Tactical Voting in Brighton Pavilion (for Lucas) and Brighton Kemptown (for the lesser of two feeble campaigns)

Caroline Lucas is consolidating her position in Brighton Pavilion. She has, as already stated in this blog, the Big Mo – Momentum.  Nancy Platts continues to run a high profile and energetic campaign, impressing all by her personal and political style.  Nevertheless, Caroline Lucas has the tide flowing with her, and the election remains hers to lose, although the Tory candidate, Charlotte Vere is getting herself known – and liked – and could yet pip Caroline at the post.  Therefore, with greater certainty, this blog continues to urge all Labour and Lib Dem supporters, who do not want to see a Tory MP in Brighton Pavilion, and who want to ensure that the Conservatives do not have a Commons majority, to vote for Caroline Lucas on May 6th.

The situation in Brighton Kemptown is becoming a fascinating campaign, not because any candidate is making a strike for victory, but because none are!  Simon Burgess, a decent man, not cut out for electoral politics, appears to have lost heart, demoralised from his defeat in the local elections almost 2 years ago.  Apart from the occasional foray into the media, he is largely a shadow of a candidate.  His website tends to focus on his activities in St James Street (largely irrelevant to the wider constituency albeit consisting of the most vocal of his patch – and the most fickle), and his activities within the Labour Party as Vice Chair of the National Policy Forum (certainly a turn off for the voters if ever there was one).  There are 89 days to go and he is yet to make his mark.

Ben Duncan on the other hand, has a much higher profile, seems to be everywhere, and is about to boost his campaign with the launch of a new campaign website.  His decision to take down his long standing blog has caused a number of the Blogerati to speculate that he has been ‘reigned in’.  If that is the case, that decision is foolish.  He is a lively, interesting, active candidate.  There are two things that cause this blog to hesitate suggesting tactical voting for him: first, he will struggle to connect beyond the Muesli Belt and, even more than Simon, tends to focus on the Queens Park area; and second, the Greens are probably not robbust enough to run two campaigns in neighbouring constituencies.  Their focus is on Brighton Pavilion where they almost certainly will pick up their first Westminster seat.  But in doing so they show a lack of ambition.  Or is it that nobody is allowed to challenge the great Caroline Lucas’ place in the spotlight ….?

As it stands, Simon Kirby is strolling into Parliament.  I don’t know which campaign is the less feeble campaign, that of Simon Burgess or Ben Duncan.  Which one is more ‘deserving’ of tactical votes? Perhaps you could post your views.

11 Responses

  1. I’m looking forward to Ben’s new site. If it’s anything to go by Caroline’s it should be very snazzy and user-friendly. The kind of qualities you want in an MP really.

    Got any tactical suggestions for Arundel by the way? The monkey looks promising to me.

  2. I think it is very sad if Ben is being reigned in. I know the Green Party is paranoid about divisions and flaky candidates. I think that Ben’s problem is he is next to Caroline Lucas, and the media are bound to look for differences.http://liberalengland.blogspot.com/search?q=ben+duncan

    However trying to silence and secretly remove PPCs who have eccentric or alternative views is bound to back-fire. If Marina Pepper, a witch and page 3 girl can happily be a Liberal Democrat councillor, Mayor, and PPC; it seems daft of the Greens to remove their Torbay PPC and pretend she never was the PPC, simply because she is a witch. http://punkscientist.blogspot.com/2010/01/green-party-parliamentary-candidate-for.html

  3. How much effect in Kemptown do you think the major Lucas push in Pavilion will have? I remember a previous post here suggesting it could really help Ben, which would make sense.

  4. Finn,

    Ben isn’t being reigned in as he says clearly on Dan Wilson’s blog.

    You can view Ben’s response here: http://www.wilsondan.co.uk/2010/02/04/wheres-ben-duncans-blog-gone/

    I would double check your facts before you make crude suggestions.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Ben’s new site and hope he continues being himself on his blog, which he will ‘cos he’s Ben!

  5. Carline Lucas’s article in Guardian today shows that a slick campaign is under way.
    Nancy Platts – haven’t seen her and got no reply to my email sent to email address on her leaflet. Posh Spice is veering this way and that, but too inexperienced to see her own mistakes. Looks like a Lucas win to me.

  6. Finn, as far as I am aware Sarah GOldsmith is still the Green PPC for Torbay. I do not believe there is any secret plan “to silence and secretly remove PPCs who have eccentric or alternative views”. As Luke Walter says, you should check your facts before making shit up.

    And here’s a crazy idea: Instead of the Green Party having to row back against public concern about their flaky and “alternative” (read: batshit) candidates, why not select non-batshit ones in the first place? And if you can’t find any then “none” is definitely superior to “batshit” in my book.


  7. Whether Lucas wins depends simply on how many ex-labour voters the Greens can get to vote for them.

    Many of the traditional labour voters won’t vote in this election i rekon but if the Greens can get them to vote for them instead they will win.

    Its all between the Tories and the Greens now

  8. Surely the best way to win ex-Labour voters in any constituency is to run a national campaign focusing on why the Green Party is an alternative for ex-Labour voters? just focusing on a few wards in Brighton will not be enough to convince the voters that Greens mean business, and aren’t just using Brighton voters for their first breakthrough

  9. John W. Booth,

    The Greens have neither the (wo)man power nor the resources to mount a national challenge. Unfortunately FPTP excludes the Greens from making any kind of serious national effort.

    The Greens have identified with target constituencies including Pavilion, Norwich South and Lewisham Depfford, three seats the Greens have been campaigning in for a number of years and have won a considerable number of council wards.

    How can you accuse the Greens of using Brighton voters to make their first breakthrough? Brighton voters have backed the Greens in Pavilion overwhelmingly since 2007 when the Greens took more council seats than either the Conservatives or Labour in the constituency.

    At the Euro elections, in the city-wide vote, the Greens came on top beating all other parties. This is democracy, if you don’t like the way people vote, I suggest you re-think what kind of political system you really want in this country.

    In places such as Norwich, Lewisham, Hackney, Cambridge and Oxford, the Greens have a strong chance of polling very well, and perhaps even win.

    I suppose the first time Keir Hardie took Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare in 1900 he was “using” Merhyr Tydfil voters to give the Labour Representation Committee “their first breakthrough.”

    All parties start from somewhere; if Brighton voters choose to back Caroline Lucas as their representative they would do so because they want to. It’s called democracy, however imperfect our electoral system may be.

  10. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is standing in Kemptown. Its candidate is Dave Hill, ex Labour PPC for Pavilion and Leader of Labour Group on East Sussex CC.

    The launch meeting is on 9 March, 6.45pm at the Brighthelm Centre. Bob Crow will be speaking.

    If the Greens don’t want to campaign in Kemptown, TUSC certainly does!

  11. It seems to me that voters welcome the idea of a hung Parliament, a chance for MPs to regain meaningful debates in the Commons. A win by Caroline Lucas would be indicative of that. A national reflection of what we have seen locally.

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