats Somerset leader

Liberal Democrats Somerset leader Bill Revans was able to celebrate his party taking control

The Liberal Democrats have won the Somerset County Council election.

The party has won 57 seats so far, one more than the minimum needed to have overall control of the council.

As things stand, he Conservatives have 28 seats, Labour have four in Bridgwater, and the Green party have four in Frome.

The Conservative Party had been in charge of Somerset County Council since 2009 with the Liberal Democrats in second place.

The Lib Dems will now run the county council for the next year and then run the new unitary authority replacing the county and district councils for a further four years after that.

Bill Revans the new Liberal Democrat leader of Somerset Council said: “We’ve got some brilliant local councillors who’ve held their seats.

“After 13 years of the Conservatives being in charge of Somerset County Council I think there was [a feeling of] ‘it’s time for a change’ and people wanted to put the heart back into Somerset.”

Earlier, the party gained the Blackmore Vale ward, where long-term Conservative incumbent William Wallace received the fewest votes of all four candidates.

Lib Dem councillors Peter Seib and Jeny Snell were voted into the Brympton ward and Nicola Clark and Sarah Dyke were elected in Blackmoor Vale.

Coker ward elected Liberal Democrats Mike Hewitson and Oliver Patrick to the two seats available.

Labour took both seats in the Bridgwater North and Central ward.

After losing his seat Mr Wallace said “long-term Conservative voters” did not turn out to vote.

“The issues of central Government came up, the partygate problem.”

He said while the election was about local issues, so-called partygate had not helped the “local cause”.

A total of 337 candidates fought for 110 seats in the council’s soon-to-be abolished district and county electoral system.

The elected councillors will oversee the change from a two-tier system to a unitary authority in 2023.