By Harry Mottram: Wera Hobhouse has secured a large majority for the Liberal Democrats in Bath after the July 4th, 2024, general election which has also seen Kier Starmer’s Labour Party win a majority in parliament. The MP was re-elected with 19,883 votes some 11,218 votes ahead of second place Daniel Bewley for Labour who overtook James Wright for the Conservatives by over 1,000 votes – a surprise since Bath has been Tory and Unionist blue since 1918 apart from Don Foster for the Lib Dems in 1992 and Wera Hobhouse since 2017.

The result for Bath was announced in the early hours of Friday 5th July, 2024. This table of results is from the BBC.

Change compared with 2019

  1. Liberal Democrat,Wera Hobhouse
    • Votes 19,883
    • Share 41.3%
    • Share change -12.1
  2. Labour,Dan Bewley
    • Votes 8,665
    • Share 18.0%
    • Share change +5.5
  3. Conservative,James Wright
    • Votes 7,659
    • Share 15.9%
    • Share change -16.2
  4. Green,Dom Tristram
    • Votes 5,952
    • Share 12.4%
    • Share change +12.1
  5. Reform UK,Teresa Hall
    • Votes 3,798
    • Share 7.9%
    • Share change +6.8
  6. Independent,Colin Blackburn
    • Votes 1,749
    • Share 3.6%
    • Share change +3.6
  7. Workers Party of Britain,Matthew Alford
    • Votes 230
    • Share 0.5%
    • Share change +0.5
  8. Independent,Bill Blockhead
    • Votes 169
    • Share 0.4%
    • Share change +0.4
  9. Independent,A.N. ON
    • Votes 25
    • Share 0.1%
    • Share change +0.1

Change compared with 2019

The result is an endorsement of the German born academic who moved to Bath in 2014 having married William Hobhouse in 1989 moving first to Liverpool and then Rochdale. She was initially a Conservative councillor there but defected to the Lib Dems over an asbestos pollution story which she felt strongly about. Despite the size of her majority and her mandate from Bath’s voters the Lib Dem share of the vote was down on 2019 – although not as down as the Conservatives who saw a a drop of 16.2% in their share.

Dan Bewley for Labour coming in second is in part due to the national swing to Kier Starmer’s Labour Party but also a gradual resurgence for Labour in Bath and surrounding areas. Bath used to have Labour councillors – but at the local elections they became the official opposition picking up seats in BANES. Farmer James Wright for the Conservatives was the victim of the public’s anger across the country with a trio of Tory troubles: Partygate, Liz Truss and The Cost of Living Crisis.

Dominic Tristram for the Green Party is arguably the big winner amongst the runners up as he came fourth with almost 6,000 votes and a 12% boost in the their share of the vote the last time they ran. Bath has several Green Party Councillors who have made inroads into the Lib Dem vote in recent times and nationally environmental issues have moved up the agenda.

Nationally Reform UK have had a strong performance – thanks in part due to the high profile leader Nigel Farage who won the Clacton constituency. Teresa Hall for the political force was fifth with 3,798 votes. In some seats the Reform vote damaged the Conservatives but it is hard to make a case here in Bath for that argument. Teresa Hall will have picked up some disaffected Tory votes but more so from UKIP and the Brexit Party of the past.

Westmoreland Bath Councillor Colin Blackburn stood as an Independent and pulled in 1,749 votes and came in sixth in the election – a creditable performance for a new recruit for the national election battle. One wag mentioned to Bath Voice that he must have got almost the entire population of Westmoreland to vote for him! He shares the ward with Independent June Player.

Workers Party of Britain candidate Matthew Alford who was seventh with 230 votes. Although founded in 2019 the party’s ideology can be traced back to the Communists and radical socialist parties of the past with policies which cannot be described as middle of the road. Bath’s appetite for a planned economy and class struggles has clearly not be whetted this time.

Two other Independent candidates namely Bill Blockhead and A.N.O.N. hadn’t expected to win too many votes and that was confirmed in the results. However it does take guts and a certain ego to stand for parliament – and an ability to take the economic hit of losing their deposits of £500 – so well done however they did – as it is all part of the nation’s democratic process.

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