Bristol East

2015 Result:
Conservative: 14168 (30.7%)
Labour: 18148 (39.3%)
Lib Dem: 2689 (5.8%)
Green: 3827 (8.3%)
UKIP: 7152 (15.5%)
TUSC: 229 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 3980 (8.6%)

Category: Semi-marginal Labour seat

Geography: South West, Avon. Part of the Bristol council area.

Main population centres:



Current MP
KERRY MCCARTHY (Labour) Born 1965, Luton. Educated at Denbigh High School and Liverpool University. Former solictor. Former Luton councillor. First elected as MP for Bristol East in 2005. PPS to Rosie Winterton 2007, PPS to Douglas Alexander 2007-2009. Government whip 2009-2010. Shadow Environment Secretary since 2015.
Past Results
Con: 12749 (28%)
Lab: 16471 (37%)
LDem: 10993 (24%)
BNP: 1960 (4%)
Oth: 2844 (6%)
MAJ: 3722 (8%)
Con: 8787 (21%)
Lab: 19152 (46%)
LDem: 10531 (25%)
GRN: 1586 (4%)
Oth: 1664 (4%)
MAJ: 8621 (21%)
Con: 8788 (22%)
Lab: 22180 (55%)
LDem: 6915 (17%)
GRN: 1110 (3%)
Oth: 1341 (3%)
MAJ: 13392 (33%)
Con: 11259 (23%)
Lab: 27418 (57%)
LDem: 7121 (15%)
Oth: 924 (2%)
MAJ: 16159 (34%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
THEODORA CLARKE (Conservative)
KERRY MCCARTHY (Labour) See above.
ABDUL MALIK (Liberal Democrat)
JAMES MCMURRAY (UKIP) Teacher. Teignbridge councillor, originally elected as a Conservative.
Comments - 95 Responses on “Bristol East”
  1. “But when you have Natalie Bennett interviewed on BBC News talking about how great free movement of people in the EU is”

    So few pro-Europeans, especially on the left, are able to articulate to ordinary people the practical advantages which EU membership brings to their lives. Instead, tend to waffle on about human rights and racism and turn the voters off. For all his faults, this is one thing that Tony Blair was extremely good at. His public speeches defending the EU were often focused on everyday practical benefits like cheap foreign holidays and mobile phone roaming charges. He understood that you will never convert the masses to ideological pro-Europeanism (a lesson Nick Clegg should have learned), you have to focus on the pragmatism.

  2. That’s an interesting point about Blair. I heard his interview this afternoon and he made a lot of sense about the EU. He mentioned the usefulness of cooperation between Member States on areas like science and innovation and competing with Asia. The latter felt similar to what Nick Clegg was talking about in his case for the EU, but it was surprisingly without that air of superiority and “I know what’s best” type voice. He also spoke about how it can be reformed in areas where it just doesn’t need to be involved in.

    I guess the trouble is that despite the perks of cheap holidays and mobile roaming charges, the Eurosceptic press are also aware of the ‘red tape’ Directives and/or Regulations which negate the things Blair used to talk about. Also the CAP and Fisheries Policy. While business groups value the EU for its trading advantages, that’s in contrast to some SME’s that feel like the EU doesn’t offer them anything especially when their businesses aren’t involved in international trade.

  3. That’s all true, but you can at least meaningfully engage the public in a debate about holidays and jobs versus red tape and free movement of immigrants. If you focus on why being a pro-European makes you ideologically so superior as you identify is Clegg’s style, it’s an open goal for UKIP.

    If we do have an in-out referendum the in side will need much better advocates than they have now.

  4. ‘If we do have an in-out referendum the in side will need much better advocates than they have now’

    But where will they come from

    You’re probably correct in identifying Blair as one of the most effective advocates of the pro-EU case as far as the general public is concerned, but I don’t see him playing a key role in any campaign and most of the charasnmatic orators are on the ‘Out” side

    I suspect much of the press – The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, the Sun, The Express and maybe even The Times – will put their weight behind the ‘Britain Out’ campaign so the pro-Europeans have it all to do – and at the moment I can’t see anyone stepping up to the task


    A UKIP local election candidate in the Stockwood ward (in this constituency) is a porn actor on the side. Goes by the stage name of “Johnny Rockard” and he’s being quite open about it.

  6. Labour Hold. 8,000 maj.

  7. I can’t quite work out which way this seat is trending long term if anything.

    I felt it was definitely on a trend away from the Tories and that Brislington wasn’t as competitive as it was.
    But things do seem to have got a bit better for the Tories in the last few years with the collapse of the Lib Dems.

    I think Bristol South may be on a very slight Tory trend as it may actually contain more suburban housing and new developments than this seat.

  8. Does anyone know what the 1992 results would have been on the present Bristol constituencies boundaries ?

    Would East have been Conservative and West Labour back then ?

  9. You probably could find out using the notional swingometre on the BBC website for the 2010 election

  10. I think Labour would have won here in 1992. (as it is now).

  11. I’ve just looked it up and yes Labour would have won notionally, but it doesn’t give me any figures.

  12. “Would East have been Conservative and West Labour back then ?”

    On 1992 boundaries, Labour were a poor 3rd in West with the Tories (IIRC) about 7000 ahead of the Lib Dems. Surely Labour couldn’t have overhauled that despite the quite considerable boundary changes. I doubt the Lib Dems would have won either….probably a Tory hold on a very low vote share.

  13. Kerry McCarthy has resigned from the shadow cabinet. Must say this one has shocked me as I thought she would stay.

  14. CWU trade union have censored the Three Labour Mp’s in Bristol for having supported the removal of Jeremy Corbyn. As a result they are not welcome at the union’s campaign base or receive any funds.
    More evidence that the Labour Party is slowly moving towards many many deflections

  15. Deflections???

  16. MP’s leaving the Labour Party, either to a newly formed party, to another existing party or to be independents.

  17. You mean defections?

  18. Yeah.

  19. Just clarifying 😉

  20. A split could be of much bigger impact this time compared to the SDP. At the time Michael Foot was trying to keep Militant at bay and was part of Labour’s establishment.

    This time around, Jeremy Corbyn is the leader from “the outside”. Maybe all those who voted no confidence in him won’t defect, but a large number will still go. I think it’ll be a new party.

  21. I agree Plop. The students will have gone home. If it was in May then Labour coild have held on. But I think whoever gets in here had better make the best of their five years.

  22. Lib Dems might have an interesting affect on this result I see they were second in 2005 and 2010.

  23. Acknowledging churn, it doesn’t look as though they broke for Labour or the Tories in significant numbers in 2015.

    I think this seat will go blue. But to assume any LD rise in share would be the cause would be to assume that the 2010 LDs had an overwhelming preference for one party over the other, and I’m unsure whether that’s the case here. Seems like more of a plauge on both your houses type of vote, which split very evenly in an undecisive election (I know the Tories won but there wasn’t a great shift from 2010), which will break for the more popular party in a landslide scenario.

  24. ”I agree Plop. The students will have gone home. If it was in May then Labour coild have held on. But I think whoever gets in here had better make the best of their five years.”

    This is not the student seat in Bristol the only area of significant concentration of students is in the Fishponds area near to UWE. This (well in 2010 at least) has a lower % of people in full time education than Bristol North West and only slightly higher than Bristol South.

    The unis breaking up will only be significant factor in Bristol West (about a quarter in full time education) which will probably damage the Greens somewhat. Plus the last day of exam period for Bristol uni is Friday 2nd June so there will probably still be quite a few students around by the 8th.

  25. Labour are in serious trouble here, mad to think that Bristol South could potentially be all that is left of the four City seats post 2017 which would incredible.

  26. I would personally put Bristol South as more at risk than Bristol West. Karin Smyth will need to squeeze the 11% Green vote and 9% LD vote from 2015 if she’s to hold.

  27. Must be a fair chance Labour will be wiped out in Bristol for the first since 1922.

  28. Can’t see Bristol South going Tory. Green, UKIP and LD (especially) will act as spoilers for sure which complicates the picture. The seat will undoubtedly move away from Labour over time though, Bedminster is very gentrified these days.

  29. I can see it going Tory on the strength of the UKIP vote.

  30. Theodora Clark is the Conservative candidate here. Her uncle Jacob (Rees-Mogg) is loaning some activists from North East Somerset one day a week in the hopes of winning the seat

  31. this looks eminently winnable from a tory point of view.

  32. According to the Bristol Post , UKIP are not contesting this seat but both the Greens and Lib Dems are.

    Real problems for Kerry McCarthey facing a united “Regressive Alliance” while the left of centre vote still looks fractured.

  33. “Real problems for Kerry McCarthey facing a united “Regressive Alliance” while the left of centre vote still looks fractured.”

    the regressives are the guys who want, or even think the people will want, to get back into the EU mothership.

  34. Peter,

    You might just like to check out the Comments Policy at some point.

    Sites for posting opening political content are available elsewhere.

  35. Will you be spending most of the next 3-4 weeks repeating your own predictions on this site?


  36. So the comment “regressive alliance” isn’t political, but my jokey remarks abt. the EU mother ship are? Pathetic, stephenpt!

    Was just pointing out the irony that the people who want to reverse the referendum result are the progressives. Wanting to get back to the status quo before last June’s vote seems the very definition of regressive to me. Did O level Latin, so I know regressive literally means taking a step (gressus) back (re)…

  37. 15th May seems a long time ago.


  38. “Must be a fair chance Labour will be wiped out in Bristol for the first since 1922.”

    That, and numerous other comments on here, serve as prime examples of the ridiculous an uninformed “magical thinking” that drag this site down.

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