Caroline Lucas: an extraordinary candidate, a politician for a new era. Be part of making history

Here are some of my final comments about the campaign in Brighton Pavilion.

Today’s smear against Caroline Lucas was nasty politics.  I was pleased that Charlotte Vere just about apologised for repeating it, that she was merely repeating what Father Ray had posted on his blog. (Who on earth is Father Ray?). This lapse of judgement typified her campaign.  Charlotte has not been well advised, and som of her team are not from the top drawer. With a good campaign team behind her, she could have mounted a much more measured campaign.  Rather, her ill-judged comments on Twitter, and her relentless focus on attacking Caroline Lucas has undone her.  She has run an energetic campaign and this has offset some of the disadvantage she has had as a late entrant to the race and being an outsider.  I will miss her as she returns to London, fortunately NOT as MP for Brighton Pavilion.

In any normal election, against standard opposition, Nancy Platts would have expected to succeed David Lepper as only the second-ever Labour MP for Brighton Pavilion.  Nancy has dedicated herself wholeheartedly to her candidature.  She has been energetic, put herself about, never lost, or at least shown, any doubt about her prospects. Most constituencies would have been fortunate to have had Nancy as their candidate, and thereafter their member of parliament.

But it was Nancy’s misfortune to be standing against Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion in this election.  Caroline has enjoyed the backing of an energetic and motivated team, drawn from local activists and those from further afield. Like Nancy, she has motivated her supporters, and has taken full advantage of the media coverage she has attracted as the leader of the Green Party and as someone who is likely to ‘break the mould’ by being elected as the first ever Green MP. 

In Brighton there is a sizeable electorate who have faithfully supported Labour since 1997 (and well before that). Increasingly they have found it increasingly difficult to stay loyal to Labour, and have strayed in local and European elections, resulting in significant gains for the Greens. Many would not normally have risked voting Green in a Westminster election for fear of splitting the vote and letting in a Tory.  But Caroline has had, as I said in a post on 9th January, that Caroline has the Big Mo – momentum (a reference to an episode of the West Wing). Increasingly, those disaffected from Labour, those who prefer the policies of the Greens, and those who wish to cast a tactical vote against the Conservatives, have gained in confidence about the viability of a Green vote in Brighton Pavilion.  I count myself within these ranks.

Caroline has taken full advantage of this.  She has conducted herself in an exemplary manner (as has Nancy with one or two understandable glitches as the campaign progressed). As the campaign progressed, support for Caroline has consolidated, moving from a ‘should we/shouldn’t we support Caroline Lucas’ to one a positive and exciting sense that we are part of something very special.

So once again, I urge voters in Brighton Pavilion to vote Green, to vote for Caroline Lucas.  She is an extraordinary candidate, a politician for a new era.  Be part of creating something special.

15 Responses

  1. Caroline is no doubt a very capable candidate, although not ‘extraordinary’ – but this is a general election, and they key question has to be ‘who do you want to run the Country?’ Electing Caroline will not lead to the implementation of one of the Green manifesto pledges. Personally I’m pleased about that – as the combination of financial irresponsibility and the strange mixture of ‘liberal’ social policy together with the micromanagement of people’s lives -would be a disaster for the great majority of people in this Country. But as there will not be a Green government, and they will have to change radically if there ever is to be one- I would prefer Caroline to succeed than Charlotte Vere.

    Of the candidates – there is no doubt that Nancy Platts would be the most committed to Brighton. She is the only one living here, and has become very involved in local politics, well beyond the Labour Party. Caroline would have less time to spend on the needs of Brightonians – inevitable for a party leader. She would have a power base here, but would primarily be interested in using it to expand from – not valuing it for its own sake.

    As this election is not all about Pavilion – could I make one last plea to non-Labour voters in Hove and Kemptown to lend your vote to Labour on this occasion. By reducing the chances of a Tory majority you will be speeding up the changes that are needed to the electoral system, and preventing the more extreme excesses of the cuts in public expendture. Please do not sit by and say ‘well, if Labour had done something different I might support them this time’. Every anti-Tory vote needs to be concentrated to best effect. Hold your nose if you have to – but think through the consequences.

    I have voted Green before, but not in a general election. You have to decide what is at stake each time. Here it is the shape of the government, and, for better or worse that will be Labour, Tory or a pact between them and the Lib Dems. Caroline will not be at the negotiating table The Greens will take the Council next year, and continue to have MEPS for the area – but this is not the right time to be turning away from Labour when so many ordinary people depend on the changes that they have brought in.

    • Caroline has immense affection for Brighton, she’s naturally hard working and would be under a lot of pressure to perform well as the local MP, with the hopes of the Green Party riding on her. We’ll only flourish if she maintains her reputation as an award winning politician.

      Having said that, I believe councils should be left to fix local issues while MPs set their sights on finding solutions to more serious, longer term issues for the country. And with respect to the other candidates I think Caroline is the only one with the insight, intellect and passion to do that.

    • Faust,

      Need we remind you that Nancy hails from London and was a one time candidate for Lambeth council (where she came sixth!)

      Caroline has represented Brighton for over 11 years and has always had an affection for the city.

    • How would there being a Labour MP rather than a Green MP have an effect on whether or not the Tories have a majority? It might conceivably make them the largest party, but being the largest party is not the same as having a majority.

  2. The BPB makes no comment about the LibDem candidate in Pavilion.

    Word is that orders have come down from on high for LibDems to target Green voters in Pavilion in hopes of there being no Green MP to put LibDems on their mettle in Westminster. As a well-known ecologist said to me, “you can never trust the LibDems.”

    All that, along with the chainsaw being taken to Green boards and the rapid Tory typescript attacking the Greens, suggests a turf war in which the very mention of the word Green makes the other parties behave as if in a certain novel by a Mr Greene…

    Much more of this and Cityclean’s Gilliam Marston would have been ousourcing a contract to the Zombie party to lick the blood from the streets.

    The BPB is right. Caroline Lucas would be a dynamic part of Parliament, and Nancy Platts is sure to be capable if she does not make it this time round – but I cannot share his semi-sympathies for Charlotte Vere, great material though she is.

  3. So bpb will you reveal your true identity after the count?

    Am dying to know. I know I have met you quite a few times now…

  4. After months of arduous campaigning on the doorstep with 200 or so other Labour activists in Brighton Pavilion I can say with a great extent of certainty that


    And I’ll stick £100 on it. And I have.

    For all your sanctimonious intellectualizing drivel, you have just made this country a much worse place for ordinary people.

    Shame on the Greens for bringing the Tories back to Brighton.

    • Tell you what, we’ll split it with you 40/20, ok?

    • I think this deserves a LOLZ.

      Labour has no one to blame but themselves if the Tories win.

      You had 13 years to do things right and you didn’t. Mind you, you joined the Labour bandwagon quite recently. Wouldn’t surprise me if you one day ended up in the Tory camp, you’ve been in just about every party going.

      • Oh, Luke. How’s the girlfriend? Good thing she didn’t call the police …


    • Alexander

      Hope you’re not missing your 100 quid too much. Although you weren’t the only deluded pro-Labour contributor here who managed to call Pavilion completely wrong.

    • For a campaigner you seem to have had very little idea of what was happening. Glad you lost £100.

  5. You don’t have to agree with all the Green platform to believe that there should be Green representation in Parliament, after all, where was the environment in this election? – Whoops sorry we are in the middle of an economic crisis, so we can’t afford to keep the planet a healthy place. Ummm… I don’t think so, which is why I will be voting for her.

    As for Charlotte Vere, she might have some personal charm, but behind that Mary Poppins exterior were some of the less pleasant characteristics of the Thatcherite Tory party. She is however a capable candidate, with doubtless a good political future, only not here I hope and pray.

  6. The voters of Brighton pavilion deserve the best, someone who is really going to put Brighton back on the map and take this city forward. That’s why so many of us are voting for the most progressive candidate on offer, Caroline Lucas. From my point of view it is Labour who are trying to split the Green vote, not the other way round. Thank you BPB for being so kind about all of the candidates. Your blog has been an oasis of calm amidst an increasingly unpleasant campaign. Here’s hoping the voters of Brighton Pavilion make history and elect our first Green MP, Caroline Lucas’

  7. In all my running around yesterday across the constituency I did not bump into one Labour leafleter or canvasser.

    I did however see some glossy Charlotte Vere mags on the floors of homes in Patcham.

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