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Contesting the newly-created seat of Bristol Central, the Shadow Culture Secretary trails Green Party candidate by 14 points in early polls.

Green Party co-Leader Carla Denyer
Green Party co-Leader Carla Denyer is currently leading Labour's Thangam Debbonaire in the polls

The Green Party

Shadow Culture Secretary Thangam Debbonaire will struggle to retain her seat in parliament at next month's general election, polling analysis has found.

During the 2019 general election, Debbonaire secured a majority of more than 28,000 in the Bristol West seat, receiving 47,028 votes, with Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer coming second with 18,809.

However, changes to constituency boundaries in the city, resulting in the creation of the new Bristol Central seat incorporating much, but not all, of the old Bristol West seat, have led to speculation that Labour's share of the vote will be reduced. 


This is backed up by the latest polls by Electoral Calculus, which puts Debbonaire well behind, with a month to go until election day.

The Green Party's Carla Denyer is predicted to secure 51.7% of the vote, with Debbonaire second at 38%. The polling firm calculates Denyer's chances of victory at 83% compared with 18% for Debbonaire.

According to Bristol Live, Bristol Central is now, like Bristol West was, one of the Green Party’s top target seats across the country. 

The Greens have previously said that their data suggests the boundary changes roughly halve Labour’s majority by no longer including the wards with Labour’s highest general election vote.

“Bristol residents have already shown their appetite for Green politics by electing us as the largest party on the City Council," Denyer said last year.

“In the event of a Labour general election win, Green MPs in Parliament can work hard to pull Labour in a more progressive direction – on climate action, workers' rights, public ownership of public services, compassionate immigration policy, tuition fees, right to protest, proportional representation, progressive taxation and so much more.

'Transformative change'

In a post on Sunday (2 June), Debbonaire said: "I'll take our city's voice to the heart of a Labour government and create more wealth, jobs and joy across culture, media and sport in Bristol and beyond.

"No other candidate in Bristol Central can make the transformative change that'll actually make people's lives better."

Yesterday, Debbonnaire, who was appointed Shadow Culture Secretary in September 2023, said Labour was committed to a review of Arts Council England should it from the next government after Arts Professional revealed that Dame Mary Archer's review of the public funding body had been shelved.

Prior to her political career, she worked as a professional cellist and has spoken at length about her plans for the arts sector should she become Culture Secretary, including exploring opportunities for additional investment and making creativity central to the school curriculum.