Darren Jones wins second term for Labour
Bristol North West remains in Labour hands after Darren Jones increased his majority.
It was a tight race with the Conservative’s Mark Weston coming in a close second with just 5,692 fewer votes.
But it’s a bigger margin for Mr Jones than in the 2017 general election when he won the swing seat off the then Conservative candidate Charlotte Leslie with a majority of around 4,700.
The final count showed Mr Jones with 27,330 votes, Mr Weston with 21,638, the Liberal Democrat’s Chris Coleman with 4,940 and the Green’s Heather Mack with 1,977.
It was always going to be a closely fought battle, with the Labour candidate defending such a small majority and no Brexit Party candidate in the race to split the pro-Brexit vote.
Indeed, an Ipsos MORI exit poll showed the result was too close to call.
Thanking those who voted for him after the vote was declared at Henbury Leisure Centre, Mr Jones said: “No politician can ever take Bristol North West for granted and I’m grateful to each and every one of you who voted for me again at this election, whether you were a Labour voter, a Liberal Democrat voter, a Green voter or indeed a number of Conservative voters in this constituency.
“At the last election I promised to stick to my promises and to put you first, and tonight I reaffirm that promise and to promise to continue to work hard for you, to be your voice in Parliament and your champion in Bristol.
“I am clearly sorry that the Labour Party has had such a devastating night across the country this evening. We must be honest in the Labour Party about why we suffered such a historic loss and failed many of my constituents and many people across the country.
“Now that I’ve been re-elected I promise to do all that I can to ensure that that doesn’t happen again in the future.”
Accepting defeat, Mr Weston said: “It was not quite my night tonight. I had a fantastic team that worked very hard.
“Winter elections are an acquired taste but I’m always willing to fight another day.”
The politician, who is the Bristol City Council Tory group leader and councillor for Henbury & Brentry, added that he will be back in the council chamber on Tuesday.
Some 73.5 per cent of eligible voters showed up to vote in Bristol North West – the highest turnout in the last three general elections.
Traditionally a bellwether seat, indicating which way the vote will go nationally, Bristol North West has fluctuated between Labour and Tory throughout its electoral history. But the result this election signals it may be losing that status.
Voters arriving at Henleaze Library to select their chosen candidate were surprised to see a police presence at 9am.
The police were called twice to the polling station by the presiding officer following complaints about the tellers outside the venue intimidating voters.
Labour held on to all four Bristol seats despite devastating losses across the rest of the county as the party suffered its worst defeat since the 1930s.
The Bristol North West constituency includes Avonmouth, Henbury, Henleaze, Horfield, Kingsweston, Lockleaze, Southmead, Stoke Bishop and Westbury-on-Trym.