LIBERAL Democrats were celebrating in the early hours of Friday (July 5) a spectacular double victory as they took both the Taunton and Wellington and Tiverton and Minehead seats in a General Election which brought an end to Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Government.

Gideon Amos swept to victory in a much anticipated Taunton and Wellington poll with 24,331 votes giving him a majority of 11,939 over Conservative Rebecca Pow’s 12,392, proving to be almost a complete reversal of the 2019 General Election.

Rachel Gilmour gives her victory speech.
Rachel Gilmour gives her victory speech. (Tindle News)

In Tiverton and Minehead, Rachel Gilmour saw a closer run race but still won with a respectable 3,507 majority, taking 18,326 votes to outgoing Conservative Ian Liddell-Grainger’s 14,819.

Predictions that Reform UK could cost Conservatives victory in many seats came true for Mr Liddell-Grainger as the party’s Fred Keen polled 7,787 votes.

Labour’s Jonathan Barter took 4,325 and the Green’s Laura Buchanan 2,234.

But even Reform UK Charles Hansard’s 8,053 votes would not have changed the outcome for Ms Pow.

Labour’s Brenda Weston took 3,552 votes in Taunton and Wellington, Ryan Trower 1,832 for the Greens, and Rochelle Russell 134 for the Communist Party of Britain.

The declarations were made by High Sheriff of Somerset Rob Beckley in full ceremonial uniform, complete with sword and a cocked hat.

Addressing supporters, Mr Amos said: “This is a historic night for Liberals across the whole country, the biggest gains for us in any election in over 100 years.

“I have heard the change you want to see. I will work every day to make that change happen.

“A Liberal giant is stirring, not just in Somerset but across the country, and you have made that happen.”

A phlegmatic Ms Pow said being an MP was an honour or whomever held the position.

She said:”The tide comes in, the tide goes out, and things change, I think we all understand that.”

Mrs Gilmour in her victory speech declared: “It has been a long time coming.

“Tonight in Somerset and Devon we will have restored Liberal democracy from the years of Conservative Government.”

Mr Liddell-Grainger accepted ‘that is democracy, the people have spoken and I accept that’.