The Fund’s most ambitious activity in 2015 was the running of a general election Hustings for the local, and highly marginal, Somerton & Frome constituency on the evening of Tuesday 24 March at Huish Episcopi Academy. Because of Bagehot’s influence as a political and constitutional writer, and his unsuccessful efforts to become an MP, the Fund was uniquely placed to facilitate such an event locally.
A great deal of organisation went in to ensuring that it conformed with the Electoral Commission’s requirements for an impartial election event. All six declared prospective candidates – Lib Dem, Con, Lab, Green, UKIP and an Independent –participated, and dealt with a wide range of questions, which the Fund had invited in advance from the local community, in front of an audience of around 150.
The Hustings was covered by the local media, and feedback from candidates and audience alike was very positive.