It is suddenly becoming much clearer. An ICM poll puts the Greens 8 points ahead of the Conservatives and a full 10 points ahead of Labour in Brighton Pavilion. However, the most significant aspect of this poll is that two thirds of Labour and Lib Dem voters would be willing to vote Green if it would result in the Tories being kept out.
The telephone poll of 533 voters adjusted to match the local electorate’s profile was undertaken by ICM Research’s Government and Social Unit between 16 – 21 December 2009.
This blog has for some months wavered between support for the impressive Nancy Platts (Labour) and the rather too distant Caroline Lucas (Green). However, I have been consistent in saying that Nancy’s greatest challenge is the Party she is representing, the “right candidate standing for the wrong party”. The other problem she is facing is that it is Brighton Pavilion is the Greens number one target.
The Greens now have a head of steam which should allow them to have a clear run-in against Charlotte Vere, playing on the goodwill of Labour and Lib Dem supporters, to harness a substantial vote against the Tories. Labour supporters are very unlikely to vote Tory to keep the Greens out, some will, for honourable reasons, remain loyal to their party and to Nancy Platts. The Greens need to nurture the green/left/anti-Tory vote. It is likely that Caroline Lucas can now look forward to a substantial victory at the General Election.
If the situation was reversed, with Labour having a ten point lead over the Greens in Brighton Pavilion, it is not likely that two thirds of Green voters would consider voting Labour. That is both a strength and a weakness of the Greens – able to attract wider support, but ultimately not a party of the left (although New Labour has tried to ensure that it is not seen as being of the left).
This blog, having sat on the fence for so long, calls for unreserved tactical voting in Brighton Pavilion for the Green Party.
A final word for Nancy. You don’t deserve this. You are an impressive candidate and individual. You have been let down by your Party and by events. I hope that you will find another seat in due course since you will make an excellent Member of Parliament, but it won’t be ion Brighton Pavilion.