Could the Greens deliver the impossible by winning Brighton Kemptown?

It is probably not achievable in 2010, but why not aim to make Brighton the first Green city, with the first Green MP elected in Brighton Pavilion, followed by a Green MP in Brighton Kemptown and a Green Council in 2011?

With Caroline Lucas’ campaign going from strength to strength in Brighton Pavilion, is it possible that Ben Duncan could be swept along in her slipstream and produce the real shock locally by winning the other Brighton seat?

The double-baralled denying Simon Radford-Kirby is hardly setting the world on fire.  His recent picture with a gaggle of Tory MP’s was excrutiating.  In his thick pinstripe suit and impressive hairstyle, he resembled a spiv estate agent at the height of the property boom in the eighties and nineties.  You could almost here him say “Loads of money ….!”.  Why on earth should Labour voters switch to him?

Lovely Simon Burgess, like the impressive Nancy Platts, has been let down by his party, big time.  Following his defeat in the local elections when riding high as Council leader, he has struggled to regain the enthusiasm that he once had and his campaign is limp and unlikely to be re-energised before May.  Sadly I cannot see what value a Labour vote is in Kemptown.

So for anti-Tory voters, why not galvernise around Green Ben Duncan?  If enough Labour and Lib Dems vote Green he might, just might, pull off the shock of the election.

The danger for the Greens, of course, is to try to go for it in both Brighton seats.  A Party with ambition should not rule this out, but should also not spread itself too thinly, resulting in a double Tory victory.

4 Responses

  1. In short , yes!

    I have long argued that a Green vote in Kemptown is the progressive choice, and is most likely to prevent the Tories picking up the seat.

    Like you, I almost feel sorry for Simon Burgess: he’s a great bloke, and a good community activist, but I fear he’s just in the wrong party at the wrong time.

    Personally, I’m not a fan of the tactical voting approach. It’s just too negative, I feel, to vote for the candidate most likely to beat the one you like least.

    I prefer the version of democratic engagement in which voters choose the candidate they’d most like to be their MP, regardless of how that will affect other candidates – and I hope, just as we managed in Queen’s Park in 2007, we can convince previous supporters of all parties (and none) to trust an increasingly experienced, locally-focused and genuinely progressive Green Party candidate to do the job.

    For me, the question I think voters should be asking themselves is: which candidate will do the best job of representing local interests, whatever happens nationally?

  2. A likely factor in Kemptown is lots of people turning out to vote for Caroline Lucas (not realising that they can’t), and so will cast their vote for Ben instead. No disrespect intended towards Ben there – just acknowledging the level of Lucas name-recognition. Depending on how widespread this is, it may make the notion of a Green win in Kemptown not so far-fetched.

  3. The final paragraph of the blog post is a serious warning, though. If we can win the way Andy suggests, fine, but anyone canvassing in Kemptown when Pavilion is just next door needs to get on their bike!

  4. The Hove figures from last time are very interesting. Anthea Ballam kept her deposit, and there was the Iraq protest vote which gave the LibDems a surprising amount with no campaign to speak of and no local presence.

    Will those voters go back to Labour or pick up the Green buzz from Pavilion, and indeed from Goldsmid within Hove itself?

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