Victory for Labour in all four Bristol wards at the general election – alongside bad defeats in South Gloucester target wards Filton and Bradley Stoke and Kingswood – just about managed to PAPER OVER THE CRACKS emerging along CLASS LINES in Bristol. A closer look at Labour’s victorious results reveals A DIVIDE emerging between WEALTHY INNER CITY WARDS now occupied and gentrified by the middle classes and the city’s neglected WORKING CLASS SUBURBS.
Could Labour’s historic coalition between organised labour and the progressive middle classes be falling apart in Bristol? For example, in South Bristol, Labour romped home in Southville, Windmill Hill and Bedminster grabbing TWO THIRDS OF THE VOTE. However, in the working class wards of Filwood, Hartcliffe and Withywood and Hengrove and Whitchurch Park Labour reputedly TRAILED IN BEHIND THE TORIES.
This pattern was somewhat repeated in Bristol North West where Darren “Dipshit” Jones LOST BADLY in working class Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston while he RACKED UP VOTES in middle class Westbury-on-Trym, Stoke Bishop and Henleaze. However Dipshit can point to some glimmers of light in that ultra-Corbynite stronghold Lockleaze remained unfaithful to him as did key working class estate Southmead.
Another story altogether unfolded in Bristol West, however, where working class communities with a larger mix of immigrant and black voters in wards such as Easton, Eastville, Hilllfields and Lawrence Hill, stayed with Labour to deliver Thangam Debbonaire a THUMPING MAJORITY – the largest of any Bristol MP – to continue her vendetta against the left wing of her party.
What all this means for the future and for Bristol is open to interpretation. Especially as many people who voted Labour at the general election are telling us that they only LENT THEM A VOTE to keep the Tories out and they’ll VOTE DIFFERENTLY at next year’s local elections.
All to play for in the mayoral elections in 2020, then. (306)