Doorstep Brighton 3: Is the Tory vote collapsing in Rottingdean Coastal?

Almost a good item in today’s Argus for three Labour candidates in three key marginal seats.  Pictured handing over a petition on school sports to Sally Gunnell are candidates councillor Jeane Lepper (Hollingdean and Stanmer), Tom French (Queen’s Park) and councillor Melanie Davis (Goldsmid).  Melanie gets a good quote but Jeane and Tom are not mentioned.  That’s why it was almost a good story.

Feisty Rachel Bates, the Sarah Palin of Brighton and Hove politics, says that I am wrong to suggest that she is merely a paper candidate. She writes: “It is true that I work for Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove and Portslade, but this certainly does not mean that I will be in any way neglecting Hollingdean & Stanmer. I have been putting all of my effort in to becoming a councillor in that ward.  I am extremely dedicated to fighting for what I believe is right for the people of Hollingdean & Stanmer. Myself and my fellow Conservative candidates are 100% dedicated to the ward. I have been actively campaigning there long before I was selected as a candidate.  The campaign has been going fantastically, and I certainly do believe that the Conservative message is hitting home in H&S. I for one believe that it is not a lost cause for the Conservatives and look forward to seeing three Conservative councillors in H&S on 5th May.”

Come on, Rachel, get serious.  There is as much chance of a Tory winning H&S as there is of the Tories losing Rottingdean Coastal.  And while on the subject of Rottingdean Central, Christopher Hawtree says that the Tory vote in Ovingdean “has collapsed” with an influx of residents from the Five Ways area of Brighton.  Even if 200 households have moved, and each has 2 voters, and even if all of them vote Green, and if each one has replaced a Tory, the the Tory majority is likely to drop from 2,200 to a mere 2,000.  There’s everything to play for in Rottingdean Central!

Luke Walter seems to have taken exception to me describing himself as the Labour candidate in Hollingdean and Stanmer.  Apologies, he is one of the Green candidates.

But the big news, and probably the most significant of the week so far, is the decision of councillor David Watkins in Brunswick and Adelaide to leave the Lib Dem group and to sit as an independent.  Councillor Paul Elgood, leader of the Lib Dem group on the Council, should experience little opposition from within his group since he is now the only member of his Lib Dem group. Having lost 50% of their members in one go, will the other 50% be lost at th elections? One can but live in hope.

8 Responses

  1. Just thought I’d mention that I the time I have had for politics since last October has been consumed with the ‘Yes2AV’ campaign.

    I have a load of stuff about it on my blog at

    Living in Ovingdean I may put myself up as a candidate for Rottingdean Coastal – after all the public need a better choice than Labour who bankrupt us, Lib Dems who lie to our children, Greens who want to expand Labours bankruptcy, or Conservatives who have screwed thing up pretty well, and seem to hate Ovingdean…

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by brunswick green, BrightonPoliticsBlog. BrightonPoliticsBlog said: Brighton's own Sarah Palin, the collapsing Tory vote in Ovingdean, and Lib Dem group splits in two #doorstepbrighton […]

  3. Assuming what you say about David Watkins is true – and he’s walked out like this before, only to return later – I wonder if the presages a run as an independent in Brunswick? Or, even, if he’s thinking of standing under other colours?

  4. I see that Paul Perrin confirms the Tory collapse in Ovingdean.

    Meanwhile, there are other areas of Rottingdean Coastal which could take a similar turn, especially with the Lido.

    As an Independent Watkins would not qualify for a copy of the Electoral Roll

  5. BPB’s maths is up the spout: 200 households each with 2 votes means 400 straight switchers between Tory and Green, in the scenario he paints. The majority would fall from 2200 to 1400 if this happens.

    Be interesting (well, fairly interesting) to know what the Tory majorities were like in Rottingdean during their dog days of the mid-to-late 90s.

    • Clive, as always, is right about my maths. But the point I was making remains valid. A majority of over 1,000 hardly qualifies Rottingdean Central as a magical (even by my suspect calculations). BPB

  6. Thanks for the moniker, BPB!

    You might be interested to know that I was chatting with Chuck Vere tonight, who informed me that you don’t mind being called Baps.

    So thank you, Baps, and keep up the good work!

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