General Election: Will Bristol remain a Labour stronghold

-Credit: (Image: Dan Norris)
-Credit: (Image: Dan Norris)

Labour could be on course for a near clean sweep across the Bristol area, with a record number of seats in the West of England in its history - but with one or two other parties threatening to spoil the clean sweep.

Polling data suggests Labour will easily win four of the five seats it already holds in Bristol, and could take another four off the Conservatives when votes are counted on Friday morning.

But voters in two seats - Thornbury & Yate in South Gloucestershire, and Bristol Central - could buck the trend and send a different party candidate to Westminster.

Read next: Conservatives facing West of England wipeout in latest YouGov seat-by-seat poll

Read more: Former Tory MP for Kingswood to vote Labour at the General Election

Labour went into the 2024 General Election campaign confident of holding on to the seats it already has in Bristol, and winning some more in the surrounding areas. And the latest MRP constituency polls show Labour were right to be confident.

The predictions are that Labour could end up winning as many as eight of the ten seats in the West of England region, but if the pundits’ speculation of a Conservative meltdown are wide of the mark and the ‘quiet Tories’ do come out in force, it’s more likely to be six or seven.

The latest YouGov seat-by-seat predictions has Labour easily winning the safe seats in Bristol that it was always likely to take.

Bristol South
Bristol South MP Karin Smyth in Parliament in June 2022
Bristol South MP Karin Smyth in Parliament in June 2022

The current predictions has Labour candidate Karin Smyth, who has been the South Bristol MP for nine years already, more than 40 percentage points ahead of second place, with the YouGov MRP poll putting her on 56 per cent - around halfway between the 60 per cent of the vote share she won in 2017 and the 50 per cent she won in 2019.

The real race in Bristol South is for second place. Currently YouGov is struggling to call that, with Reform UK on 14 per cent, the Green Party on 13 per cent and the Conservatives on 11 per cent.

Bristol North West
Bristol Nort West MP Darren Jones slams 'unthinkable' plans to delay Filton railway station
Bristol Nort West MP Darren Jones slams 'unthinkable' plans to delay Filton railway station -Credit:Darren Jones MP

The polls in Bristol North West - which has been a Labour-Conservative marginal for years, and was held by the Tories as recently as 2017 - show a huge swing to Labour. In 2019, Labour MP Darren Jones won by ten percentage points and a majority of 5,692. The predictions in the 2024 election have him with a 35 percentage point lead. He is on course to win 53 per cent of the vote - not too dissimilar to the 49 per cent he won in 2019.

Again, the contest to come second is closely fought. YouGov’s MRP poll has the Tories on 18 per cent, Greens on 13 per cent and Reform UK on ten per cent.

Bristol East
Labour candidate Kerry McCarthy.
Labour candidate Kerry McCarthy. -Credit:Kerry McCarthy

Labour has long held Bristol East, and new boundary changes don’t appear to be putting a dent in that record, although the inclusion of inner city areas like Easton, Lawrence Hill and Barton Hill - where the Green Party has won local council elections, could boost the Green vote here.

YouGov’s poll reflects that - they predict the Green vote in Bristol East could be as high as 26 per cent, putting them easily second behind Labour’s Kerry McCarthy. In 2019, Ms McCarthy won with 53 per cent of the vote and the YouGov poll predicts not much change there - with Labour winning 54 per cent of the vote.

The Greens could jump from losing their deposit in fourth place in 2019 to being serious second place challengers - YouGov has them on 26 per cent - way ahead of the Tories, Lib Dems, and independent candidates.

Bristol North East

The newest constituency in Bristol - it is basically half of what was Kingswood, and half of Bristol East, with Lockleaze thrown in too. So previous results don’t apply here and predicting it is harder for YouGov, but again the MRP poll has Labour’s Damien Egan on 54 per cent, some 28 points ahead of the next nearest challenger. Again, it’s a battle for second place between Reform UK on 16 per cent, the Conservatives on 14 per cent and the Greens on 11 per cent.

Bristol Central
Damien Egan labour candidate at the by election count for the Kingswood by election
Damien Egan labour candidate at the by election count for the Kingswood by election

This seat has been the focus of Labour’s efforts in the West of England - which in itself is remarkable given it is held by Labour with a huge majority from 2019. But the challenge from the Green Party will be one of the stories of the 2024 General Election if co-leader Carla Denyer can indeed pull of a huge swing and win it for the Greens to become only their second MP.

YouGov’s poll has shifted since the start of the year here, and now puts the Green Party up 50-37 over Labour in second place. The YouGov poll is merely a projection from national polling information and local election results, but there has been a constituency-specific poll carried out in the last week by Omnisis, commissioned by the Green Party. It had the Greens up 49-40 over Labour, albeit with a larger margin for error than most polls, because only 500 people who live in the constituency were asked and only 400 said they knew who they were going to vote for.

So if Thangam Debbonaire becomes the highest profile Labour casualty of the General Election in the West Country, there could well be plenty more Conservative casualties on Friday morning in the area around Bristol.

Filton and Bradley Stoke
Sir Keir Starmer paid a visit to the Memorial Stadium on Monday afternoon alongside Bristol Central Labour candidate Thangam Debbonaire -Credit:PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC
Sir Keir Starmer paid a visit to the Memorial Stadium on Monday afternoon alongside Bristol Central Labour candidate Thangam Debbonaire -Credit:PAUL GILLIS / Reach PLC

The suburban seat on the South Gloucestershire fringe of north Bristol was always going to be the Conservatives’ most vulnerable hold at the General Election, and the latest YouGov poll has Labour’s Claire Hazelgrove winning it fairly comfortably, even with Reform UK splitting the right wing vote. The current prediction is for Labour to get 49 per cent of the vote, the Conservatives 27 per cent, with Reform UK on 14 per cent.

North East Somerset and Hanham

West of England metro mayor Dan Norris has taken a big gamble in his political career, and Labour have taken something of a gamble picking a man who already has a big job, to stand against Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg in a re-run of the 2010 General Election contest here. It could be the closest result of the night - YouGov has Labour on 41 per cent, just six points ahead of Rees Mogg on 35 per cent. Reform UK are on 11 per cent and the Lib Dems are on eight per cent. It’s certainly not a given that Labour will win here and Rees-Mogg will lose, so expect that result to be even tighter than that on Friday morning.

North Somerset
-Credit:Claire Hazelgrove/Labour
-Credit:Claire Hazelgrove/Labour

A previously long-standing safe Conservative seat, the Tories have held it literally forever - only when voters in what is now North Somerset were in with Weston-super-Mare, did a Liberal get elected once, for a year, more than a hundred years ago.

So it would seem remarkable that a Conservative collapse to less than 100 seats might include losing North Somerset, where Liam Fox has been the MP for 32 years. Labour are the second place challengers, but will have to overturn a 17,536 majority with a swing of more than 14 per cent. YouGov’s poll suggests that is possible - but only with a strong Reform UK showing pulling away disgruntled Conservative voters.

YouGov currently has Labour ten points up 40-30 over the Conservatives, with Reform UK on 16 points, and the Lib Dem vote collapsing to just nine per cent as people vote tactically.

WECA mayor and parliamentary candidate Dan Norris
WECA mayor and parliamentary candidate Dan Norris

Another seat that has been Conservative for a generation, although this one did fall in the last great Labour landslide of 1997 - albeit it to the Liberal Democrats. This time Labour have a mountain to climb to unseat John Penrose. He has a majority of 17,121 from last time, but boundary changes have removed the rural areas east of the M5, making Labour’s job a bit easier.

YouGov again currently has Labour winning this 40-30 over the Conservatives but again, like North Somerset, that is dependent on a strong Reform UK showing. YouGov estimates 17 per cent of the voters in Weston will go for Nigel Farage’s party.

Thornbury & Yate
Sadik Al-Hassan, Labour candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Sadik Al-Hassan
Sadik Al-Hassan, Labour candidate for North Somerset -Credit:Sadik Al-Hassan

Of all the constituencies in the West of England where a resurgent Labour Party has the lowest chance of winning, this one in South Gloucestershire is not going to happen for Sir Keir Starmer. It’s traditionally been a Conservative-Lib Dem contest, and the 2024 General Election looks like repeating that.

YouGov currently have a very close contest with the Lib Dems on 37 per cent predicted, and Conservatives on 31 per cent, with Labour finishing fourth behind Reform UK.