Doorstep Brighton 11: Bullish Tories, Modest Greens and Declining Labour

Candidates of all parties are reporting that they are confident of victory in May.  If that is the case there will be 216 councillors elected in May!  Take Adam Campbell, one of the Conservative candidates for Brunswick and Adelaide ward reports that the “doorstep reaction so far has been extremely positive. The electorate would seem to be in the mood for change and to have councillors who work for a living rather than turning their councillorship into the business to pay the bills.  I and my co candidate Richard Latham look forward to what I am sure will be a hard contested election.”

East Brighton Conservative candidate, Peter Booth, is equally bullish: “So Mr (or maybe Ms) BPB, our campaign in East Brighton is ‘ill-fated’. Ill-fated usually translates to doomed! However much you may think that – we do not. I would rather describe our campaign as daring, plucky, hopeful and above all positive! We will not indulge in negative personal campaigning against other candidates (the current spat between labour and greens in Queens Park is unedifying and does nothing to boost the image of politicians with the electorate).
Our campaign is based around ‘a lot of small changes make a big difference’ and above all that is what we seek to be – local councillors dealing with local issues and of course actively participating in debate about the future of our City!  Yes – it may be David against Goliath in EB. Yes we are the underdogs – and YES we are fighting to win!”  (If nothing else, Peter, you run me close for the use of exclamation marks!!!!)

The Ghost of Nobby Clarke also comments on the campaign in East Brighton: “So East Brighton has seen some tory activity then..Booth to pip Turton to the post maybe..Greens become the oppositon and Labour ask for a coalition…be warned Stan Fitch and Dennis Hobden are here and not happy!”  On Hollingdean and Stanmer, he predicts that the Tories might edge a seat: “the tories are fighting hard in this ward making an unusal 3 way fight and to quote Caroline “Servalan” Lucas “we always look to the left of the spectrum for votes” you’ll squeeze each other not the tories if they get out their vote they’ll nick a seat…probably Rachael Bates.”  (Momma Grizzly is going to love that!).

The ‘Ghost of Nobby Clarke’ has predicted that Sven Rufus will get the most votes for the Greens in Hollingdean and Stanmer.  Sven himself responded: “As flattering as it is that people think I will get a larger share of the vote than other Green candidates, for whatever reason, I don’t think that is necessarily the case. The time we have spent out on the doorstep is showing very positive feedback for us here, and it’s got to be said that the degree to which Luke Walter and Christina Summers have got stuck in here, meeting loads of people, representing residents, asking questions at council, leading delegations at council, starting and running campaigns about resident concerns, tackling casework – well, it has left me feeling wholly inadequate as a candidate to be honest. It’s all bets off what order the three of us poll in. Comparisons between our performance as candidates and those of the existing councillors is also interesting and encouraging for us. Not getting complacent, but the canvassing response combined with the fact that we saw such strong support for the Greens here during the general election campaign is giving us confidence for a good result. Of course, the electorate will decide, and we will be content with whatever the outcome, knowing that we have done a good job and been honest with people throughout the campaign.”

Warren Morgan has confirmed something that I have been hinting at – that Labour is in such disaray that it hasn’t yet selected all its candiudates: “Our full candidate list will be out in the next couple of weeks once the last two selections are complete, obviously quite a few have been known for some time and have been campaigning for many months.”  This admission is shocking.  I cannot imagine Labour entering any previous local election campaign without its candidates being selected months, if not a year, ahead.  It demonstrates that the decline of Labour in Brighton and Hove continues, and strtengthens my belief that Labour will reach its lowest point on the Council for several generations.

And finally …. ‘HP’ believes that Goldsmid is a barometer seat and that the Tories are pulling out all the stops to get its team of Estate Agents elected: “It seems to me that a lot is being spent on securing Goldsmid for the Tories, but Goldsmid alone wont keep them in power. On the face of it, the most politically astute part of the budget appears to be the cut in residents parking permit prices – this is the one I read about and thought it was a clever move. But stop a a minute and think about where those residents schemes are. Most are in Brighton wards the tories could never hope to win, a few are in Hove wards they couldn’t possibly contrive to lose. Only in Goldsmid might it really impact on the way people vote and the outcome in that ward. Likewise, the criminal madness that is the plan to dig up the Hove cycle lanes. Though in Central Hove, I imagine the Tories think they will capture some votes from nearby Goldsmid (though God knows why anyone would think voting to remove cycle lanes that were put in 2 years ago – under their administration! – will win any votes). It seems a lot of effort is going into Goldsmid, and while Goldsmid is a useful barometer, it ceases to be useful if the voting there is skewed. likewise, its seats are useful, but I suspect the tories will be losing more seats elsewhere than the 2 they might make up (at best) in Goldsmid.”

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11 Responses

  1. I thought Alice in Wonderland was partially inspired by Lewes Crescent in Kemp Town. The Tories, however, have transplanted such a vision to Brunswick Square: the idea that they are finding “positive” soundings in Brunswick I find hard to believe. Goodness knows what is growing in Adelaide Crescent but it is evidently risky to eat…

    The Tories did abysmally there last time, despite working the area, even claiming to have gone to every door. Perhaps that was the mistake.

    Through the fall of last year there, I encountered scant Tory votes.

    I should say that it is looking very strong for the Greens.

    What’s more, there are no signs of the Tories planning a musical event.

    • The Green Machine is no doubt in full effect, they seem to have taken the formula widely used by the Yellow Peril Liberals elsewhere in the country and recruit constantly and have big social agendas to keep what helpers the have constantly on the boil and not wandering off, or are they just very committed to the point of being fanatical!? whichever they will gain seats in Brighton & Hove come the 6th May.

  2. So Gill Mitchell’s Lord Lieutenant Warren “Devine” Morgan has spilt the beans on their lack of candidates..could we see a return just one more time of Simon “Rembrandt” Burgess so called as he has now electorally hit the Canvas on a regular basis…jokes aside Burgess is a good chap who works hard and the City needs Cllrs like him.

    • Devine? Are you suggesting I’ve something in common with the convicted former MP Jim Devine? If so, on what basis? Or can’t you spell?

      • “you think you’re a man but you’re only a boy!”

      • Oh you can’t spell, you meant Divine. At least hiding behind a pseudonym means no-one can hold it against you.

      • don’t get upset because i blew your cover, one chart hit and then you fake your own death and become Warren all to avoid paying the poll tax bigboy.

  3. Celia Barlow standing in Central Hove then

  4. Er, that’s a hell of a leap to suggest Labour is “in decline” because it hasn’t quite selected candidates for two ultra-safe Tory wards three months out from polling day… I don’t see any evidence that the Greens or the Tories have finalised their line-ups for May yet, indeed they may well change their candidates at the last minute as the Greens did in Preston Park in ’07. I’ve no idea who the Greens or Lib Dems are putting up in East Brighton, and the Tories only selected for Queens Park a few weeks ago. Labour selected candidates well in advance compared to the previous two sets of local elections in wards where we are campaigning to win back seats lost last time.

    Labour are 10% ahead of the Tories in the national polls, and have been winning council by-elections with 10 or 20% swings around the country. Labour locally are better resourced, have a good set of candidates who represent the entire spectrum of the city and who are campaigning from opposition locally and nationally for the first time in decades. That puts us in a strong position.

    No one suggests the Greens aren’t strong in many wards but their star is fading as Cameron’s cuts consolidate the Labour vote. The Tories seem hideously unpopular on the doorstep, and even their council tax stunts and incumbency (in the council & MPs offices) won’t help much in the face of a big national swing. Much as we all like to think that voters are immersed in the intricate nuances of local democracy, most cast their vote based on the national picture at the time.

  5. The full Green slate has been finalised since January. Probably the first and only party in the city to do so.

    Green candidates have been working away in their wards long before the first announcements were made in early January.

    We just like to keep the opposition in suspense.

    • Most Labour candidates in our target seats have been in place for over six months – many were selected before the General Election.

      What’s the point of the Greens selecting candidates but keeping them under wraps? Surely the whole point is for them to be out there campaigning and making themselves known? If I don’t know the Green candidates running in my ward, the public are hardly likely to have registered them.

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