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election2001
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Readers Poll Con 52% Lab 28% LD 18% Nat 2% Enter your vote to win 1M

Somerton & Frome
Liberal Democrat hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
The Liberal Democrats only won this east Somerset seat by a slender margin in 1997 (130 votes) in circumstances so nationally dramatic that one is actually surprised it wasn't more locally convincing. Together with patchy showings in the most recent local elections in the Districts of Mendip and South Somerset, and the 26 point Tory lead in the 1999 Euro elections, there is a considerable body of evidence building up that Somerton and Frome may actually be one of the Lib Dems' weakest seats to defend when the next general election comes, especially with polling evidence as late as April 2001 suggesting a Tory recovery in the more rural parts of England, fired perhaps by the perceived embattlement of the countryside under a New Labour government.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
David Heath, a Liberal Democrat Agriculture spokesman, was elected here in 1997. A black-bearded optician from Frome who led Somerset County Council for four years, he was born in 1954 and educated as a scholarship boy at Millfield School and at St John's College Oxford (as a contemporary of Tony Blair). Sensitive to a rural economy in crisis, he votes very cautiously on hunting, recently backing 'licensing' of hunts and abstaining in the vote on abolition. High Tory hopes here rest with Jonathan Marland, born 1956, who after Shrewsbury and Oxford Polytechnic, worked in insurance with Willis Faber, and latterly Jardine Lloyd Thompson. In 1998 he established the Conservative Business Liaison Unit to restore links between the Party and business.
ACORN Population Profile of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
Thriving
Wealthy Achievers, Suburban Areas 24.27% 14.99% 161.88
Affluent Greys, Rural Communities 7.69% 2.13% 361.77
Prosperous Pensioners, Retirement Areas 0.91% 2.49% 36.71
Expanding
Affluent Executives, Family Areas 2.16% 4.43% 48.91
Well-Off Workers, Family Areas 6.58% 7.27% 90.43
Rising
Affluent Urbanites, Town & City Areas 0.23% 2.56% 9.05
Prosperous Professionals, Metropolitan Areas 0.00% 2.04% 0.00
Better-Off Executives, Inner City Areas 0.13% 3.94% 3.19
Settling
Comfortable Middle Agers, Mature Home Owning Areas 25.93% 13.04% 198.87
Skilled Workers, Home Owning Areas 11.05% 12.70% 86.98
Aspiring
New Home Owners, Mature Communities 12.06% 8.14% 148.15
White Collar Workers, Better-Off Multi Ethnic Areas 2.39% 4.02% 59.49
Striving
Older People, Less Prosperous Areas 2.40% 3.19% 75.33
Council Estate Residents, Better-Off Homes 3.94% 11.31% 34.87
Council Estate Residents, High Unemployment 0.00% 3.06% 0.00
Council Estate Residents, Greatest Hardship 0.08% 2.52% 2.99
People in Multi-Ethnic, Low-Income Areas 0.00% 2.10% 0.00
Unclassified
Unclassified 0.17% 0.06% 269.29
Household Income of the constituency
  Area
Percent
GB
Percent
Index
GB=100
 
0-5K 8.91% 9.41% 94.60
5-10K 16.59% 16.63% 99.76
10-15K 17.21% 16.58% 103.78
15-20K 14.36% 13.58% 105.71
20-25K 11.00% 10.39% 105.88
25-30K 8.15% 7.77% 104.80
30-35K 5.96% 5.79% 102.91
35-40K 4.36% 4.33% 100.52
40-45K 3.19% 3.27% 97.85
45-50K 2.36% 2.48% 95.06
50-55K 1.76% 1.90% 92.24
55-60K 1.32% 1.47% 89.45
60-65K 1.00% 1.15% 86.75
65-70K 0.76% 0.91% 84.14
70-75K 0.59% 0.72% 81.65
75-80K 0.46% 0.57% 79.28
80-85K 0.36% 0.46% 77.04
85-90K 0.28% 0.37% 74.91
90-95K 0.22% 0.31% 72.90
95-100K 0.18% 0.25% 71.00
100K + 0.82% 1.34% 61.34

Local Map of the constituency
Somerton & Frome - Local Map of the constituency

National Map of the constituency
Somerton & Frome - National Map of the constituency

Swing
1992-1997 1997-2001
Labour (5.95%)
Conservative (-  8.11%) Liberal Democrat (-  0.78%)
Conservative (3.07%) Liberal Democrat (4.11%)
Labour (-  4.75%)
Con - 8.11%
Lab 5.95%
LD - 0.78%
Con 3.07%
Lab - 4.75%
LD 4.11%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
David Heath
Liberal Democrat hold
Con Conservative (42.36%) 22,315 42.36%
Lab Labour (11.60%) 6,113 11.60%
LD Liberal Democrat (43.62%) 22,983 43.62%
Oth Other (2.42%) 1,273 2.42%
Maj Majority (1.27%) 668 1.27%
Turn Turnout (70.25%) 52,684 70.25%
2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
David Heath
Liberal Democrat hold
UK Peter Bridgewood 919 1.74%
LD David Heath 22,983 43.62%
L Jonathan Marland 6,113 11.60%
C Andrew Perkins 22,315 42.36%
LB Jean Pollock 354 0.67%
Candidates representing 5 parties stood for election to this seat.
1997 Results - General Election (1 May 1997)
David Heath
Liberal Democrat gain
Con Conservative (39.29%) 22,554 39.29%
Lab Labour (16.35%) 9,385 16.35%
LD Liberal Democrat (39.52%) 22,684 39.52%
Ref Referendum (4.27%) 2,449 4.27%
Oth Other (0.58%) 331 0.58%
Maj Majority (0.23%) 130 0.23%
Turn Turnout (77.58%) 57,403 77.58%
1992 Results -  General Election (9 April 1992)
Conservative
Con Conservative (47.40%) 28,287 47.40%
Lab Labour (10.40%) 6,217 10.40%
LD Liberal Democrat (40.30%) 24,036 40.30%
Oth Other (1.90%) 1,132 1.90%
Maj Majority (7.10%) 4,251 7.10%
Turn Turnout (82.26%) 59,672 82.26%

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