Karin Smyth doubles Labour majority in Bristol South
Published on: 09 Jun 2017
BRISTOL has woken up a Labour city, with a clean sweep of the city's four central seats.
Karin Smyth took Bristol South for a second time, more than doubling her majority to almost 17,000.
She told the Voice she was humbled by the scale of her victory, and would get straight back to working for the people of South Bristol in Parliament.
She wil have the same priorities she has had since first being elected in 2015 – homes, jobs and training for young people, and the NHS, she said.
Voters had made it clear that they "could not countenance" having a Conservative MP, she said.
On the doorstep, people had raised concerns about austerity, about Brexit, and cuts to the NHS and social care, she said.
She downplayed her past differences with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and said she would continue to work with him.
It is too early to think about what role she will play in the new Parliament, she said. Until May, she was PPS, or assistant, to show Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, and a member of the influential public accounts committee.
Ms Smyth's chief rival, the city’s Conservative leader Cllr Mark Weston, had been tipped to win the seat at the beginning of the campaign.
But when the results were announced at almost 2.30am this morning, the Tory vote was half of Labour’s.
Bristol South voting, June 8, 2017
LABOUR Karin Smyth 32,666
CONSERVATIVES Mark Weston 16,679
LIB DEM Ben Nutland 1,821
UKIP Ian Kealey 1,672
GREEN Tony Dyer 1,428
INDEPENDENT John Langley 116
Labour majority 15987
Labour had feared that the sizeable UKIP vote – 8,000 in 2015 – could all go the Tories’ way, and win them the seat.
In reality, the Conservatives did gain 4,000-odd votes.
But the UKIP, Lib Dem and Green votes all collapsed, with reports that voters were telling the Lib Dems and Greens in particular that while they liked their policies, they would vote Labour to avoid a Tory victory.
Mr Weston told the Voice he was buoyed by scale of the Conservative vote across much of the constituency.
Privately, most of the losing parties conceded the result well before it was announced.
In the more affluent wards such as Windmill Hill, the Labour vote was overwhelming. The Conservatives did much better, though, in more deprived areas – those which also voted for Brexit.
We’ll give a breakdown of the vote by wards later, along with more pictures.
Our interview here: https://youtu.be/4FKpd5M_JpA
Ms Smyth left the election count at the Action Indoor Sports hall in Hengrove not for an all-night celebration but for some sleep – it’s the birthday of one of her three sons today.
Labour increased their majority in Bristol East, which includes Brislington – a seat they feared they would lose. Sitting MP Kerry McCarthy quadrupled her majority.
Labour’s Darren Jones won Bristol North West, toppling former Tory MP Charlotte Leslie.
And Thangam Debbonaire held on to Bristol West – a major disappointment for the Greens, who thought they could unseat her.
More Bristol wide election coverage at