Bracknell Labour Party will “take the fight” to Conservative MP James Sunderland at the next general election, a new leading councillor has said. But he says it won’t be easy to repeat the party’s victory in local elections.

Councillor Guy Gillbe recently became the council’s new member in charge of planning and transport after Labour took over the council last month.

Labour took control of Bracknell Forest Council for the first time since 1997. It added 18 seats to its previous four—while the Conservatives lost plummeting from 37 to 10.

But councillor Gillbe says a general election – which has to take place by January 2025 at the latest – won’t be a straightforward re-run of last month’s campaign, which combined local and national issues.

“Any campaigner is not naive enough to think that any campaign is just to do with local issues,” he said. But he added: “A lot of the campaign was to do with local issues.

“The three issues I heard on the doorstep is parking, potholes and the state of our green areas, as well as broader areas such as housing.”

The campaign to be elected to parliament in Bracknell could be a close-run fight. Political consultants Electoral Calculus predict that – based on recent polling and the last council election results – that if an election were to take place tomorrow, Labour would win in Bracknell.

But councillor Gillbe predicts that more Conservative voters may turn out to vote in a general election.

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“A lot of Conservative voters just stayed home” in the local elections, he said. “This has traditionally been a Conservative area. It’s not necessarily that they’ll stay home at a general election. The turnout is going to be higher.”

A general election will also pit Labour against the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

In the council elections, it turned out that Labour and the Lib Dems didn’t stand against each other in any Bracknell Forest ward – a “happy accident” resulting from each party choosing its battlegrounds.

Councillor Gillbe said: “It was very obvious where the Lib Dems would want to focus their attention and where we would want to focus our attention. We wanted to focus on the areas where we were most likely to win.

“It worked out without any kind of chat between the local parties. We will be putting forward a parliamentary candidate for the general election and I expect the Lib Dems and Greens to do the same.”

He added: “We’ve been given a chance by the residents of Bracknell Forest and we have to spend the next few years showing them they were right.”