Confident Liberal Democrats target the West Country's leave seats - David Wood takes a look at the visit

Today the Jo Swinson electric bus will roll into the West Country, an area of the country that the party used to call its 'heartland'.

But after all 14 of its MPs in our part of the world were kicked out in the 2015 election the party has been trying to regain the initiative here.

The signs of the party's effort started to show in the 2017 election when it won back Bath, and then in this year's local elections it took control of councils like Cotswold District, Bath & North East Somerset and Somerset West and Taunton.

Plus in May's MEP election the party had 2 MEP's elected in the South West.

This is why the party is so confident going into December's General Election in the West Country with some party sources here believing more than ten seats could be in play.

Credit: PA Images

However, the party will have a tough time in many parts of the West Country as its core message in this election is to stop Brexit, it is even the slogan on their bus.

Some members of the party in leave areas tell me they're uncomfortable with the policy and would have preferred the party continued to only campaign for a second referendum.

Credit: PA Images

That said a sign of the confidence of the party is that its leader is expected to visit leave voting North East Somerset as her first stop of the campaign in the West Country.

At the last election the Lib Dems came in third place on the seat lagging around 24,000 voted behind the Conservatives who held the seat. This shows how confident the party wants to be seen.

Other seats it hopes to win that voted leave include Wells, St Ives, Taunton Deane, North Devon and Yeovil.

It does have high hopes too in Cheltenham (voted remain) and to hold onto remain voting Bath.

In a boost to the party's remain cause it has agreed a pact with the Green Party not to stand against each other in some seats.


  • Bath

  • Cheltenham

  • Chippenham

  • North Cornwall

  • Taunton Deane

  • Thornbury & Yate

  • Totnes

  • Wells


  • Bristol West

  • Exeter

  • The Forest of Dean

  • Stroud