Bristol Labour members begin mayoral candidate voting

Labour members in Bristol have started voting on who will represent the party in the mayoral elections in November.

During last year's local election in Bristol, Labour won 36% of the vote, although the Liberal Democrats secured the leadership of the city council.

BBC West's political editor, Paul Barltrop, said: "On paper you'd have to say, Labour should be in a very good position to win the mayoralty."

The 1,500 or so Labour members have five candidates to choose from.

On Friday a hustings was held featuring the candidates: Helen Holland, Peter Hammond, Kelvin Blake, Martin Rees and former Labour MP Dan Norris.

'Very different'

The event was held ahead of the voting papers being sent out to Labour members.

Labour activist Mary Southcott said: "We're using a different voting system so everything will be in the second and third preferences - I don't think there's going to be an outright winner.

"I think it's very important that people show their preferences if they have them.

"It's likely certain people are going to be in the last round, so some may go for 'plumping', which is just choosing one candidate - so it's very different."

Last month, a referendum was held in Bristol in which residents voted in favour of a directly-elected mayor to run the city council.

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