GENERAL ELECTION 2010: LibDems hold Somerton and Frome

Chard & Ilminster News: Somerton and Frome MP David Heath Somerton and Frome MP David Heath

DAVID Heath has retained the Somerton and Frome constituency for the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Heath, who had previously recorded a trio of narrow three-figure election victories, somewhat ''coasted'' to a 1,817 majority win over his Tory rival Annunziata Rees-Mogg.

The size of Mr Heath's fourth victory has come as something of a surprise with political pundits having predicted a much closer battle.

And Mr Heath quipped that he was hoping to have set a record by winning four successive elections with three-figure margins.

''I apologise for not having done that,'' he joked!

Mr Heath added: ''It was the most exciting, most exhilarating and most exhausting election campaign I have been in.

''Getting young people excited by politics in rural Somerset has left a lasting impression.''

Ms Rees-Mogg congratulated Mr Heath on his victory - although it will come as a major blow to the Tories at a national level.

''I hope that David will continue to fight for the people of Somerset,'' she said.

Labour candidate David Oakensen came third with 2,675 votes.

And he joked: ''I'm glad to see socialism is alive and well in Somerset - although you wouldn't be able to say it is flourishing!

''But congratulations to Mr Heath. He has been a tremendous MP and is a worthy winner.''

Barry Harding came fourth with 1,932 for the UK Independence Party, while Niall Warry, of the Independent Leave-the-EU-Alliance, trailed in last place with just 236 votes.

A total of 60,690 votes were cast in the Somerton and Frome constituency with Mr Heath claiming 47.44 per cent of the vote.

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