MARCH 11, 2024

By Harry Mottram: It may not sound it but the new constituency of North East Somerset and Hanham is set to see one of the great political battles of this year. For years North East Somerset was the safe seat of the Conservative’s Jacob Rees-Mogg but with boundary changes the constituency has lost much of its Somerset area and now has the Bristol suburb of Hanham included.

The demographic change throws the potential result up in the air – and that was before the dipping of fortunes of the current Rishi Sunak’s Tory administration. Various polls have suggested the once safe seat of Rees-Mogg is now a marginal – potentially with one of Bath’s most well-known people – namely the Mayor and Councillor Dine Romero of the Liberal Democrat Party (pictured with the young musician of the year in Bath) taking on the high-profile Tory MP. She has announced that she will be fighting to be the area’s next Member of Parliament – in the expected general election later this year.

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg is the Conservative’s candidate – once parliament is dissolved all MPs are candidates and not MPs – while Labour are yet to choose between Dan Norris, Dr Rebecca Montacute andJames Coldwell (pictured.)

Cllr Dine Romero said: “I’m thrilled to be selected as the Lib Dem candidate for the North East Somerset and Hanham constituency. I want to build on recent Lib Dem successes in the area. Unlike other parties, the Lib Dems work hard and keep in touch all year round. We take the time to listen to people’s concerns and be their voice. That approach is recognised and appreciated by local people and explains why the Lib Dems performed so well in last year’s local elections. For over 20 years I’ve been a voice for local people at the BANES council – and now I have an opportunity to be a voice for us in parliament.”

In the local elections last year the Liberal Democrats caused a near wipe-out in Bath and North East Somerset for the Tories so they will be hopeful that Dine Romero can see the end of the high-profile Jacob Rees-Mogg. However, the well-spoken Tory has his fans and he may well hold off the challenge if there is a resurgence in Conservative fortunes as the economy and inflation in particular improves. Labour will also have a say in the matter and could affect the result with their potential supporters siding with the LibDems or Lib Dem voters switching to Labour. Or it could be a traditional three-way marginal with the three main parties battling it out – assuming the Greens, Reform, UKIP and Independents don’t also have an effect. As the late Labour PM Harold Wilson once said, ‘A week is a long time in politics,’ so anything could happen between May and January next year.

Bath Voice Monthly Newspaper is distributed free to thousands of homes and some supermarkets – distributed from the first of the month. Harry Mottram is the News Editor

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Harry Mottram is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Telegram, TikTok and Mobile: 07789 864769