Update: Since this article was published, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens formed a ‘Remain Alliance’ in England. As part of this, the Liberal Democrats will not stand a candidate in Bristol West.
Ever since Caroline Lucas won the Green’s first seat in Parliament in Brighton Pavilion, there has been speculation about whether the party will ever be able to go beyond that initial success and make a breakthrough elsewhere in the country.
Seats like Norwich South, Holborn and St Pancras and Oxford East which were target seats for the party in 2015, saw Green support fall away at the last election as support for the two main parties grew.
However, with the Labour vote collapsing in the polls and the Greens resurgent following a strong result in the European Parliament elections, the next election could be the Green’s best chance of winning their second seat in Parliament.
One seat in particular, Bristol West, is perhaps the most likely candidate for this title. The seat was a target in 2015, where the party came second behind Labour, and also gained seven seats on the local council, particularly in the boundaries of the constituency.
Despite the party losing more than half its vote share in the seat last election, the Green Party won the most votes in Bristol at the European Parliament elections earlier this year, giving the party some hope of winning a seat in the city.
With the collapse in the Labour vote in the polls, along with increases for the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, Bristol West is looking like a possible three horse race despite a big majority for Labour in 2017.
Currently, Electoral Calculus projects that Labour will win the seat by less than two percent, leaving the possibility open for a Green victory following an election campaign in the constituency.
The result in Bristol West will be a very interesting one whenever the election is called and the Greens will be pinning their hopes on the seat to give them their first parliamentary gain in almost a decade.