Last night’s prediction that the Conservatives may win all three seats in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean has prompted an interesting response. No surprise that Peter Booth, Tory candidate in East Brighton agrees with my prediction: “Completely agree with your assessment in Moulsecoomb & Bevendean. Maria is a hard-working and popular Councillor and is joined in this campaign by Ayas Fallon-Khan who has gained a solid reputation on Council – and predict all 3 Conservatives will win through.” Baron Pepperpot (flattery will get you nowhere with me!) couldn’t disagree more: “three Tories in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean? At a time when the cuts will start to bite?”
Allie Cannell makes a prediction that I don’t see as likely: “I’m predicting the Greens will get a seat in M&S. There are over 2,000 students just living in University residences there. Thats not even counting all the students living in private accomodation.” The problem with that view is that students are not that likely to turn out in large volumes in a Kemptown seat, even for Green candidates in a local election. If I am wrong, then all bets are off regarding the final make-up of the Council. 3 Green candidates in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean would suggest major gains by the Greens across the city. Allie is not alone, Christopher Hawtree is predicting that “the Greens could do well in Moulescoomb.”
The Ghost of Nobby Clarke asks: “Is Mr Morgan rattled I wonder!, This ward has never been worked by the tories has it Peter?”. Actually, that’s not true and it did go Tory in the early 1990s when it was Marine Ward.
My “favourite” Warren Morgan, draws attention to the fall-out in 2007 from the stock transfer issue that so damaged Labour: “Woodingdean looks pretty safe for the Tories based on the 2007 results, but interestingly the ward was split three ways at the GE count with the Lib Dem matching Simons Burgess and Kirby. The traditionally strong Labour vote in Woodingdean (we did win a seat there in the 90s) was artificially depressed there in 2007 by the stock transfer vote fallout, as it was in Portslade, Moulsecoomb and Queens Park. Geoff is busy being mayor and Dee is busy with Cabinet duties which may explain DAPs comment above. We’ve selected some keen, new candidates both there and in Rottingdean Coastal, all hopeful of putting up a good campaign and earning safer seats next time (as BPB said in an earlier post). And complacency is a stealthy enemy in politics, as some of my colleagues found out last time. Don’t forget in Moulsecoomb & Bevendean that the Respect candidate Dave Bangs scored over 300 votes last time (equivalent to a constituency wide Respect/Socialist vote at a GE) capitalising on the stock transfer issue, and with what he portrayed as the endorsement of two retiring councillors. And yes, the students will be a factor, particularly if they vote tactically for Labour rather than the Greens who are not in contention in M&B.”
Clive points to another issue that damaged Labour in 2007: “Another elephant that is no longer in the room is the King Alfred. Last time, this surely helped the Tories in Westbourne, Central Hove and (to a lesser extent) Goldsmid.” He also points out the state of the parties in national polls: “the national opinion polls in April 2007 – just before the last local elections – were, taking a rough average of all taken: Conservative 37, Labour 31, LD 19. Therefore it’s hard not to conceive of Labour enjoying some kind of general uplift given that they are now polling around ten points ahead of that.” The counter argument to that, Clive, at least in Brighton Pavilion, is the Caroline Effect and how that constituency should be seen apart from the national position.
The good Baron agrees with my assessment for Queens Park where he lives, that “it’s too close to call, but I’m not sure you’re right about which Labour candidate would be returned in the event of a split vote.”
Finally, a couple of comments have been left on this blog earlier today which are not in the spirit of debate and friendly provocation. I haven’t approved one as it may contain a libel or two, and I have removed another offending reference in another. Please keep to the spirit of the blog. I really don’t want to have to moderate comments left.
Filed under: Council Elections 2011 Tagged: | Allie Cannell, Amy Kennedy, Ayas Fallon-Khan, Bevendean, Caroline Effect, Caroline Lucas, Central Hove, Christopher Hawtree, Craig Turton, Dan Wilson, Dave Bangs, Dee Simpson, East Brighton, Geoff Wells, Gill Mitchell, Goldsmid, Kelvin Poplett, King Alfred, Maria Caulfield, Moulsecoomb, Peter Booth, Portslade, Queens Park, Respect, Rottingdean, Simon Burgess, Simon Kirby, Warren Morgan, Westbourne, Woodingdean