The picture-postcard villages in the Blackdown Hills are not normally the scene of political upheaval, but this corner of south-west England could be the scene of an unlikely political revival for the Liberal Democrats.
One of Jeremy Corbyn’s most persistent critics is to quit as a Labour MP and take a job in the nuclear industry, triggering a three-way fight for his marginal northern seat with the Conservatives and Ukip.
Labour’s poll rating will improve by this time next year, Diane Abbott has said, claiming after two disastrous byelections that infighting in the party had been largely to blame for its electoral woes.
The Conservatives have held the seat of Sleaford and North Hykeham in Lincolnshire in a byelection triggered by the resignation of Stephen Phillips over “irreconcilable policy differences” with Theresa May.
Byelection results should not be overinterpreted. After all, with their inevitable focus on single issues and low turnouts, these mid-term votes regularly throw up unusual outcomes that do not shed light on what might happen in a general election.
Theresa May’s decision to pursue a hard Brexit is driving Conservative-supporting remainers to desert the party, the Liberal Democrats’ newest MP said in the aftermath of her sensational win in the Richmond Park byelection.
The Liberal Democrats have produced a stunning byelection victory to unseat Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park, overturning a 23,000 majority to remove the former Conservative MP in a vote that became a de facto plebiscite on the government’s Brexit plans.