iberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey orchestrated a lively spectacle reminiscent of a circus in a recent by-election victory PR stunt. However, his message was clear: it is time for a general election to remove the Conservatives from government.
Sir Ed playfully ignited a circus cannon featuring the slogan “Get these clowns out of No 10,” showering yellow confetti over the exuberant Liberal Democrat supporters who had converged to celebrate Sarah Dyke’s triumph in the Somerton and Frome by-election.
Characterizing the gain as “nothing short of spectacular,” Sir Ed highlighted the Lib Dems’ resurgence in their former strongholds, proclaiming that his party was “back in the West Country.”
Speaking at an election rally held in Frome town center, Sir Ed emphasized the public’s dissatisfaction with the Conservatives. He stated, “People are furious, furious that while they struggle to make ends meet, while they attempt to secure a GP appointment or a dentist for their child, the Conservatives are so disconnected that they haven’t even noticed.
They’ve grown tired of these Conservative clowns and their political circus, which provides no assistance to the people. That’s why thousands of lifelong Conservatives are switching to the Liberal Democrats, and why thousands of lifelong Labour voters have lent us their support to defeat the Conservatives.”
He added, “I believe this is why people from all walks of life are turning to the Liberal Democrats. They see that we listen to them and fight for a fair deal on their behalf. Last night, the people of Somerton and Frome spoke not just for themselves but for the entire country, sending a resounding message to the abominable Conservative Government.
“Ringmaster Rishi has run out of ideas, lost touch, and run out of excuses. It is time to bring an end to his disgraceful spectacle. It is time for a general election to dismantle this Conservative circus. It is time to evict these clowns from No. 10.”
Among the attendees at the rally were Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord, who secured victory in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election last year, and Lady Jane Ashdown, the widow of former leader Paddy Ashdown.
Reflecting on the rally, Sir Ed stated that the Liberal Democrats had opened a “second front” in the West Country, their traditional heartlands. He asserted, “Previously, I have talked about the Blue Wall in places such as the true-blue heartlands in the Home Counties, where the Liberal Democrats are truly challenging the Conservatives. Now, we have a second front in the West Country, which means we are a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming general election.”
However, Sir Ed declined to speculate on the number of seats his party might win in the general election or whether they would surpass their performance in the 1997 and 2005 elections. He stated, “I won’t engage in speculation about numbers, because that’s what the Conservatives are doing—taking voters for granted. We will continue to work hard and remain focused on listening to people and demonstrating that we have ideas, policies, and values that resonate with them.”
He also refuted any claims of formal or informal electoral pacts between the Liberal Democrats and Labour. He clarified, “No pact, no deal—there hasn’t been one, and there won’t be. Voters are becoming increasingly astute; they don’t want the Conservatives, and they can discern which opposition party is most likely to defeat them. In the Blue Wall and across the West Country, it is the Liberal Democrats who can best challenge the Conservatives.”