Bristol North West

2015 Result:
Conservative: 22767 (43.9%)
Labour: 17823 (34.4%)
Lib Dem: 3214 (6.2%)
Green: 2952 (5.7%)
UKIP: 4889 (9.4%)
TUSC: 160 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 4944 (9.5%)

Category: Marginal Conservative seat

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

Main population centres: Bristol, Avonmouth.

Profile: Geographically the largest of the four Bristol seats, stretching out to the Severn estuary (and technically including a large chunk of it). The seat contains some of the more affluent and Conservative parts of Bristol like Westbury and Stoke Bishop, but these are balanced out by council estates like Southmead and Lockleaze and the heavy industry and manufacturing out at the Avonmouth Docks, making this a classic marginal.

Politics: A Bristol North West seat has existed since 1950, but the boundaries have changed substantially over the years. For many decades it was a classic marginal seat between the Conservatives and Labour, but the seat that existed between 1997 and 2010 took in parts of South Gloucestershire and was safely Labour. Boundary changes in 2010 transformed it into a marginal seat that was won by Charlotte Leslie for the Conservatives.

Current MP
CHARLOTTE LESLIE (Conservative) Born 1978, Liverpool. Educated at Millfield School and Oxford University. Former Policy advisor to David Willetts MP. First elected as MP for Bristol North West in 2010.
Past Results
Con: 19115 (38%)
Lab: 13059 (26%)
LDem: 15841 (31%)
UKIP: 1175 (2%)
Oth: 1146 (2%)
MAJ: 3274 (7%)
Con: 13230 (28%)
Lab: 22192 (47%)
LDem: 9545 (20%)
UKIP: 1132 (2%)
Oth: 1393 (3%)
MAJ: 8962 (19%)
Con: 13349 (29%)
Lab: 24436 (52%)
LDem: 7387 (16%)
UKIP: 1149 (2%)
Oth: 371 (1%)
MAJ: 11087 (24%)
Con: 16193 (29%)
Lab: 27575 (50%)
LDem: 7263 (13%)
Oth: 2605 (5%)
MAJ: 11382 (21%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CHARLOTTE LESLIE (Conservative) See above.
DARREN JONES (Labour) Born Lawrence Weston. Educated at Portway School and Plymouth School. Solicitor. Contested Torridge and West Devon 2010.
CLARE CAMPION-SMITH (Liberal Democrat) Retired teacher. Bristol councilor since 2006.
JUSTIN QUINNELL (Green) Freelance photographer and lecturer. Contested Bristol West 2005.
ANNE LEMON (TUSC) Science teacher.
Comments - 170 Responses on “Bristol North West”
  1. Lib Dem collapse in parts of this seat will mean a very tight result between Labour and the Tories. I’ll take a punt at a Labour gain.

  2. Have the Lib dems collapsed? The council went noc, but is there a particiularlyu heavy loss of votes?

  3. Hi Joe, wrong bits of Bristol though. Henleaze is the only Lib-Dem held leafy middle-class ward (similar to say Clifton) in this consitituency. Wards like Lockleaze (very working class) are Lib Dem seats but haven’t been up for election yet. I sincerely doubt we’ll see anything but a big swing to Labour in places like that. Horfield is more mixed but is very studenty and again not great turf for Lib Dems at the moment.

    Finally this was a Lib Dem target in 2010. Quite impressive campaign, even if ultimately unsuccessful. Can they seriously afford to give it the same attention in 2015 when the seat they actually hold already in Bristol (Bristol West) looks very much threatened?

  4. This May will be the council elections to watch for a better idea of course!

  5. I rather think the Tories will be able to hold on here. I suspect the demographics are slightly – net – in their favour, and even if Labour achieves a big swing from the Liberal Democrats, the Tories may move up a bit aswell.

    Local elections can be misleading – we’ve seen examples before where Governments do ok in mid-term only to find that Labour can do a lot better when more people turn out, but I would punt at this one being too much for them.

    How on earth the Tories managed to hold Avonmouth this May when the former councillor scored 25% for UKIP is not my main factor by the way.

  6. 68% for the Tories in Stoke Bishop by the way.

    If Clifton is now trending Tory, perhaps it would suit them to have that in this seat aswell to build a safe seat, but one thing at a time.

  7. Joe James B, you keep on saying that the Tories’ vote will go up but [snip] no PM has increased their share of the vote since 1955 (not even Thatcher or Blair) and Anthony Eden had the post-war economic boom and rising living standards. The idea the Tories will ‘move up a bit’ is utter nonsense, they only managed 36% when facing the most unpopular PM of modern times – Gordon Brown. [snip]
    Labour will take Bristol North West because the collapse in the Lib Dem vote will go to Labour and a swing from Tory to Labour will be enough to tip Labour over the finishing line and take the seat. Also, Labour has a very strong candidate in Darren Jones who is locally popular and well-known.

  8. Nice to see Anthony snipping these tedious and repetitive posts, but why not go the whole hog and remove them altogether?
    Bob I suggest you go and spend your time on electoral calculus where you can play around with your imaginary swings (Labour lead of 20%, Lib Dem vote halved etc etc) and see the effect that this sort of thing happens if it occurs uniformly across every seat in the country. Any idiot can do this of course, but please don;t bother reporting your findings here, because this is not what this site is for. Here on this thread for example we consider particular local trends. You totally ignore the fact that the Tories won Avonmouth this year which should be one of Labour’s strongest wards in this seat. It doesn’t look like a strong UKIP performance split the ‘right wing vote’ there as per your theories elsewhere.
    Your approach appears to be to go down the list of 106 Labour target seats and say yes Labour will win here because the Lib Dem vote will be destroyed, we have a popular local candidate and Labour are going to have a 20% lead in the popular vote. Its the same on every thread. [Snip]

  9. Bob, I actually know this seat quite well.
    The way you keep saying “this WILL happen” etc
    sounds like you protest too much.

  10. The notional result here from 2005 is worth bearing in mind as it is strikingly similar to the national outcome. Per the archived page on this site it was:

    Labour 36.5%
    Conservative 34.4%
    LibDem 24.3%
    (Lab maj 2.1%)

    This would suggest that Labour would be likely to need an overall lead in the popular vote to take this. The dynamics of this seat look very similar to those of Watford – another ‘classic marginal’ where the Lib Dems have progressed to second without making a breakthrough.

  11. My theory is that it was also a lib dem target in 2010 so the lib dems would have attracted con lib dem waverers. Some of these people could go conservative as a fairly natural unwind without the conservatives having to do particularly well nationally or regionally. It is possible some of the labour wards will see a big reurgence even if converseley labour is far from a full recovery but I think prob not

  12. Joe James B, the Lib Dems attracted Labour voters in those areas. Tories attracted swing voters who voted Labour in ’97 but could not trust Labour in 2010. You are protesting too much, because all the evidence shows that in order for the Tories to be confident of holding three-way marginals, they have pick up a lot of votes from disaffected Lib Dems. No chance of that happening.

  13. Well I see Anthony has a keen sense of humour and has now edited out part of my post which was criticising Bob’s trolling. Some kind of pathetic attampt at even-handedness, like the left wingers who say the EDL are just as bad as the terrorists who hack soldiers to death in the street.
    This site has gone seriously down hill anyway. Its clear the move was necessary and some of the new demographic stuff is good, but as we’ve lost all the old comments so much is now repeating what has already been said there. I post at another site which is partly ruined by a mindless Labour troll like Bob and I have better things to do at the moment than make posts that are going to be edited or removed. Shaun Bennett was right. I won’t be posting here anymore.

  14. I’m very sorry to read that.

  15. Pete, if it makes you feel any better the terrorists are worse than the EDL. People like Owen Jones piss me off too, you know. But that has nothing to do with psephology or the fact that Labour is the likely winner of Bristol North West in 2015.

  16. Pete has said pretty much what I said 2 weeks ago.

    I thought I’d give it another chance as the trolling seemed to have reduced but now its almost back to it irritating worst.

    I daresay this site would not be affected much by the loss of the likes of myself, but without Pete it will be substantially the worse. Pete is right, trolling like Bob’s (regardless of supposed party affiliation) absolutely ruins these kind of sites and I can’t see why he hasn’t yet been banned.

  17. I think several of us have threatened not to post again, but I would agree with HH and Andy
    and I have no reason to think Pete, the most knowledgeable person here, doesn’t mean what he says.

    I personally don’t find Bob offensive but he seems very complacent when we’ve all been hit by UKIP and the pattern is quite complex.
    It could be that Labour leaning voters realise that UKIP are on the right, and leave my party even more exposed
    but at the moment it has had a somewhat ironic effect of wrong footing Labour and the Lib Dems who traditionally should be picking up more of the anti Con votes.

    I think I will try to cut my number of posts though to see if it attracts new people on rather than what may appear to be a clique – when it isn’t actually – But I see little way forward without Pete’s knowledge.

  18. I don’t know whether Bob actually knows Bristol NW atall – he might do
    but part of my argument is this seat saw the Con vote drift downwards after the 1997 defeat when it is almost certainly not a typical city seat like others around the country where that happened.
    The LDs had a base partly as a result of that, and if that retreats this could be a little bit like Stockton South in 1992 -but not as extreme.

  19. @ Joe James B

    The Conservatives retained second place in this seat in 1997, 2001 and 2005 , with the Lib Dems third, so it seems unlikely that Tory/LD ‘waverers’ would have voted Lib Dem tactically here. I suspect that the argument you make might be true of Watford where the Lib Dems appeared the main challenger to Labour up to 2010, but here the Tories’ performance seems a close reflection of the National position – certainly in 2010 and 2005.

  20. The recovery of Westbury more than reversed the 1997 boundary changes (that had helped Labour).

    If compaired to the notional result, the Tories went up 4%, Labour went down 11% and the Lib Dems up 7% then the 2010 result on the old boundaries would be something like Lab 36%, Con 32% and Lib Dem 27%, so a possible Labour hold… the Conservatives were helped here by the boundary changes.

    The two Northern divisions of Bristol (North East and North West) were interesting because they were both Conservative Gains from Labour in 1959 and also both Conservative holds in 1964, and then Labour gains in 1966 and then both Conservative gains in 1970.

    It was only the 1974 boundary changes that caused Bristol North East to absorb much of the Labour held Bristol Central that appears to have split their similar voting behaviour.

    The recent boundary changes also ment that this was no longer a typical city constituency, as it became more suburban in character (and such in other places would not carrry the city prefix).

  21. as someone who lives in a safe labour i know quite a few “Bobs” so like you james i don,t find him offensive.
    AS for the ukip vote labour has clear spilt lines which (currently covered by been in opp) ukip can gain votes i.e a lot of wwc (still a big vote in the mids) just are not connecting with the current labour party (its too middle class for them) alas it takes time to convert people so i think labour will win 2015. The issue that will (well maybe)break labour is the nhs (not until after 2015) as the eu will push to open up healthcare.

  22. Maybe we should just ask Gloy why they have changed their name and become a Labour supporter.

  23. I did find the 10000 + Labour majority in Brent Central to be the kind of prediction that Gloy would have made, given that it exceeded any historical precedent for the margin of defeat for a sitting MP elected at the previous GE.

    I agree that she is certainly the underdog and is more likely than not that her luck will run out next time, but the widest margin of defeat for a sitting Liberal MP by Labour in modern times was 4000 – 5000 in Leeds West in 1987.

    I also did not agree that David Mundell was doomed in DCT. It not only resisted the swing from Con to Lab in Scotland in 2010 but swing to the Tories (behaving more like Hexham or Penrith & The Border than Edinburgh SW or Dumfries & Galloway).

    I feel some posters write what they want to happen instead of what they actually believe will happen!

  24. Some of the Lib Dem support in Bristol is Conservative leaning

  25. True….I noticed that Clifton (still in Bristol West) went back to the Tories.

  26. That shows you that because the Left are split, the Tories come through the middle. Joe, you are absolutely wrong because according to research by Lewis Baston over 70% of Lib Dems in the seat voted Labour in 1997 and 2005. You are wrong on that.

  27. Yes. Nearly got clifton east aswell. First time since the excellent results in 1992. Had a pint there the other day to celebrate

  28. Bob – will you stop lecturing me about seats I know about specifically.
    Just go to Electoral Calculus and talk to yourself on your own.
    You’re ruining this site.

  29. It comes to something when one of this site’s most knowledgeable members no longer wants to post here.
    If anyone wants to continue to see Pete’s extremely valuable contributions to psephological discussion, the other place is well worth a visit.

  30. ‘The recovery of Westbury more than reversed the 1997 boundary changes (that had helped Labour).’

    Whilst Westbury is the sort of place you’d expect to be Conservative its not quite as up-market or affluent as Stoke Bishop, Henleaze or Clifton

    Whilst Cliffton has become something of a lib dem stronghold, I’m surprised the lib dems are so strong in Henleaze and it does suggest that joe might have a point in his asserttion that much of the lib dem vote in bristol is conservative-leaning

    Whilst i won’t hide my dislike for Pete Whitehead’s hard right political viewpoint, his contribution to the site (and its predecessor) has been invaluable and i hope he re-considers his decision to leave.

    It goes without saying that this site would be infinitely worst without him

  31. Perhaps it’s a better idea to follow Pete over to the other site, which I might try to do although I’ve always found Vote UK a bit too time-consuming for me.

    By the way Tim…I saw someone called Tim Jones posting on Hopi Sen’s blog the other day….was it you??

  32. ‘By the way Tim…I saw someone called Tim Jones posting on Hopi Sen’s blog the other day….was it you??’

    most certainly not – apart from a couple of liverpool-supporter forums – on which i post using an alias – this is the only blog-type thing to which i contribute

    might have a look at vote uk though if all the best posters on here continue to jump ship

  33. I could hardly disagree more with Pete on political matters, but his contributions here are at worst interesting, and at best (which is very often) they are invaluable. I do hope that this site is not allowed to be ruined by one extremely unfortunate contributor, but unless that contributor is at the absolute least very greatly reduced in his quantity of posts I will have to conclude that I too will have to stop contributing. I hope that some sort of meaningful debate can be restored.

  34. Bob’s latest gem – written as if he is posting straight from Labour HQ – is that Diane Abbott is going to stand down from parliament to stand for London mayor.

    This site used to be a source of great insights – now it is increasingly just the source of nonsense and repetitive trolling.

    The past 2-3 weeks I’ve settled for a halfway house of only posting occasionally, which has been good for my work.

  35. Tim

    I hadn’t thought it was you, as the poster on Hopi Sen sounded like a Labour supporter and didn’t share your rather distinctive style. Quite a common name I guess.

  36. FWIW I did assume it was the same Tim Jones!

  37. Bob may be irritating, but my feeling is that he’s broadly right. Bristol City Council gives successive election results by ward (including pie charts):

    The most striking feature is the very low turnout which disproportionately hurts Labour, and won’t be the case to the same extent, at a general election. Yes the conservative vote share has held up surprisingly well, but Labour have made gains, in terms of vote share, albeit modest, across the wards that make up this seat. The Liberal Democrats have collapsed, as one might suspect, and I don’t think those votes are going to suddenly materialise at a GE, but they have to go somewhere. Not to mention the fact that people may vote a different way in a GE than spread across multiple wards with low turn out and different tactical considerations.

    Yes, it’s possible that the Conservatives will pull something out of the bag, but I’d be very surprised if this wasn’t a Labour gain.

  38. It’s conceivable that ALL Bob’s predictions might be right, of course, but it’s the way they’re presented, so rudely rubbishing everyone else, using the site to further a narrowly sectarian political interest, and refusing to see any alternative point of view which is so frustrating. At least Ian McIntosh, while his predictions were plainly ludicrous, didn’t diss everyone else or try & use the site to canvass.

  39. Barnaby’s right and Hannah is missing the point.

    I don’t find Bob’s prediction of a Labour victory here or in quite a lot of other places in any way implausible, it’s his behaviour on the site that is the problem.

  40. Local election result:

    Con 8,694 (37.2%)
    Lab: 6,398 (27.4%)
    LD: 4,189 (17.9%)
    Green: 1,569 (6.7%)
    UKIP: 648 (2.8%)
    Others: 1,875 (8.0%)

    Changes since GE2010:

    Con: -0.8%
    Lab: +1.4%
    LD: -13.5%
    Green: +5.7%
    UKIP: +0.4%
    Others: +6.8%

    Swing, Con to Lab: 1.1%

  41. That is a remarkably poor result for Labour

  42. It is. I had to double-check the figures because I thought they weren’t right the first time.

  43. Fantastic result for the tories and charlotte L

  44. it’s good isn’t it

  45. Joe James B and Runnymede are reading too much into it. It is a fantastically poor result because they are local county council elections where there is a very low turnout, in turn hitting the Labour vote. That included, over 70% of Lib Dem voters in this seat backed Labour in 1997. With the Lib Dems set to lose even more voters regressing to 15% or 14% as their cap not their floor, Charlotte Leslie will instantly be in trouble because this is a three-way marginal. If Labour started picking up Tory votes on top of that, then it will have a very strong majority come 2015.

  46. note the decent sized Social housing pop (24%)in this seat i am guessing they stayed at home in this seat in 2013 but the ex lib dems may put lab over just.
    note to yougov
    would be nice if you had some housing vote data or turnout predictions plus please take wales out of the midlands.

  47. There is no reason for optimism for Labour here. Bristol W actually looks like a better bet. The party is flatlining in the former marginal wards & if we can’t win Avonmouth then we can’t win Bristol NW. The Labour gains in the recent elections in the city were disproportionately in the 2 Labour-held constituencies and, although it is not yet impossible for Labour to take this if the turnout increase disproportionately helps the party, I can’t see any reason for the blind optimism I’m seeing from Bob & even from Hannah above.

  48. As I said in the first post, turnout can be an issue (we have often referred to results in Birmingham where the Tories can do well locally – even when in office – some of the time – and in some areas of it – parts of London are other examples, Wandsworth being the most obvious).

    But this is an encouraging Con result nevertheless.

  49. Thats a good Tory result. We will hold on here in 2015 if the Lib Dem vote holds up well. If their vote collapses and moves over to Labour then we’ll struggle.

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