A Tom French win could be good news for the Greens in Brighton

It is unlikely to happen – a Labour win in the St Peter’s and North Laine by-election on Thursday.  Labour’s Tom French has excelled as one of an exciting breed of young, enthusiastic Labour candidates, bringing much of the same energy and determination that characterised Labour in Brighton during the mid-19980s.  Tom will probably come a creditable second, although a win is not completely unthinkable. His time will come.

Of course a Labour win would be sensational, as was Alex Phillips’s election in the Goldsmid by-election almost a year ago to the day.  It would give Labour such a boost in the year before crucial council elections.  (Why do we say “crucial council elections”?  All elections are crucial or critical or important!).

But a Labour victory might not be a disaster for the Greens.  Of course they would never want to lose their safest seat, but it might just give them one almightly kick up the backside.  It would remind the Greens that elections are won on year-round campaigning, high profile candidates and councillors, and a clinical approach toi building the party and running election campaigns.

So where do I stand?  I would love to see Tom French elected on Thursday.  But I also don’t want to see the Greens diminished in any way on the Council.  The Lib Dems and their Tory partners have no hope.  So it allows those of you with a vote in St Peter’s and North Laine to vote for either the Labour or Green candidate without any fear of letting the Tories slip through the middle.

What I really want is the Greens to be fantastically successful next May, to end up as the largest Party.  I predict they will secure 20 seats next May.  With a real effort, some great candidates, and the people of Brighton and Hove waking up to the nightmare that is the Lib Dem Coalition, the Greens could just get a majority.  Now that would be wonderful.

6 Responses

  1. On the one hand, the BPB is laying into the Greens in St. Peter’s and on the other he is predicting very interesting times next May

    I should say that, on the back of an envelope, and on closer study, next May is decidedly interesting.

    Lord Bassam might have another adjective for it. He would do well to to a fresh view.

  2. A Labour win in SPNL would be sensational this Thursday. It’s also unlikely given Green majorities there.

    That part of downtown Brighton is historically Green central with 3 Greenos. It’s quite different from Goldsmid this time last year (there we had a ward with one Labour and two Tories). Alex’s hard fought win turned it into a tricoloure ward.

    But phew, what a scorcher! Tom has been running a cracking campaign. And I get the impression that lots of local people and pundits find that surprising.

    I’d say: get used to it. ;O)

  3. Well, I certainly think that the only way we will get a Green majority on the council, is if people vote Green.

    Certainly Labour have been crushed from the defeat at the election, across all three seats. Their profile has been diminished, this is in no way helped by a largely uninspiring national (Parliamentary) Labour leadership contest.

    Certainly Labour have thrown it their all at the campaign, a last throw of the dice as it were (as well as some opportunism over it’s “anti-cuts” campaign).

    It is unlikely that the Greens will score over 50%, but what do you expect from this new situation of Green incumbancy and defending the record in the seat.

    I think we only have to see the resistance from local residents to the development on the Lewes Road commuunity garden site to appreciate what kind of influence Green politics has had in the ward. It has certainly been profound.

    You are absolutely right in saying that the Greens are on the verge of a major breakthrough come next May.

    BPB should expect to see some very impressive Green candidates emerge with a range of diverse talents that will appeal to residents across wards in Brighton and Hove.

  4. Hi Luke,

    Labour crushed? Defeated. Yes. But crushed no. If anything, we’re reenergised. Great public meeting today!

    Tom French and the Labour team have been campaigning hard. And you guys know that.


  5. Hi Dan,

    I never said Tom didn’t campaign hard. But, as I said, I am sure the residents in SPNL will judge the Green record for themselves and will give it the thumbs up tomorrow.

    Certainly it is a new situation for us – defending a seat in a by-election – but the Green profile is a positive one, and that good feeling doesn’t go away in the matter of a couple of weeks.

    But well done to Tom for running the kind of campaign that Labour has not run in Brighton and Hove for some time. It’s a credit more to his personality than to his lacklustre party.

    I still put money on a Green win, none the less. And my bets have been going pretty well as of late (putting a tenner on Netherlands to win the World Cup when they were at 13/1 before the start of the tournament – *fingers crossed* for Sunday).

    • Hi Luke, have to correct you. The Greens have defended a seat in a by-election in Brighton – when Jason Kitkat held Regency Watd following the resignation of Cllr Hermione Roy. And I call other people anoraks!!!??? BPB

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