Hangleton and Knoll – a real test for Labour but one it is likely to fail

Hangleton and Knoll epitomised Labour’s decline in 2007 when the Tories performed particularly well with the election of three councillors, Dawn Barnett (2,651 votes), Tony Janio (2,237) and David Smart (2,217).  What is more they saw off veteran Labour councillor, Brian Fitch, who polled 1,820 votes.

Next May, even if the Tories lump in the polls, the three sitting councillors are likely to hold on to their seats as they have proven to be hard-working ward councillors. 

This is a seat that Labour should reclaim if they are to return, once again, to be a force on the City Council.  All indications are, however, that Labour is in terminal decline in traditional working class areas such as Hangleton and Knoll.  Labour has lost the common touch which councillors Barnett, Janio and Smart have in abundance.

The chattering classes might mock the Magnificent Three but they know how to nurse a ward, and the election results are likely to provide yet another harsh lesson for Labour in Hangleton and Knoll.

The Greens are nowhere in this area, so the only choice for non-Conservative voters is a tactical vote for Labour.  With an excellent candidate, Labour may just oust David Smart, but Dawn Barnett and Tony Janio are safe as houses.

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2 Responses

  1. There is word that Brian Fitch could be making a return. He has a reputation as a bit of a bruiser, but I find him pragmatic and open to banter, mock-affronted by a jocular remark. The Blogger is right that Smart is the most vulnerable of the three. But I cannot talk with the aggressive Dawn Barnett.

    I canvassed her son during the Caroline Lucas campaign. He gave me to understand that his life would not be worth living if he voted for Caroline. I pointed out that it is a secret ballot. I like to think there may have been a rebellious spirit there but, as I say, it is a secret ballot.

    I’d say that Labour could regain the seats lost in North and South Portslade. Can anybody name the Conservative councillors in those wards?

  2. BPB’s analysis assumes that most voters even notice local councillors. Many will vote purely on national issues. So it all depends where we stand in May with cuts and Miliband’s credibility – all is up for grabs, and all this speculation is pretty pointless really. Mind you, I’m still reading it…

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