Leading lights in the Labour Party in Brighton and Hove are desperately worried about the outcome of this weeks by-election in Goldsmid ward. So concerned are they that they are privately saying they prefer a Conservative win rather than victory for Alex Phillips of the Green Party.
Most would imagine that the prize of the Conservatives losing control of the City Council would be incentive enough for Labour to wish for a Green victory in the event of their candidate being unsuccessful. But no, a Green victory will be regarded as an absolute disaster. Even though Goldsmid ward is not in Brighton Pavilion, victory for the Greens would give huge momentum to the Greens in the run-up to the General Election next year, and to their candidate Caroline Lucas.
What little canvassing has been done by Labour points not only to a close result between Conservatives and Greens, it shows that Labour is heading for a very poor result, coming a very distant third. Feedback from the doorstep suggests that Alex Phillips has been well received by voters whereas Liz Telcs is not making an impact and there is widespread disenchantment with the Labour government.