The Genny Lec in Bristol: Everything you need to know about voting on July the fourth

The general election is fast approaching, here is a comprehensive list of everything you need to know as a first time student voter


On Thursday 4th July Brits will head to the polls to vote in the general election. Under half of those aged 18-24 voted in the last general election; It is vital that young people, who have been disproportionally underrepresented cast their vote next month. The votes of young people will ensure that whoever forms the next government will target policies towards the young.

At a time of significant housing shortage, a rent crisis, declining wages, negligence towards the environment and declining investment in facilities for young people, your vote will bring about change. We have compiled a guide to make voting in Bristol simple and have included key dates you should be aware of as the election approaches.

The most important thing to do if not done already is apply to vote. the deadline to register to vote in the general election is 11:59pm on Tuesday 18th June. To register to vote, follow the link here.

You can choose to vote either at your home address or at your university address, you cannot vote twice in the same election. Look at the different constituencies (home and uni) and make your choice based on who you would like to win the election and where your vote will be most impactful. For example, if you would like to see labour form the next government, consider whether labour are most likely to win in your home or university constituency.

How to postal vote

If you cannot get to a polling station in person on July 4th then you will need to apply to either postal vote or vote by proxy (someone will vote on your behalf.)

The deadline to register for postal vote is 5pm on 19th June 2024 and to vote by proxy it is 5pm on Wednesday 26th June. Similarly with registering to vote, to apply for postal vote the online form takes about five minutes and you will be asked for your National Insurance Number.

To apply for a postal vote, simply search “apply for a postal vote.” To apply for vote by proxy you will have to fill out a certain form depending on why you yourself cannot vote, ensure you select the correct one.

To apply for a postal vote, simply search “apply for a postal vote.” To apply for vote by proxy you will have to fill out a certain form depending on why you yourself cannot vote, ensure you select the correct one.

Both forms are straightforward and easy to fill out – fear not, you aren’t in for hours of paperwork.

Polling stations in Bristol

If you are in Bristol on July 4th and can vote in person, here is a list of key Bristol polling stations in the student areas.

  • Trinity College, Stoke Hill, Stoke Bishop, BS9 1JP
  • The Elmgrove Centre, Redland Road, Cotham, BS6 6AG
  • City Hall, College Green, City Centre, BS1 5TR
  • The Richmond Building, Queens Road, Clifton, BS8 1LN
  • Worcester Road entrance, Clifton Park, Clifton, BS8 3BX
  • Woodlands Church, Belgrave Road, Clifton, Bs8 2AA
  • Tyndale Baptist Church, Whiteladies Road, Clifton BS8 2QG
  • Bishopston Library, 100a Gloucester Road, Bishopston, BS7 8BN
  • 16-18 Kings Centre, King Square, City Centre, Bs2 8AZ

To find your nearest polling station, head to Bristol.gov.uk where you will be asked to enter your postcode, the Website will then tell you where your nearest polling station is. All polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on polling day, they do not close for lunch.

Bristol MPs

I have compiled a list of MPs standing for the election in the four different Bristol constituencies, with the hopes that researching who you are more inclined to endorse is easier. Simply Google their names and read up on their politics, both nationally and their priorities for Bristol.

Bristol North West (the area covering stoke bishop, Southmead and Henleaze)

  • Laura Saunders (Conservatives)
  • Darren Jones (Labour)
  • Caroline Gooch (Liberal Democrats)
  • Mary Page (Green)
  • Scarlett O’Connor (Reform)

Bristol Central – (the area covering Redland, Cotham, Bishoptston, Montpelier and Hotwells)

  • Samuel Williams (Conservatives)
  • Thangam Debbonaire (Labour)
  • Nicolas Coombes (Liberal Democrats)
  • Carla Denyr (Green)
  • Roberty Clarke (reform UK)

Bristol East (Easton, Barton Hill, St Anne’s Park)

  • Dan Conaghan (Conservatives)
  • Kerry McCarthy (Labour)
  • Tony Sutcliffe (Liberal Democrats)
  • Ani Stafford-Townsend (Green)

Bristol South (Area covering Ashton Gate, Bedminster and Southville)

  • Liz Brennan (Conservatives)
  • Karin Smyth (Labour)
  • Andrew Charles Brown (Liberal Democrats)
  • Jai Breitnauer (Green)
  • Richard Visick (Reform UK)

The importance of voting as a student

As mentioned it is vital that as many young people as possible vote in this election, it is equally as vital that students vote. At a time where universities are working at a loss, parliament will be dominated by debates on tuition fees, university priorities and whether universities should cut some courses.

Further, students along with vast swathes of the population have felt the pinch of the cost of living crisis, whoever forms the next government is likely to make changes to our student loans.

From a quick research on the different parties and their policies (which will literally talking five minutes) you can form a picture of what party you feel will best protect your interests as a student and young person.

I would also implore you to look at the general election as not just a chance to change the current government but to be mindful that whoever wins the election will be in power for the next five years.

In those five years, you will most likely begin to consider renting or buying property, seeking out well paying jobs and continuing to mitigate a world that is threatened by climate change.

If you are in your early twenties now, whoever forms to next government will form policies that will affect your life throughout your twenties. Vote on behalf of your future self, not just your current self.

To aid your research, see below for links to different parties manifestos:

Conservatives: https://public.conservatives.com/static/documents/GE2024/Conservative-Manifesto-GE2024.pdf

The Labour Party: https://labour.org.uk/change/

Liberal Democrats: https://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

The Green Party: https://greenparty.org.uk/about/our-manifesto/