Preston Park: A three way marginal that will decide the future of the City Council

And then there was Preston Park.  This is the last of my reviews of what might happen in next year’s local elections.  Preston Park (or Preston Ward) as it used to be known under different boundaries) was once solid Conservative.  You know the old adage that if you put a blue rosette on a monkey it would get elected.  Well, in a County Council election in 1989, I think, the Tory candidate was someone called Gibbon!  And, you guessed it, he lost.

The ward had become a relatively safe Labour seat until May 2007 when Green Amy Kennedy upset the normal order by topping the poll with 1,633 votes.  She was the product of the Green’s cunning plan of encouraging a vote for one Green candidate, allowing traditional Labour voters a protest while still giving the majority of their votes to the Labour candidates.  In Preston Park two Labour councillors were re-elected, Juliet McCaffery (1,630 votes) and Kevin Allen (1,474).  The third Labour candidate and the two other Greens all polled over 1,000 votes.

This is a genuine marginal between Labour and the Greens with the Tories now well adrift.  (However, I wouldn’t altogether write off their chances). Green Amy is a favourite of this blogger for her Delia Smith impersonation and shamelessly donning of a Stassi-style tabard at the Green Party conference.  Far more importantly, though, is her record on the Council, championing women’s issues, and her record on Planning issues.  I would hope that, at some point in the future, she will stand in a winnable parliamentary seat for the Greens.  Her work as a ward councillor has impressed, and her reputation could well sweep two other Greens onto the Council.  (In case anyone is wondering, I am not the Mr K referred to in her, sadly, inactive blog).  I just hope that her qualities will not take her into professional green planning pastures and away from local politics.

Preston Park is a must win seat for the Greens should they wish to become the largest party on the Council.  My recommendation to voters in Preston Park is to vote Green, Green and, with their third vote, Green.

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4 Responses

  1. Yes, the Greens should get three seas in Preston Park. When I cycled by the polling stations there in May, on the way back from Patcham to Hove and then to the Brighon Centre, the mood was electic (solar-powered, of corse).

  2. You forget that the Greens held one seat here prior to 2007, with Richard Mallender serving one term, so it’s not necessarily the case that having won one seat the Greens go on to take the rest.

  3. I fail to see why you would not wish to see the re-election of two very hard working and committed Labour councillors. The Council would be much the lesser if it were to lose their experience. By all means split your vote if you must – but Preston Park has benefitted significantly from the commitment of its sitting Labour members.

  4. […] of how I saw things going in each ward, the key wards between Labour and the Greens being Regency, Preston Park, and Queen’s Park.  The Greens are optimistic about Hollingdean and Stanmer, although I […]

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