General Election 2024

VOTERS in the Downend area will join millions around the country in electing a new government on July 4.

Two seats are being contested in the area – and many residents will have a new MP, whoever wins.

The Voice has contacted all of the candidates standing in the Filton & Bradley Stoke and Bristol North East seats, and all of them have sent statements to tell readers something about themselves and their priorities if they are elected.

Candidates appear in our guide in the order they will be on the ballot paper. In Filton & Bradley Stoke, Conservative Jack Lopresti, who has held the seat since it was created in 2010, is defending a majority of 5,646 from the 2019 election. Labour has been second in all four previous contests.

This year Filton & Bradley Stoke has different boundaries to previous elections: all homes in the Emersons Green council ward, which includes some addresses in Downend and Mangotsfield, have been added to the constituency from Kingswood, which has been abolished. Staple Hill has been removed from the seat, as have all areas west of the M5.

People in the Staple Hill & Mangotsfield council ward are voting in a new constituency, Bristol North East.

It has been created from part of the former Kingswood constituency and part of the Bristol East seat, whose boundaries are being moved to the south and west.

Bristol North East includes three other South Gloucestershire electoral wards – New Cheltenham, Kingswood and Woodstock – and Bristol’s Eastville, Frome Vale, Hillfields and Lockleaze wards.

Labour’s Damien Egan, who won the Kingswood seat in a by-election in February after Conservative Chris Skidmore resigned, is his party’s candidate for Bristol North East.

While Kingswood was Tory from 2010 until this year’s by-election, Bristol East has been held by Labour since 1992.

As the Voice went to print two opinion polls using large samples had published data from voters surveyed in the two seats.

Both YouGov and Survation carried out polling at the end of May and beginning of June, and each poll predicted wins for Labour in both seats.

Voting will take place from 7am until 10pm on July 4, with the votes being counted immediately afterwards and results expected to be declared early on July 5.

The deadline for registering to vote has already passed.

This will be the first general election where voters are required to present photo ID at polling stations.

An estimated 4% of voters are registered to vote but lack the necessary ID, according to a recent survey.

Voters can use passports, driving licences, Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) cards, blue badges, Defence Identity Cards and some concessionary travel cards as proof.

The full list can be found online at

Anyone who does not have an accepted form of photo ID has until 5pm on June 26 to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate, which can be used instead.

Applications can be made online at or by post – call the helpline on 0800 328 0280 for more information.

Election candidates Filton & Bradley Stoke

Benet Allen (Liberal Democrats)

I’M campaigning for our community on both a local and national stage for action to tackle the housing crisis, cost of living crisis, the NHS crisis and the ongoing sewage scandal. 

I’m a former local councillor and deputy leader of the successful Somerset West and Taunton council and remain a dedicated community campaigner. During my tenure, the council began work on the first council houses to be planned and built in west Somerset for more than 30 years.

For years our area has been taken for granted by an out-of-touch Conservative Government that has failed to get the basics right and lurched from crisis to crisis – now it’s time for a change. 

We need to see a return to politics that not only works for the country, but for our local communities.

Local health services have been brought to their knees, people’s mortgages and rent have skyrocketed and water companies have been allowed to pump their filthy sewage into our rivers and beaches.

All this by a Conservative government more interested in fighting between themselves than standing up for the country.

People are at breaking point and the simple fact is that we need change at the very top. 

This government is the first in almost a century to make the average person poorer.  Every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for a fair deal. It’s a vote for a party and a candidate that will stand up for our community and our health services. 

Stephen Burge (Reform UK)

My name is Stephen Burge. I have lived in and around Filton and Bradley Stoke most of my life, my father worked for Rolls-Royce, my children grew up and still live here, my friends live here, and I care about this community.

I’m an ordinary person, someone just like you, and I’m standing because I feel this constituency has been let down.

Issues like the Hambrook Lights which cause traffic chaos, the link road bridge to Winterbourne, the asylum seekers in the local hotels, the talk of 30,000 new houses on the Woodlands Golf Course; how would the infrastructure cope that’s already jammed at peak times?

I want to be your voice.

That’s the reason I’m standing: we have been let down locally.

Of course we also need to look at the national issues, but locally is what is important to you, this is what impacts your lives.

Enough is enough, this is why I have decided to stand, to try and make a difference for this community.

Vote Reform UK.

Claire Hazelgrove (Labour)

I LIVE in Stoke Gifford and am from a family of teachers, NHS workers and RAF service members – their sense of public service runs deep in me. 

I’ve worked in leadership roles for trusted national charities and in politics on big issues, including the housing and environmental crises. I knock on doors all year round and share your concerns.

We live in great communities but our potential is being held back.

As your strong voice in parliament, I’ll act to:

*Reduce the cost of living. Getting energy bills down with a proper windfall tax on oil and gas giants. Keeping bills down by switching on Great British Energy.

*Get our public services back on their feet. More doctors, dentists, teachers and police where needed most, and service reform. Funded by closing tax loopholes and exemptions.

*Build good and affordable homes, with infrastructure. Support local people to stay, while protecting the character of our growing communities.

*Public transport that works. Speed up bus franchising and give communities the opportunity to take back control of local bus services.

*Action on climate and good, local green jobs. Protect nature for future generations and back the skills we need, in aerospace and beyond.

This will take time, but I’ll work every day to deliver for you, serving as a visible, impactful and approachable MP you can be proud of.

Labour’s always been the strong second here. I hope I can earn your trust in the most important election in a generation.

Jack Lopresti (Conservative)

IT’S been an honour to represent you as your Member of Parliament for the last 14 years.

Over that time, we have achieved so much together for our area, but there’s still more to do.

Our country is at a crossroads. We have all faced very difficult years: a global pandemic – the first in over a century, and the first full-scale invasion on the continent of Europe in 70 years. We have had to make difficult decisions to steer our country through these dark times.

Locally, I have been working hard to improve connectivity in Downend and surrounding areas like Frenchay and Emersons Green. I presented a petition to Parliament restore Hambrook Junction so traffic can cross the junction in both directions.

I’ll continue to push to reinstate bus services which have been cut by Labour’s West of England Mayor Dan Norris who, despite receiving £105 million to improve buses, prefers to waste money on gimmicks like a birthday bus pass, and adverts of himself and his dog.

When it comes to public services like health and education, I secured £49.9 million for Southmead Hospital and I’m working to improve access to local GP surgeries.

As for education, 93% of South Gloucestershire schools are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. Moreover, having already delivered a new school in Winterbourne, we must look to build another in Emersons Green.

We’ve turned a corner – we have a plan. We seek the opportunity, honour and privilege to continue to serve the British people.

James Nelson (Green)

WE need to see a step change in how we fund our public services. As someone not far out of school and as the brother of a soon-to-be children’s nurse, I have seen the devastation of austerity on our public services.

As a Green MP, I would fight to ensure those with the broadest shoulders paid for public services that are fit for the future. 

We need to protect our waters, air and land. I have grown up appreciating our local nature and seeing the failure of the government to address the climate crisis.

As a Green MP, I would fight for sewage-polluting water companies to come under public ownership and for real ambition from the government to provide a green future for the next generation.

We need to deal with the cost of living with more than a sticking plaster.

I have met with many people feeling the squeeze while some large companies post record profits.

As a Green MP, I would fight for the tax on income from shares in companies to be raised to equal what you pay on your salaries from work, so that we can pay for a fairer, greener society for all.

I have lived in this area since I was two years old, I have seen promises made and then broken.

I believe in real hope and change for our communities. That’s why I’m asking you to vote for me on July 4th.

Read more about the Green Party in our manifesto:

Election candidates Bristol North East

Asif Ali (Independent)

My name is Asif Ali. I am a born and bred Bristolian.

Morality has become absent in our politics. We, the electorate, have become the sacrificial lambs our political leaders present at the altar of the mega rich. We need a reset button on how this constituency is represented in Westminster.  

I live locally and my education from primary school to graduation all took place in Bristol. Now I work as a courier in this constituency.

There is a wise saying that states:

“Take advantage of 5 before 5,

Youth before old age

Health before sickness

Wealth before poverty

Free time before busyness

Life before death.”

Central to embodying these beautiful words is building a caring community and that is my goal.

With funding to local services cut back to the bone, adult social care completely dysfunctional and isolation of the most vulnerable in society, our current political system needs uprooting and needs resetting.

My priorities are to revive funding to the voluntary and community sector and create pop-up GP surgeries in community centres and primary schools during holiday periods to deal with increased demand. The quicker people are healthy, the quicker they can become contributing members of society.

The cost of living crisis and the rise in homelessness has been artificially manufactured to benefit the rich. Innovative housing solutions can certainly be pursued to bring about short, medium and long term solutions to the undignified mess left by a conservative government and labour council.

Vote Independent. Vote Asif Ali.

Damien Egan (Labour)

I’M standing to be your Labour MP for Bristol North East, I’m from Kingwood and live locally.

In February, I had the honour of being elected as the MP for Kingswood, and I’ve been working hard to represent people in Parliament and solve your issues.

After 14 years of the Conservatives, for the first time in our history, we have a government that has left people worse off.

But Labour has a fully costed and funded plan for the country.

Labour will:

*Deliver economic stability so we can keep taxes, inflation, and mortgages as low as possible. Under Labour, there will be no increases in income tax, national insurance, or VAT.

*Cut NHS waiting times by offering more evening and weekend appointments, make it easier for you to see your GP and offer 700,000 more emergency dental appointments.

*Launch Great British Energy which will produce renewable energy and new jobs across the country helping to lower your energy bills.

*Set up a Border Security Command that will speed up asylum applications, target criminal gangs and save money by ending the use of asylum hotels.

*Tackle crime with 13,000 new neighbourhood police officers and PCSOs with tough new penalties for offenders and tackle shoplifting and antisocial behaviour.

According to ‘Tactical.Vote’ there was just 1% separating Labour and the Conservatives here in 2019. A vote for anyone else will risk five more years of chaos with the Tories.

If you want to see change, vote Labour on Thursday 4 July.

Lorraine Francis (Green)

I AM standing as your Green Candidate in the new Bristol North East constituency.

I was re-elected in May to Bristol City Council as councillor for the Eastville ward, which forms part of the new constituency. 

I have been affiliated to the Green Party since 2010, eventually standing as a parliamentary candidate in Bristol East in the 2015 and 2017 general elections. In February I stood as the Green candidate in the Kingswood by-election.

My love of this part of Bristol and South Gloucestershire has led me to stand again. I want to ensure that people who look like me, as well as people who relate to my politics, continue to have hope for a better and equitable political system. 

I also see myself as an advocate for Health and Social care and want to see Social Care reform, including better funding. This is an issue I know well from my work as a social worker.

I am an activist and supportive of other activists wanting to keep our NHS as a public and accessible service and I am passionate about equality and fairness. 

If you want an MP who cares about Bristol and South Gloucestershire, the UK, climate change and making the world a safer place, it is time to vote Green.

Green politics is progressive and sound.

Read more about the Green Party in our manifesto:

Louise Harris (Liberal Democrats)

LOUISE grew up in the constituency, attending Chester Park primary and Rodway (now Mangotsfield) secondary schools.  She was born in an RAF hospital in Germany and many people know her father, popular local musician Chris Harris. 

After school Louise went to Kingston University in London, where she studied European Politics and Economics and started her political career as Chair of the Liberal Club.  

She has worked in the voluntary sector for over 30 years, supporting vulnerable people, and currently manages a charity in Wiltshire providing advocacy for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities. 

Louise is a South Gloucestershire councillor and Cabinet member for the Climate and Natural Emergency. In opposition she worked to get cross-party backing to declare a climate and nature emergency in 2019. Fighting to protect our environment is an issue Louise is passionate about and is proud of her record on this, going back to campaigning on acid rain as a student in the 1980s. Louise loves the natural environment locally and says Eastville Park was her childhood playground, so she is very keen to continue her campaigning on the climate and nature emergency as the local MP for Bristol North East.  

If elected Louise will stand up for all local people in our community, focusing on improving local healthcare and housing provision, fighting for social justice and protecting our environment. 

Away from politics, Louise enjoys reading, music, theatre, travelling and spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren. 

Rose Hulse (Conservative)

I’M so excited to be your Parliamentary Candidate for the upcoming general election for Bristol North East.

A thing to know about me is that I am not a politician, I’m a business woman and my core values are simple…transparency, integrity, and honesty.  

I will not make false promises to win your vote, but I can be honest with you … and here is what I can do:

  1. I promise to always let you know the full circumstances of the situation and what I am able to do to help and the choices available to us. 

2. I will sit down with the key community groups post election and discuss the pressing matters, prioritise them with the community and work on a strategy to fight for those changes at Westminster.

3. I will look for opportunities to bring new jobs, enterprise and investment to our constituency.

4. I will work with our national banks to push for more small business loans and grants to ensure that our high streets are growing and servicing our community to the highest level.

5. I will make sure that our ageing population is well looked after, as well as those in the care industry. 

6. I will make sure that new builds offer a percentage of homes within the price range based on the average salaries in our constituency.

Take a leap of faith with me on the 4th of July. 

Rose Hulse for Bristol North East, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate.

Anthony New (Reform UK)

I’M a retired Electrical Engineer, with a long career in British industrial companies.

I was born in North-East Bristol and live here now.

I’m standing for parliament not because I want a second home in London paid by someone else, but because I’m appalled at our non-functioning political system that has become remote and disconnected from ordinary people, run by an elite managerial class with their own agenda, who disrespect our own needs and cares.

I can list lots of things wrong with Broken Britain and so can you, but immigration is the big one because it causes so many other problems. Britain has always welcomed people from other lands, races, and cultures and has benefitted from that over the centuries.

But over one million immigrants arrived here last year and another million and more will come this year. Where will they live? The government hasn’t built enough new houses for them (rented housing is disappearing fast) or hired enough new doctors or dentists.

Where will they get health care – and where will you?

It cannot go on. Annual immigration must be cut down from a million to a few thousand and only Reform UK do this, because all the other parties want it to continue.

Taxation and energy prices are far too high already and will get higher under Labour. Net Zero madness is ruining Britain. You know reform is needed – vote for it. Vote Reform UK.

Dan Smart (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)

AS an experienced trade unionist, I’m standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition because workers urgently need our own political voice. The Tories have presided over the cost of living crisis, lack of decent housing and the selling of our NHS. We can’t take any more, but what’s the alternative?

A Labour Party that has expelled socialists and abandoned all of its principles. That has refused to increase vital funding for public services and to bring them back in-house. That have done all they can to appeal to the interests of greedy big businesses.

Other parties also represent more of the same. This includes the Greens, who have voted for cuts in Bristol rather than used their position on councils to fight austerity.

TUSC would properly fund our NHS and pay nurses and doctors fairly to end the staffing crisis. We would immediately renationalise energy, rail, water and other key industries.

We oppose the brutal devastation of Gaza. 

Moreover, as an MP I would take a workers’ wage to ensure I stay committed to representing the interests of Bristol North East not the interests of the privileged in Westminster.

In my trade union work I have shown that I am committed to those principles and would be a fighting to voice for all those forced to go to food banks, struggling to access healthcare, get a roof over their head or suffering from the impact of war.

That’s why I’m standing for TUSC – for a genuine working-class, socialist alternative.

Tommy Trueman (Social Democratic Party)

DO you feel as a country we’ve been governed poorly by both Tories and Labour? You’re not alone! The Social Democratic Party offers the electorate an alternative to this failed duopoly.  We’re a working-class, traditionalist party – and we represent you, the forgotten majority. 

The past 40 years of neoliberal economics has delivered us an economy with flatlined growth and productivity. We’ve become indifferent to our country’s growing inequality and decline. 

One of the clearest signs of this is the Housing Crisis, which both parties have been equally complicit in creating. We simply don’t have enough social and private housing stock for our growing population. As a result, high mortgages and rents harshly burden ordinary hard-working families.

As a communitarian party, we will not stand for this. The SDP would undertake large-scale government-led housebuilding, as well as bringing an end to mass migration, back down to 50,000 people per year.  

This is just one example of where the SDP will advocate for a confident state that intervenes to get our country back on the right track. 

Another sign of decline is the increased sense of disunity and antisocial behaviour. We desperately need to revive our sense of togetherness and patriotism. But there are those in other parties who continually push divisive identity politics.

The SDP believes in supporting a virtue-led cultural renewal, which builds stronger families, stable communities and ultimately a happier society. 

We’re standing 122 candidates at this election, so vote for us and join us: