Kingswood by-election: All you need to know

  • Report by ITV News West Country Political Correspondent Lucy McDaid

The Kingswood by-election will take place on Thursday 15 February.

It was triggered by the resignation of the Conservative former MP Chris Skidmore, who quit in protest over government proposals to boost North Sea oil and gas drilling.

It's one of two by-elections taking place on Thursday, with the other take place in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, after the previous MP Peter Bone was removed by a recall petition.

What is the constituency like?

Kingswood, in South Gloucestershire, is a suburban constituency on the edge of Bristol.

It currently has a Conservative majority of 11,220 and was taken by the Tories in 2010. Before that, from 1992, it was held by Labour.

The seat has historically swung between the two largest parties ever since it was created in 1974, and its constituents voted to leave the EU in the 2016 Brexit Referendum.

The Kingswood constituency will cease to exist at the next general election, with the current seat being split, technically, into four.

The majority will be shared between the newly named Somerset North East and Hanham, and Bristol North East.

Small proportions will fall into Filton and Bradley Stoke, and Thornbury and Yate.

What could the ramifications be?

Thursday's by-election will be another test of public confidence in the Conservative Party, no doubt putting yet more pressure on Rishi Sunak if another Tory majority is overturned.

It's a two-horse race been Tory and Labour, with Sir Keir Starmer's Party wanting to show they can win this seat, and others like it, when the general election takes place - most likely later this year.

If they can overturn the current Tory majority of just over 11,000, it's a good indicator of how they could do in seats like Filton and Bradley Stoke, Swindon South and Gloucester - seats they lost to the Conservative Party in the 2010 election.

It's also worth watching out for how Reform UK fare in Thursday's by-election. They will be looking to make a dent in the Conservative vote, while both the Liberal Democrats and Greens will want to show they have a chance of increased Westminster representation later this year.

Who are the candidates?

Polls will open at 7am on Thursday and close at 10pm.

  • Sam Bromiley - Conservative Party

Sam Bromiley is the Conservative candidate in Kingswood. Credit: Conservative Party HQ

Sam Bromiley, who lives in Kingswood, is the Conservative Party's candidate.

He is currently the leader of the Conservatives group on South Gloucestershire Council and has a background in social work.

"I am honoured to have been selected to represent the area I grew up in and where I havelived all my life” Sam said after his selection.

His campaign is heavily focused on protecting Kingswood's green spaces.

He told ITV West Country he's getting a "really strong" reaction on the doorstep and "there's a real chance" the Tories can keep the seat Conservative.

  • Damien Egan - Labour Party

Damien Egan is the Labour Party's candidate in Kingswood Credit: PA

Damien Egan, the former Mayor of Lewisham in South East London, is the Labour Party's candidate.

He has been criticised for his links to London, but he grew up in and around the South Gloucestershire constituency and credits his childhood experience of living in temporary accommodation as the reason he pursued a career in politics.

Responding to his selection, he said: "I’m looking forward to being able to go around the areas I grew up in, and give residents a hardworking representative who’s on their side."

"In just a few weeks, we’ll have the opportunity to send Rishi Sunak a message that it’s time for that change," he added.

He told ITV West Country that people can "look at what I've done and can see I'm someone who gets things done". He added: "I'm from Kingswood, my family are here, this is my home."

  • Rupert Lowe - Reform UK

Rupert Lowe (left) is the selected candidate for Reform UK. Credit: PA

Former Brexit MEP and chairman of Southampton Football Club, Rupert Lowe, is the Reform candidate.

It comes after the Party's chair said he would boycott the "pointless" by-election due to the £250,000 cost to the taxpayer.

In the wake of Mr Skidmore's resignation, Richard Tice called on the former Conservative MP to pay for the by-election, before later announcing they would stand a candidate despite being against the process "in principle".

Mr Lowe, a farmer who lives in Gloucestershire, said the Party had a change of mind following "overwhelming" support in Kingswood.

He told ITV West Country that Reform "is basically the party of common sense" and "Mr Skidmore...has effectively cost the taxpayer a quarter of a million pounds" in standing down months before a likely election.

  • Lorraine Francis - Green Party

Lorraine Francis is the Green Party's candidate. Credit: Green Party

Lorraine Francis is the Green Party's candidate.

She is currently a social worker and councillor in Eastville.

She told ITV West Country that "people want a new type of politics".

  • Andrew Brown - Liberal Democrats

Andrew Brown is the selected candidate for the Liberal Democrats. Credit: Liberal Democrats

Andrew Brown is the candidate for the Liberal Democrats and is currently a councillor for Hengrove and Whitchurch Park.

He has focused his campaign on the NHS, cost of living crisis, and sewage crisis, telling ITV West Country "the Conservatives have let this country down" and "Labour aren't offering sufficient opposition".

  • Nicholas Wood - UKIP

Nicholas Wood is the candidate for UKIP.

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