Sarah Yong selected as Liberal Democrat candidate for Somerton and Frome

Sarah Yong has received a very special 30th birthday present – selection as Liberal Democrat candidate for Somerton and
Frome. She hopes to replace David Heath MP who is standing down.

So, who is Sarah? Well, her Leadership Programme profile tells us:

Sarah was born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and a Chinese Malaysian father, and her family moved to Somerset when she was three years old. Sarah attended local state schools before graduating with a BA in Politics and History.

Upon leaving university, Sarah embarked on a military career and attended The Royal Military Leadership Academy for Officer training in 2007. Unfortunately Sarah’s career path in the military was cut short when she sustained a back injury. Sarah went to work at Clarks International in early 2008 where she undertook a variety of roles from customer services to digital marketing. During this time Sarah joined her local Liberal Democrat party and became a key member of Tessa Munt’s General Election campaign team. After the Liberal Democrats succeeded in Wells Sarah became the Head of Office for Tessa Munt MP.

Outside politics Sarah has undertaken many voluntary roles, including youth work and teaching abroad and at home.

She wowed the Conference Rally last Spring, talking about her local campaigns and how she hoped to see a House of a commons as diverse as when the Youth Parliament visited.

She also wrote for us just before Christmas about her trip to China.

Sarah’s selection is the 6th out of 7 in a held seat. So far she, Vikki Slade, Ibrahim Taguri, Julie Porksen, Lisa Smart and Christine Jardine seek to form Liberal Democrats: The Next Generation. We await the result in North East Fife, due in mid March.

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* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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13 Comments

  • R Uduwerage-Perera 1st Feb '14 - 10:49pm

    Well done Sarah, I believe that you will do the Party proud.

  • Jonathan Brown 1st Feb '14 - 11:56pm

    Excellent news. I briefly spoke with Sarah after her amazing conference speech, and she was just as inspirational in person as on the stage. She’ll make a fantastic MP.

  • Liberal Neil 2nd Feb '14 - 8:55am

    Well done Sarah 🙂

  • Andrew Colman 2nd Feb '14 - 11:07am

    Good to see a woman in a winnable seat. Lib Dems have been criticised for lack of female MPs, hop this is putting things right.

  • Alexander Matthews 2nd Feb '14 - 12:29pm

    Well done, Sarah.

  • peter tyzack 2nd Feb '14 - 2:36pm

    An impressive individual, a brilliant choice.

  • Steve Comer 3rd Feb '14 - 1:59pm

    I agree Sarah is an excellent choice for the difficult task of replacing David Heath MP.

    However I must challenge Andrew Colman’s implication that the party has notworked to get women MP’s elected.
    We don’t have ‘safe seats’ to parachute people into the way the Labour and Tory parties can do. However in 2010 Harrogate, Hereford and SE Cornwall all selected female candidates where male MPs were standing down, but sadly all three seats were lost to the Tories. This, illustrates the difficulty we often have in replacing incumbent MPs. We need to do this better, and selecting candidates now is a good start.

  • Is Annuziata Rees-Mogg standing again…?

  • Steve Comer I don’t know the Hereford and Harrogate situations, but I can comment briefly on SE Cornwall. Although SEC has always had a strong Liberal / Lib Dem presence, it has been a much tougher nut to crack, than say North Cornwall.It was known that when the very popular local MP and former Councillor Colin Breed retired it would be difficult to elect a successor Lib Dem. Unfortunately the situation was compounded by getting a candidate who wasn’t suitable. They had an awful campaign, and many people left the party or became inactive. As far as I know, things are beginning to get back to normal now. They had a female candidate then, and a male candidate now, but let me say that gender has/had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    Andrew Colman must comment for himself, but I do not think he implied what you suggested, Steve.

  • David Evans 5th Feb '14 - 2:27am

    The key thing is not that Sarah is a woman, but that she is a good, local, Liberal Democrat. That is what wins us elections. Parachuting women who have no real connection with the local area in from the South East is a recipe for disaster and actually does a disservice to gender balance campaigners. It is good to see that Somerton and Frome have made a much more sensible choice.

  • Chris Manners 5th Feb '14 - 5:00pm

    “The key thing is not that Sarah is a woman, but that she is a good, local, Liberal Democrat. That is what wins us elections.”

    No reflection on her personally, but I’d say that ship’s long sailed.
    Local champion standing up to central government doesn’t work if you’re in that government.

  • David Evans 5th Feb '14 - 8:16pm

    It does Chris. Indeed I think you will see it is the one thing that does work in 2015.

    I hope its enough for Sarah.

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