Get ready to cast your votes

Voters in Kingswood will have two votes to cast on General Election day as there is also a by-election for the ward on South Gloucestershire Council.

The MP constituency bearing the town’s name may be no more following recent parliamentary boundary changes but there is a vacancy for a Kingswood councillor following a recent resignation.

Labour Cllr Leigh Ingham has stepped down to pursue dreams of a political career in Westminster as the party’s candidate in Stafford.

It means there will be a by-election to replace her on the same day the nation goes to the polls to elect a new government, Thursday, July 4.

Cllr Ingham was voted in for the first time as one of the ward’s two councillors at the South Gloucestershire Council local elections in May 2023 and was instantly promoted to Labour group deputy leader and cabinet member for communities and local place in the new Lib Dem/Labour administration.

Labour held both Kingswood seats – the other ward member being Cllr Sean Rhodes who has replaced her in the local authority’s cabinet – with an 11 per cent swing from the two Conservatives in third and fourth place to extend its majority from the polls four years earlier, 

The Liberal Democrats finished fifth and sixth with a collective 13 per cent of the vote.

All three parties are contesting the vacant seat again, along with a candidate from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

They are:  

• James Corrigan – Lib Dem

• Amy Sage – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

• Gagan Singh – Conservative

• Julie Snelling – Labour

South Gloucestershire Council co-leader and Labour group leader Cllr Ian Boulton said: “We’re missing Leigh here in South Glos, however we’re really proud that she is campaigning as Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Stafford and send her our very best wishes for July 4.

“We’re delighted that Julie Snelling has agreed to be our Labour candidate in this Kingswood by-election.

“Many Kingswood residents may recognise Julie’s name from her time working in Roger Berry’s office when he was our Labour MP, so Julie will bring many years of experience of working for residents and managing the range of casework we deal with as councillors.”

Kingswood parliamentary constituency has been abolished after 50 years, with the area being split between two new seats – North East Somerset & Hanham, and Bristol North East.

Seven candidates are contesting North East Somerset and Hanham. You can find out more about them on Pages 4 and 5.

Eight people are fighting to represent the Bristol North East constituency, which includes   four South Glos electoral wards – Kingswood, New Cheltenham, Staple Hill & Mangotsfield and Woodstock – along with Bristol’s Eastville, Frome Vale, Hillfields and Lockleaze wards.

They are Asif Ali, Independent; Damien Egan, Labour; Lorrain Francis, Green; Louise Harris, Liberal Democrat; Rose Hulse, Conservative; Anthony New, Reform UK; Dan Smart, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition; Tommy Trueman, Social Democratic Party.