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Tuesday, 24th Sep 2019

Green Party sets sights on second Westminster seat – Bristol West

  • Bristol West candidate Carla Denyer launched her campaign at the Bristol climate strike.
  • Her climate emergency declaration was the first in Europe – driving action on climate change across the continent [1] 
  • Greens aim to elect a second MP to join Caroline Lucas in Westminster after European Elections win


The Green Party has launched its campaign to win the seat of Bristol West in a snap General Election.

Carla Denyer, Green Party candidate for Bristol West MP, used the event to set out three clear campaigning positions ahead of the General Election’s expected announcement. Carla said: “I will be pushing for a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal, and will campaign hard for the UK to remain in the EU. I will lead on real action to tackle the Climate Emergency, and I will not rest until we have reversed austerity – properly, not the misleading ‘austerity is over’ sham the Tories are trying to sell us.”

 

The launch took place on the same day as the Climate Strike on Friday at a packed College Green where thousands of Bristol residents called for emergency action to halt and reverse climate change. Carla was heavily critical of other political parties, saying; “The Conservatives have let us down in every conceivable area of public life and the sooner they are out of government the better.”

 

“Labour politicians continue to claim they understand the climate emergency issue while backing airport expansion, investing employee pensions in fossil fuels, and inviting BP and Heathrow airport to speak at their party conference. Labour clearly don’t get it.”

 

The Green Party is now the clear frontrunner in Bristol as the countdown continues to the next elections, after the party saw spectacular results in the 2019 EU election, receiving 35% of the vote across the city. This was 17,606 votes clear of the nearest contender and more than double the Labour vote - a fall in vote share which was widely attributed to Labour’s shifting and ambiguous national policy on Brexit [2]. The Green Party are the main contenders in Bristol West, which is historically a swing seat. It has been held by Labour and the Lib Dems within the last five years, and the Greens came a close second in 2015 [3].

 

Green Party peer Natalie Bennett said: “Bristol West is a key target seat for us. It’s an area where people can vote Green knowing they don’t have to vote tactically because there’s no chance of the Conservatives winning. With the current Labour MP facing potential deselection and under fire from Corbyn supporters within her own party, they’ve completely lost their momentum. We have a fantastic candidate who’s led on the Climate Emergency, who’s consistent on Brexit, and who’s held the council to account and delivered real, tangible change for the most vulnerable people in the city. It’s time for a new politics. Carla can win.”


The Green Party has chosen candidates for all four seats in Bristol in the event of a snap General Election. Tony Dyer (Bristol South), Conan Connolly (Bristol East) and Heather Mack (Bristol North West) have also announced their candidacies.

Notes:
[1] In 2018 Carla Denyer proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in Europe, committing Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030. This started a wave of similar motions across the country, with over 200 local authorities, plus the UK Parliament and Scottish and Welsh governments, having now declared a Climate Emergency. https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-climate-emergency-carbon-neutral-2219477

[2] European election results for Bristol city region https://live-bcpcouncil-bournemouth.cloud.contensis.com/Council-and-Democratic/Consultation-And-Research/Consultations-and-research-docs/EU-elections-regional-results-23-May-2019-002.pdf

[3] Bristol West constituency was held between 2010 and 2015 by Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrat). In 2015, Thangam Debonnaire (Labour) won, with Darren Hall (Green) coming a close second on 26.8% of the vote https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_West_%28UK_Parliament_constituency%29#Elections_in_the_2010s

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