The Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Wellington has joined the celebrations after what his party is calling "a near-landslide victory" in the Taunton Town Council elections.

The party won 19 of the 20 seats available on the new authority with the other going to the Conservatives.

The new local council for Taunton has been formed after changes in local government in Somerset which saw the creation in April of a new single unitary council for the whole of the county, taking over the duties of Somerset West and Taunton Council for the Wellington area.

After the results of Thursday's election were announced, Gideon Amos, the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Taunton, which includes Wellington, said: “It’s a privilege to lead such a dynamic new team of all walks of life, age groups and communities - all united in their resolution to stand for our County Town.

“What Taunton deserves now is just as strong a voice in Parliament - one who will stand up to government for local people, not the opposite.

“After tonight, we’re raring to go, to ensure we win again here in the General Election.

“It’s not only Taunton and Wellington but the country as a whole which deserves a future where individuals and businesses can thrive again, where those in charge follow the rules and where the pollution of our rivers and the future of our environment is taken seriously.

“The Conservative government knows it’s now on borrowed time - the sooner we can change government for good, the better”.

On the party winning 19 seats out of a possible total of 20, Mr Amos added: “Some may feel frustrated their party isn’t fairly represented in the new council.

“We share that frustration because our party has campaigned for proportional representation for 100 years.

“Sadly, Conservative and Labour governments have so far combined to keep things the way they are.

“A fairer system would give far less power to individual parties and would help restore some trust to British politics."

The result in Taunton reflected an apparent trend in the early results from the local elections across England, which saw the Conservative Party lose seats and control of some councils to the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

Responding to the first results, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was disappointing to lose councillors but added that his party was making progress in "key election battlegrounds", the BBC reported.

Conservative MP Rebecca Pow won the Taunton Deane seat at the 2017 General Election with more than half the total votes cast to secure a majority of almost 16,000. It was the second time Mr Amos has been runner-up to Ms Pow, and the two will face each other again at the next General Election which is expected late next year.

Under a boundary reorganisation, the Taunton Deane constituency will keep Norton Fitzwarren but will lose many areas such as Wiveliscombe, Cotford St Luke, Oake, and Milverton which will become part of the new neighbouring Tiverton and Minehead seat.