Types of election

Types of election

Find out about elections in Bristol

Everyone in the Bristol City Council area is represented by:

  • one, two or three councillors depending on ward size
  • a Mayor of Bristol City
  • a Combined Authority Mayor
  • a Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset
  • a Member of Parliament (MP)
  • six Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)

Local Elections

These are held once every four years, on the first Thursday of May.

An election was held on Thursday 5 May 2016. Find your Local Elections 2016 results.

In a local election you are voting to elect councillors of Bristol who will represent your views for the wards (area) in which you live.

There are 34 electoral wards in Bristol and each ward has one, two or three councillors depending on its size. There are a total of 70 elected councillors.

Find your local councillor

Mayor of Bristol City Election

Mayoral elections are held every four years. An election was held on Thursday 5 May 2016. See the 2016 Mayoral election results.

The Mayor of Bristol is Marvin Rees (Labour Party). Find out more about the role of the Mayor of Bristol.

The Mayoral Election uses supplementary voting.

Combined Authority Mayor for West of England Election

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) was established in February 2017.

Tim Bowles (Conservative Party) was elected the WECA Mayor on Thursday 4 May 2017.

The WECA will be led by the elected WECA Mayor (sometimes referred to as the Metro Mayor). Elections for the WECA Mayor will be held every four years.

Find out more about devolution and the role of the Combined Authority Mayor.

Police and Crime Commissioner Election

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections are held every four years. An election for the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner was held on Thursday 5 May 2016.

The Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner is Sue Mountstevens.

Find out about the role of the PCC on the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners website.

The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections use supplementary voting.

General (Parliamentary) Elections

The General Election was held on Thursday 8 June 2017.

In general elections, you elect somebody to represent you in Parliament, as a Member of Parliament (MP), in a parliamentary constituency.

Four constituencies cover Bristol City Council:

  • Bristol East
  • Bristol North West
  • Bristol South
  • Bristol West

See the MPs details for Bristol constituencies 

Visit the UK parliament website for information about the role of MPs and the work of parliament.

European Parliamentary Elections

European Parliamentary Elections are held every five years. The next election is scheduled for May or June 2019.

In European Parliamentary Elections, you vote to elect somebody to represent you in the European Parliament as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).

There are 12 European electoral regions in the UK; each region has between three and 10 MEPs.

Bristol is in the South West region and has six MEPs.

You can find details about our MEPs, as well as information about their roles and the role of the European Parliament, on the website.


A referendum is a general vote by the electorate on a single question.

Referendum on Membership of the European Union

The EU Referendum  was held on Thursday 23 June 2016 to decide if the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.

Lawrence Weston Neighbourhood Development Plan Referendum

The Lawrence Weston Neighbourhood Development Plan Referendum was held on Thursday 23 February 2017 to decide whether the Lawrence Weston Neighbourhood Development Plan should be used with the Local Plan to decide planning applications.

Business Improvement Districts ballots

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are partnerships set up to improve particular commercial areas. 

Businesses in the area can take part in a ballot to choose whether to pay a percentage of their rateable value on top of their business rates to fund projects which benefit local businesses.

Next BID ballot: Broadmead Business Improvement District 

The ballot for Broadmead Business Improvement District will happen on Wednesday 26 September 2018.

See the Broadmead BID Notice of Ballot (pdf, 108KB) (opens new window)

Ballot Papers will be sent to those eligible to vote on Wednesday 29 August 2018.

They must be for returned no later than 5pm Wednesday 26 September 2018, day of the ballot.

For more information about the BID contact Jo Hawkins, BID Manager, Broadmead BID.

Alternatively, information on the BID is available from

If you have any enquiries about the BID ballot please email:

Bedminster Business Improvement District (BID): ballot result 

The ballot for Bedminster Business Improvement District was held on 13 September 2018. 

The ballot was conducted entirely by post by the Independent Scrutineer, Electoral Reform Services of 33 Clarendon Road, London N8 0NW.

Bedminster BID ballot notice (pdf, 145KB) (opens new window)

See the result of the Bedminster Bid ballot (pdf, 187KB) (opens new window)