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Results & Constituencies
 
 Taunton
Other Conservative gain from Liberal Democrat
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Adrian Flook Conservative 23,033 41.7 +3.0
Jackie Ballard Liberal Democrat 22,798 41.3 -1.4
Andrew Govier Labour 8,254 14.9 +1.4
Michael Canton UK Independence 1,140 2.1  
Majority 235 0.4
Turnout 55,225 67.6 -8.9
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 2.2% from Liberal Democrat to Conservative
Lab-Con (against 1997) 0.8% from Labour to Conservative

Description
The market town of Taunton, on the River Tone, is the county town of Somerset and is an important commercial and administrative centre, with the county councilís main offices based here, as well as Somerset County Cricket Club.

The second largest town in the constituency is Wellington, most famous for the fact that Arthur Wellesley took the title Duke of Wellington, although he is reputed to have only visited it once (in 1819). Most of the rest of the seat is taken up by numerous small villages with quintessentially Somerset-sounding names as Combe Florey, North Curry, Langford Budville and Bishops Lydeard.

There is some light industry but the main economic activity is agriculture and the services and processing it generates.

The Tories held this seat for most of the 20th Century, although a Liberal did hold it from 1922 to 1924. Previous incumbents include Sir Edward du Cann and his successor, David Nicholson, who was beaten by Lib Dem Jackie Ballard in 1997. However, the Liberal Democrats lost overall control on Taunton Deane Council in 1999.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Taunton
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative
Name Party Votes %
Jackie Ballard Liberal Democrat 26,064 42.7
David Nicholson Conservative 23,621 38.7
Libby Lisgo Labour 8,248 13.5
Brian Ahern Referendum 2,760 4.5
Leslie Andrews BNP 318 0.5
Majority 2,443 4.0
Turnout 61,011 76.5
 
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