Waiting and watching in Brighton Pavilion

Unlike the weather, the race in Brighton Pavilion is hotting up.  I have been deliberately quiet for the last couple of weeks, trying to see how ordinary people, not anoraks like me, might be experiencing the campaigns of Nancy, Caroline and Charlotte.  I wondered if the campaigns would be visible, and if so which ones would be most effective.

In the last 14 days I am delighted to say that, while going about my every day life, I have had direct contact with all three campaigns, speaking with both Nancy Platts and Charlotte Vere, and with a member of Caroline Lucas’ campaign team.

It has re-enforced to me that Brighton Pavilion is very lucky to have a campaign with three remarkable and impressive women. Nancy continues to focus on what she does best – putting herself around, presenting herself as the energetic community campaigner that she is – the strongest of the three in this respect. Her focus is on her campaign, and she ignores (at least in public and private comment) the other two. She is dignified and diligent.

Caroline Lucas is strengthening her position within the constituency, less aloof and being seen more around the consituency.  She seems to be popping up here and there (although not yet everywhere). Her campaign is measured and she appears never to make reference to her two opponents, and she and her immediate support team certainly never attack the other two.

In person Charlotte Vere is different from her ‘vitual presence’.  While I have been very critical of her attacks on her opponents, I even accused her campaign of ‘going dirty’, in person she comes across very differently, warm and intelligent. Her ‘attack-style’ of politics does not become her. Perhaps it betrays her relative lack of experience. Perhaps it is a screen for some quite right wing political views and attitudes.

While the election campaign has over 3 months to run, it still appears to be Caroline’s to lose.  By increasing her local presence and profile, she should consolidate her lead in the polls, and would go a long way in persuading hesitant Labour voters to take the difficult step of casting their anti-Tory vote for a Green candidate.

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