General election preview: Bristol East
VOTERS go to the polls on December 12 for the country's third general election in less than five years.
In Bristol East, Labour is defending a majority of 13,394 from the last election in 2017.
Kerry McCarthy has been the MP for Bristol East since 2005 and Labour has held the seat since 1992, when predecessor Jean Corston unseated Conservative Jonathan Sayeed.
The Conservatives have come second in every election since losing the seat, except in 2005 when the Liberal Democrats were the runners-up.
This year, there are five parties vying for the seat: the others are the Greens and the Brexit Party.
Bristol East is not subject to the Unite to Remain pact between the Lib Dems and Greens, which is in place in neighbouring Bristol West.
Bristol East includes the whole of the Eastville, Frome Vale and Hillfields council electoral wards.
The deadline to register to vote in he election has now passed. Anyone who wants to check they are on the register, has not yet received a polling card or has any other queries about voting can call the council's electoral services department on 0117 922 3400 or email email@example.com.
The Voice has asked every candidate nominated in the election to tell us about themselves and their aims.
They are included here in the order they will appear on the ballot paper.
Sarah Codling – Conservative
"BORN in the West Country, I have a Law degree and worked for Councils and the NHS for 15 years. I then worked in housing in Bristol and now work for a charity. I have a daughter and been a Councillor since 2015.
"I am passionate about speaking up for people who need support and a strong voice. It’s a huge privilege to be the Conservative Candidate for Bristol East especially since I have family in Fishponds.
"Many people in Bristol tell me how frustrated they are with politics and I agree! My pledge to ASK, LISTEN, ACT is how politics should work and how I would serve you. I am standing for election because Bristol East deserves a strong local champion representing and standing up for everyone.
"The people’s result from the Brexit referendum must be honoured by leaving the EU. Only then can we move beyond divisions to become pro Bristol, tackle big issues that matter to you and unleash all our potential.
"I want cleaner air in Bristol but not see ordinary people and businesses punished. We need better infrastructure via rail and bus networks, and improved housing standards.
"I welcome Government plans for more police officers."
Conan Connolly – Green
Conan is honest about the challenges facing society in the next few years and says he's standing to tackle 3 core issues: austerity, the environmental crisis and Brexit, which he describes as badly planned, not properly debated or understood.
"We cannot debate a new constitutional situation on these islands with the sectarianism and confrontation created by this undemocratic voting system.
Seeing it from Ireland he understood the Brexit result as a democratic desire to transform stale and disconnected British politics and holds the unfair UK voting system to blame.
"Citizens of Bristol don't feel they have the ability to change things by getting involved in tribal politics. Only Greens are campaigning nationwide to change the stifling effect FPTP has on society to a Proportional system where votes cast matched seats in Parliament."
Conan enlisted in the military when he finished school and after that read Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Dublin and now works for South Gloucestershire Council's Environment and Community Services Department.
Nicholas Coombes – Liberal Democrats
Nicholas Coombes campaigned to remain in the European Union and is still fighting to stop Brexit. The Liberal Democrats are the largest party of remain, and a strong Lib Dem presence in parliament will be able to force a People's Vote or revoke Article 50.
Nicholas is a chartered town planner, specialising in nationally significant infrastructure. He works on large scale energy and transport projects, delivering billions of pounds of investment in vital networks. Nicholas ran the public inquiry into the world’s largest wind farm, recently completed off the coast of Cumbria. This expertise in energy and transport is an ideal background for tackling the climate emergency. The Lib Dems have a practical plan to achieve net zero emissions, to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Nicholas has served two terms as a local councillor, first elected at the age of 20. He chaired the Regulatory Committee, as well as sitting on the Planning and Education committees. He is a keen cyclist, both for commuting and travel around town. At weekends, Nicholas and his partner enjoy hiking in the country near Bristol. He has lived by St George Park, in the heart of Bristol East, for five years.
Kerry McCarthy – Labour
Kerry was first elected to represent Bristol East in 2005. She previously worked as a lawyer and on political campaigns, having studied Russian and Politics and then law at university.
In parliament her roles have included being a whip and covering shadow economic and foreign affairs briefs, before being appointed shadow Environment Secretary in 2015. Until the election was called she served on both the environment committees, and chaired the All-Party Groups on Food Waste and on Sustainable Food and Farming.
She helped set up Feeding Bristol, which has the aim of eradicating food poverty in the city and gave out 53,000 free meals over the summer to children who might otherwise have gone hungry during the long holidays.
Kerry’s other political interests include vulnerable children; she served on the recent Kinship Care Taskforce and was the first recipient of the Child Poverty Action Group’s MP of the Year Award. In the last parliament she successfully campaigned for life-saving drugs for cystic fibrosis patients on the NHS. She is also campaigning for better mental health provision, and regulation of the supported housing sector.
Locally her main proprieties are public transport, affordable housing and investment in schools, social services and NHS.
Tim Page – Brexit Party
“Like so many I am incensed by what has happened in the UK since we voted to leave the EU in the 2016. It offends our sense of fair play, undermines our trust in politicians, civil servants and the voting system and is destructive of that bedrock of our society, our democracy.
"The Mother of Parliaments has been filled for the past three years with scheming, anti-democratic, careerist party functionaries, not respecting and implementing a people’s vote and betraying the nation. We simply do not want to find that we have re-formed a House of Commons that is once again Remain-dominated after this election. The country is crying out for change and an end to the Punch & Judy politics of Labour and the Tories.
“Our country has always been an open, outward-looking trading nation. Once democracy is restored and we are an independent self-governing nation state again, our future post-Brexit is bright and exciting. We have an economy fit for the twenty-first century open to the world, benefitting all those who live and work here.
"In this spirit I will work tirelessly in the interests of all of those living and working in Bristol East.”