There’s been a great debate going on in the comments section following earlier blogs regarding election expenses. The debate largely involves Green and Labour supporters / activists.
A recent comment reflected that many people don’t want either a Labour or a Conservative government. We are either going to get one of them or we will have a hung parliament. This blog has longed hoped for a hung parliament and has advocated tactical voting to achieve this. But there seems to be such bad blood developing in Brighton Pavilion between Labour and Green supporters that my worst fears might be realised -that the anti-Tory vote will be split allowing a Conservative victory.
I have, for many months, been positive about the three candidates, Nancy Platts, Caroline Lucas and Charlotte Vere. All three have impressed me, and even though I don’t like her politics, that she is a Tory, and that she has based her campaign largely on attacks against Caroline Lucas, I have grown to like Charlotte Vere and believe that she would make a good constituency MP if elected. But I hope she will not win, at least not for Brighton Pavilion. I hope that in future she will stand in a safe Conservative seat.
My dilemna has been who to support between Nancy Platts and Caroline Lucas. Both are hard working, both are impressive women, both would make excellent constituency MPs, and both are politicians of the left. Some months back I called for tactical voting for the Greens as I believed then that the Greens had the best chance of beating the Tories. That view has changed slightly. No longer do I see a Green vote in Brighton Pavilion as a ‘negative’ “Keep the Tories Out” vote, but it is now a positive vote for a positive change. Brighton Pavilion can help make history by electing the first Green MP. This will provide a platform in domestic politics for the Greens who could yet become a significant force in UK politics, if not in the election after this one, but the one after that.
I would love to see Nancy Platts in parliament, and I believe that she will make it, but this is not her election. She has the misfortune to be up against Caroline Lucas in a year where Labour will struggle. In another year, in another constituency, she would be the standout candidate. I wish her well.
As for Caroline Lucas and the Greens. Her victory will not be a one parliament wonder. She will nurture the seat and the Greens ongoing success in Brighton and Hove will see the possibility of her being joined in the House by at least one other local Green MP in due course.
Parliament was formally disolved at 11.41am today, meaning that David Lepper and Desmond Turner are no longer Members of Parliament. Both have given great service to the City since being elected in 1997, and before that as Brighton and East Sussex councillors. The City should honour them for their service.