Labour holds on to Bristol seats
LABOUR'S Kerry McCarthy and Thangam Debbonaire have been re-elected as the MPs for Bristol East and Bristol West, with the city one of the few bright spots for the party at the general election.
All four Bristol seats remained in Labour hands after the vote, despite an electoral pact between the Greens and Liberal Democrats in Bristol West and Tory hopes that the party could regain the Bristol North West seat it lost in 2017.
In Bristol East, which includes the council wards of St George Central, St George West and St George Troopers Hill, Ms McCarthy (above, right), who has held the seat since 2005, saw her majority reduced by 2,600 but still received well over half of the votes cast on December 12.
Labour's share of the vote fell by 7.6% but the 27,717 votes for Ms McCarthy, down from 30,847 in 2017, still represented 53.1% of those cast.
The Tory vote also fell, from 17,453 in 2017 to 16,923 (-1.9%), with the Lib Dem and Green votes rising slightly.
Ms McCarthy said: "I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who voted for me to continue as the MP for this area. I really do appreciate it. It was a tough election in many ways but it was the support of people on the doorstep – and in the street, in the shops, everywhere I went – that kept us going.
"The national election result was of course hugely disappointing for Labour. We need to learn from this defeat. I will be part of that conversation, and I am keen to hear from you too. And of course, whether you voted Labour or not, I am here to help you with individual problems, to support the local community, and to speak up for you in Parliament."
Ms McCarthy's nearest challenger, Conservative Sarah Codling, said afterwards: "I’d like to offer my sincere gratitude to every single person in Bristol East who voted for me. It wasn’t to be and I congratulate Kerry on retaining the seat.
"The Prime Minister spoke from Downing Street about the need to heal and it is my abiding hope that we are now able to move on from pro Leave and pro Remain divisions, to become pro Bristol and pro Britain."
In Bristol West, which includes areas of Whitehall and Redfield in the council's Easton ward, Ms Debbonaire's majority fell by more than 9,000 votes, from 37,336 in 2017 to 28,219.
But her overall total of 47,028 was down by just 185 on two years previously and she still received almost two out of every three votes cast.
Ms Debbonaire (above, left) said: "Thank you so much to everyone in Bristol West who has put their trust in me to be your MP for the next 5 years. No matter who you voted for I promise to listen to you and represent your interests in Parliament.
"I also want to thank all of the volunteers who helped out with my campaign. From canvassing in the cold and dark, to data entry, to publicly endorsements, to door knocking in the rain on Election Day. I appreciate everything you have done and I won’t let you down."
After the Lib Dems stood down as part of the Unite to Remain electoral pact, the Greens saw their vote more than double, from 9,216 in 2017 to 18,809, pushing the Conservatives into third place. Green candidate Carla Denyer said: "Thank you so much to all 18,809 people who voted for me. I’m sad not to not win this time around, and the national picture is shocking.
"But don’t lose hope! Democracy is a process, not an event.
"Also, we really need to get rid of first past the post – we must Make Votes Matter!"
Bristol East Result:
Kerry McCarthy (Labour) 27,717
Sarah Codling (Conservative) 16,923
Nicholas Coombes (Liberal Democrat) 3,527
Conan Connolly (Green) 2,106
Tim Page (Brexit Party) 1,881
Total votes 52,154
(157 rejected ballot papers)
Bristol West result:
Thangam Debbonaire (Labour) 47,028
Carla Denyer (Green) 18,809
Suria Aujla (Conservative) 8,822
Neil Hipkiss (Brexit Party) 869
Total votes 75,528
(355 rejected ballot papers)