As the Somerton and Frome by-election reaches its last few days, the candidates have been under intense scrutiny and the constituency has been swarming with national and local media, all trying to discover which way the result will turn. And here a pattern is emerging: Most report that no one- literally no one– will admit to voting Conservative. They note that Labour is fighting a lightweight campaign, choosing to focus more on the Uxbridge and Selby by-elections on the same day. Few people in the street are suggesting they will vote Labour. Both Conservative and Labour have shipped candidates into the constituency rather than choosing genuine local contenders.
The other surprising observation is how many Green posters the journalists have seen and how many people are openly declaring for the Green Party in straw polls across the constituency. In Somerton, one journalist found more Green voters than for any other party. The pollsters and bookmakers only glean their assumptions from looking at previous general elections and factoring in current national trends. They all fail to consider the enormous swing to the Greens in local elections over the last 4 years. This is especially true of Frome, where my own support at the last Somerset election was more than all the other parties combined.
The Liberal Democrats have been repeatedly announcing that this election is a two-horse race between them and the Tories, but that’s not how we’re seeing it. We think the Tories and Labour will fall at the first hurdle and that the real race – as we head into the final furlong – will be between the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats.
We hear of Conservative voters who see what we’re doing to protect them from dirty rivers and unnecessary quarry expansion, turning directly to the Green Party, rather than lend their vote to their old adversaries.
So now is not the time to jump horses. Now, is the time to stick with your convictions and vote for the candidate who will best represent you in Parliament. This election won’t see an end to the Conservative government. There has never been a better time to vote with your heart. This is the last ever election for the current Somerton and Frome constituency. This time- together we can make history.