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. yes, for goodness’ sake DO NOT USE THIS SITE for canvassing. Get out there & knock on doors or phone people if you want to do that.

  2. Close Conservative – Labour fight this one. All depends on where the Lib Dem vote goes. Does enough of it swap straight to Labour or does it split between Labour / Green / Lib Dem.

  3. Ashcroft Poll:

    Con 43
    Lab 34
    L/Dem 8
    UKIP 8
    Green 6

    Probably the most predictable of todays Ashcroft poll. The seat reverts to its old status of a Con / Lab contest, with the Conservatives now heavily favoured with both the Westbury and Stoke Bishops wards being in the seat since 2010.

  4. Ashcroft in Bristol NW:

    CON – 43
    LAB – 34
    LD – 8
    UKIP – 8
    GRN – 6
    OTH – 0

    Very good figures for the Conservatives. I had it down as a hold, but it seems like the collapse of the Lib Dem vote has split the opposition. Plus this is one part of Bristol where the Tories have been resilient.

  5. Three seats in and around Bristol seem to be giving the Tories the sort of support that would probably lead to an overall majority if repeated around the country: Bristol NW, Kingswood and NE Somerset.

  6. Conservative Hold. 3,000 maj. Labour 2nd.

  7. LOL I just looked at the profile for the Labour candidate Darren Jones above and where it says ‘Born Lawrence Weston’ I thought it meant that used to be his name- I didn’t realise it was actually a place-name he was born in!

  8. @ Matt Parr-Reid “What affect will boundary changes have on Charlotte Leslie in Bristol North West?”

    As I mentioned on the Berwick thread, there have been major positive ward boundary changes for the Tories here, see, with two traditionally Labour wards, Avonmouth and Kingsweston, the latter only in this seat since 1983, now having no Labour councillors.

    The Tories have 16 councillors out of 70 on Bristol City Council, with 10 in this constituency across 9 two member wards, two of which are in split wards, one with the Lib Dems, and one with Labour. The Lib Dems hold one ward giving 3 councillors, and Labour holds 2 wards giving 5 councillors.

    The interesting thing in Bristol is that in May, there are all out council elecetions plus Mayor and Police & Crime commisiioner elections allon the same day. Labour needs to clearly needs get into second place to the Tories across all seats in this ward that it doesn’t currently hold if it is to have any chance of chamllenging Charlotte Leslie at the next General Election.

  9. “LOL I just looked at the profile for the Labour candidate Darren Jones above and where it says ‘Born Lawrence Weston’ I thought it meant that used to be his name- I didn’t realise it was actually a place-name he was born in!”

    It’s (or was) a large social housing estate that makes up a significant chunk of the Kingsweston ward I refer to above.

  10. Charlotte Leslie admits she hasn’t yet decided which side to support in the referendum.

  11. In a very late decision Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie has come out in favour of Brexit:

  12. Got to see (a decision).

    I’m still ever hopeful that the other 20 MPs will declare by Thursday.

  13. PLOPWELLIAN TORY – Looks like no UKIP candidate, so one would expect an easy tory hold. I’ve just seen that the Green candidate has agreed to not campaign, though, and I expect the Corbyn surge may be making Ms Leslie a little squemish, what with her being so brexity in a strong remain seat.

  14. I’m not sure this seat would be massively Remain.
    It includes Avonmouth and a number of council estates.
    It is true that Stoke Bishop and some other wards have very weak UKIP votes.
    I think the Tories will perform well here.

  15. Charlotte Leslie was not a particularly strong Brexiteer. She only declared at the last minute and then equivocally

    I don’t think she’s in any danger – Bristol Lab have three other seats to defend and they’ll have been the focus (though South will be safe now if polls don’t start to swing back).

  16. I think Jack is correct.
    I doubted Bristol South anyway, although it is the kind of area where Labour could have difficulties.

    Bristol E is a more marginal seat but is a bit more of a “liberal”/Green seat where the Tories could hit a ceiling.

    I suspect the area covering the pre-1997 Bristol North West may have voted Leave in 2016.
    So going beyond the city boundaries into Patchway and Filton.
    And excluding Stoke Bishop – a very Tory area but definitely remain.

    Bristol as a whole is Remain, but it’s sloppy a few posts further up to just pick out a Brexit MP and assume all the seats in the sub-region are the same, to make a silly partisan point.

  17. ”I doubted Bristol South anyway, although it is the kind of area where Labour could have difficulties.

    Bristol E is a more marginal seat but is a bit more of a “liberal”/Green seat where the Tories could hit a ceiling.”

    That’s not really true.

    While it is correct that the southern parts of Bristol South contain a lot of WWC estates like Hartcliffe and Knowle West, the north of the seat (Southville, Totterdown etc.) is very demographically similar to Bristol West which is a very lefty Green area. Essentially the seat is very polarised between north and south and even if Labour suffers a large swing against them in the south of the seat it should be countered by a Green -> Labour swing in the north closer to the centre. There are a few middle class strongly Tory areas like Bedminster Down in the Bishopsworth ward but they’re few and far between making it very difficult for the Tories to win.

    I’m less familiar with Bristol East as I only really know Brislington however I don’t think it really contains many Green/left areas except probably the student area of Fishponds and (I think) the western parts of St George. The rest is a mixture of white lower middle class/upper working class suburbia like Brislington and the rest of St George, a handful of middle class areas (I think parts of Stockwood for example) and grotty council estate like areas. For the Tories to win they’d have to run up the score in places like Brislington.

  18. PeppermintTea
    Good information there – thanks
    You make a good point about the northern end of Bristol South.
    I don’t know Bristol E aswell but I’m pretty sure it includes the NE corner around Stapleton Road and that I think would be a studenty green/Lab area.

    Brislington was electing Lib Dems some times a few years ago (before we moved back towards a more C-Lab national picture) so whereas it is predominantly working class I suspected it had gained student/green characteristics aswell (unless it was one of these random LD successes that pop up when one of the 2 main parties has not put in the work).

  19. Interested in this result – and would like further local information (Peppermint Tea?).

    Yes I know Labour had a good night in Bristol as a whole and Labour has won this seat before but …. even so, a near 5,000 majority / 9% swing in a seat which is not particularly student/non-white does seem exceptional.

  20. ”Interested in this result – and would like further local information (Peppermint Tea?).”

    Well I’m not an expert and I don’t know for sure but I’ll have a good go at answering it.

    It’s probably key to look at the raw number of votes as opposed to the % and you will see that the Tories got roughly the same number of votes as last time but Labour gained ~9,600 votes. The question is where did these come from?

    -For starters Labour will have picked up 1,700 votes of the Greens.
    -The UKIP vote came almost exclusively from the working class traditional Labour parts of the constituency (which did mostly vote leave but not emphatically so) and I suspect their ~5,000 votes last time split roughly 3,000 Labour, 2,000 Tory.
    -The Lib Dems lost a total of ~400 votes but I suspect they lost a lot more than that to Labour but gained at the Tories expense (the traditionally Tory parts of this constituency were extremely remain and Charlotte Leslie was a Brexiteer). Say for arguments sake they lost 1,400 votes to Labour but gained 1,000 from the Tories.
    -Further some Tories upsets about Brexit say about 1,000 sat at home.

    So, so far we have:
    -the Tories gaining 2,000 from UKIP but losing 1,000 to the Lib Dems and 1,000 to abstain.
    -Labour gaining 3,000 from UKIP, 1,400 from the Lib Dems and 1,700 from Greens. This leaves 3,500 votes unaccounted for but these can probably be explained by increased turnout amongst strongly Labour demographics (students, youth generally). Though raw turnout was only up by 2,300 an estimated 1,000 Tories sat home

    (the numbers don’t add up exactly due to rounding but it’s more or less right)

    In summary Labour gained from the Greens and Labour and UKIP’s collapse here actually benefitted them whilst also being helped by higher turnout. The Tories on the other hand will have also gained a from UKIP (though not as much) whilst sustaining small losses to the Lib Dems and abstain.

    Of course there will be more churn than this with people switching in opposite directions and cancelling each other out. My friend’s dad switched from Labour to Tory for example this would be cancelled out by a few direct Tory to Labour switchers in the more remain parts of the seat.

  21. *Labour gained from the Greens and Lib Dem

  22. And it is these seats that the Tories need to work out how to win back – forget the Bridgends and Bishop Aucklands, they aren’t required for a Conservative majority.

    I think several of us got quite fixated on those northern UKIPpy seats which looked there for the taking, and just assumed that the Tories would hold their own in middle-class suburbia. It’s only in hindsight that you realise quite how effective David Cameron was at winning those votes.

  23. The Tories were hubristic and ambitious, like Hillary Clinton who chased a blow out win, which made even less sense in a presidential system than it did in a parliamentary system where governments are stronger with larger majorities. Clinton was more misguided tha May in many ways …

  24. Apart from the email leak there wasnt a dementia tax moment for clinton

  25. I think this seat may have only narrowly voted Remain but I think the Tories did lose voters directly to Labour over Brexit.

    Not saying they deserved to but it’s clear.

  26. Watching the maiden speeches so far the new MP here seemed particularly impressive.

  27. Yes he’s smooth and articulate. He says he is a working class kid but he really does look and sound like a public school Tory boy.

    Anyway he’s done well to recover from his mishap in the GE 2015 campaign when he fainted on stage just seconds before the live televised debate was about to go out.

  28. I agree with others that Darren Jones seemed very slick even if he does seem a little pompous (I really am quite surprised considering his background) regardless though he might be one to watch, not saying he’ll ever become leader or anything but he might make it to the shadow cabinet some day.

  29. Darren Jones could even become quite a popular constituency MP here if he works the seat right- This has been fairly safe for Labour in the past, so if he works hard enough could substantially increase his majority next time.

  30. I remember hearing that Doug Naysmith was quite a popular MP for Bristol NW too when Labour held the seat last time.

  31. …albeit on different boundaries between 97 and 2010.

  32. Darren Jones commented that he is the first ever MP called Darren. Funnily enough during the Feltham & Heston by-election I was out canvassing with several Labour MPs including Wayne David (they were all re-elected in 2015 & 2017). I said to Mr David that he must be the only ever MP called Wayne. He brightened up & said “Do you know, I’ve never thought of that!”.

  33. Surely the same applies to:
    Marshall (Cordova)
    Bambos (Charalambous)
    Lloyd (Russell-Moyle)
    Tonia (Antonazzi)
    Sandy (Martin)
    Danielle (Rowley)
    Jared (Omara)
    Tan (Dhesi)

    & a few from 2010 & 15 previously…
    Shabana (Mahmood)
    Bim (Afolami)
    Tobias (Ellwood)

  34. Oh yes absolutely. They all look extremely promising as parliamentarians.

  35. Tobias Ellwood may be the only MP with that first name, but we should not of course forget Mr Tobias Jenkins who came 2nd in the 1714 election of an MP for the City of York, losing to Sir William Robinson, despite many Freemen having been admitted to assist his candidacy.

  36. Who knows, we might get the first Barnaby one day? 🙂

  37. This is a very serious loss for the Tories, and I don’t think it was particularly on the cards until quite late.

    It has been altered a fair bit in 1995.97 and in 2010, both in the Tories favour, so this corner of the city really should be Conservative in all elections where they are ahead nationally.
    There will have been Tory remainers who could have defected in areas like Stoke Bishop, but I suspect the Brexit effect here was quite small, and the election turned on some other issues where Labour activated their potential vote.
    Also, as has been suggested, the UKIP support which came really only from Avonmouth could have come more from Labour.
    There had been some clue to that in local elections in recent years where the Tory success in Avonmouth was at the same time as UKIPs.

  38. It was a bad loss for Charlotte Leslie I do agree Joe.

    Also I feel it has to be said that her pro-Brexit stance in a massively pro-Remain part of the world probably effectively did for her chances of even narrowly holding on here a la Michael Forsyth in Stirling in 1992.

    Whether or not this means Bristol NW is now irrevocably headed towards Labour I don’t think we really know for certain however, but if Darren Jones should substantially his majority next time out with incumbency, that would probably bear this out to a very large extent I would have thought.

  39. Basically, the Conservatives were so obsessed with chasing after The Bridgends and Bishop Aucklands that they completely forgot about seats like this. (My initial assumption, and the assumption of many from all parts of the political spectrum, was that they might lose a handful of seats to the Lib Dems but maybe just Brighton Kemptown to Labour, and there was no need to triangulate to keep them onside. The Conservatives would indeed have held seats like this with ease had the GE happened on the same day as the locals.)

    The Tories will need to re-invent themselves to win back this kind of seat. Whether they are able or even willing to do so is up for debate.

    On new first names in the commons, a few more names not on Alex F’s list:

    Preet Gill
    Kemi Badenoch
    Kirstene Hair (probably)

    The main take-home point is that there is far more racial diversity in the 2017 parliament, and that can only be a good thing.

  40. I’ve never heard of anyone called Kirstene before, as opposed to Kirsten or Kirsty. Preet is usually a suffix, as in Manpreet or Gurpreet, but can serve on its own sometimes.
    One product of the election is that there are now 3 MPs surnamed exactly after present constituencies, with Angela Crawley and Sir Edward Leigh being joined in the HoC by Jamie Stone. Until 2015 Sir Edward was the only example for some years. Of course in the past there have been many others, such as John Blackburn and the various Carlisles. In medieval times there was even an MP called Dudley North.

  41. Didn’t Steve Rotherham also count?

  42. Other, partial, ones:
    Helen Hayes
    Ann Clwyd
    Jessica Morden
    Mark Lancaster

    Julian Lewis and Andrew Rosindell are close but don’t make the list.

  43. Polltroll – no, his name is spelt Rotheram.

    Mark Lancaster is of course named after a former constituency.

  44. The Results – I’m not sure this seat was as Remain as Bristol as a whole.
    I’d say Bristol West followed by Bristol E, then Bristol NW, and lastly Bristol S.

    However, the Tory vote here was probably quite Remain inclined, so your point is partly valid.

  45. Interesting interview with Darren Jones in today’s Guardian. He hadn’t expected to win & hadn’t made provisions at work, rather like Roger Casale in Wimbledon which he won in 1997 (& retained in 2001).
    It’s odd that there’s never been an MP with the first name of Lloyd before, since there are plenty of well-known ones in public life, such as Mr Honeyghan, Mr Grossman and Mr Cole with his Commotions. Even the founder of the Kosher food firm Rakusens (for whom Ivan Lewis’s wife worked) was called Lloyd Rakusen, so it’s been used as a first name for a good hundred years or more.

  46. Am i being stupid but Llyod George…

  47. His name was David Lloyd George – the Lloyd was part of his surname. 2 of his children sat in Parliament, both originally as Liberals, but Gwilym ended up in the National Liberals, in effect the Tories, whereas Megan became a Labour MP, for Carmarthen.

  48. (older readers will probably remember a TV series called The Life & Times of David Lloyd George. The signature tune was very popular.)

  49. Yes i quickly looked it up after posting particular dtupid podt sorry

  50. Westbury-on-Trym & Henleaze Ward By-election, 24.05.18:

    Conservative 2,900

    Liberal Democrat 2,704

    Labour 891

    Green 355

    Cons Gain from LibDem.

    A large 45% Turnout.

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