Labour to win May’s local elections or a 3-way split or even a Tory victory. 2 exciting months to go!

I did ask, and you responded, but I honestly did not expect anyone to suggest that Labour would win May’s local elections.  But then I did not allow for Warren Morgan who predicts Labour winning 26 seats, just one short of a majority (with the Mayor’s casting vote).  He says he did a “3 minute, a literally back of the envelope job (and I’m not saying who I think will win what and where). Unsurprisingly I think Labour will do much better than BPB does:

Conservatives 19
Labour 26
Greens 9”

He says that there is a “margin of error of 2/3 or maybe 4 seats either way for all 3 main parties. And maybe 1 for the Lib Dems.  I think incumbency will help – all 13 Labour cllrs are seeking re-election in the same wards, at least 5 Greens are standing down or moving wards, and at least 3 Tories are standing down or moving wards. Half the Green group stood down at the last two elections and they did well, but that was against a Labour council and govt.” 

I can’t see this happening.  It requires a highly motivated party, a strong mood in favour of Labour and against all others.  It ain’t going to happen.

Jason Bull predicts something quite different: “My prediction is Conservative 24, Green 16, Labour 14. This includes the Greens taking both Brunswick & Adelaide seats, Labour, Conservative and Greens getting 1 each in Goldsmid. I predict that the Greens will pick up just 1 seat in Hollingbury & Stanmer with Labour holding 2 of the seats. I think Labour will take all 3 seats from the Greens in Queens Park. I believe Mr & Mrs Kitcat will win by massive majorities in Regency, which will cease to be a marginal ward and become a rock solid Green ward. These are not the results I would wish for but I think they may be close the actual result.”

I think you are well off the mark, Jason.  Jason and Ania will romp to victory in Regency (sorry Dan and James, this won’t be your year although you would both make good councillors). Regency was once safe Tory, then it became a marginal Labour seat, then safe Labour, a Labour/Lib Dem marginal, and now safe Green.  I just hope the Estate Agents don’t target it.

I don’t see a three way split in Goldsmid.  Possibly 2 Labour and 1 Green, or two Green and one Labour.  With the stagnation in the housing market, the Estate Agents won’t make it this time.

Allie Cannell would be “very surprised if the Greens lost all of the seats in Queens Park (definately one of the most interesting wards). Although councillors standing down can be a disadvantage it can also be an advantage. It means there are more people committed to working very hard for the campaign.  The current Green councillors there are great at elections. Paul Steadman was target constituency coordinator (or something like that) for the general election. And they are all still working hard to make sure that Greens get re-elected, the new candidates have access to loads of experience. Personally I’m pretty hopeful that we’ll keep all three seats. Worst case scenario would be losing 1 or 2.”  He predicts that the Greens will get between 16 and 18 seats.

MJ has the most intriguing prediction: “The council will be split evenly three ways almost exactly. Tories, Labour, Green on 16-18 each, 2 Lib Dems, and 3 Saltdean Lido in Rottingdean.”  No way, MJ! No Lib Dems, no Saltdean Lido types, and no way 16 – 18 Labour.

A prediction that might be quite close to the final result comes from the Ghost of Nobby Clarke, but then he has an advantage being in a different realm (a bit being at a full council meeting but with the Angelic Host rather than a rowdy public gallery). He predicts the Conservatives 21, Labour 14, Greens 19.  I might be persuaded that this could be the result, but I think the Greens will be slightly up form this, Labour down and the Tories there or there abouts. 

But the Ghost explains: “people will turn out to vote Labour and some tories will stay at home or vote UKIP if they have that choice, but can you get the people on the ground to get out your vote like The Green Machine?  Barlow will possibly pinch a seat and you may grab a couple elsewhere maybe Portslade or Queens Park but expect to drop some along the way with Turton edged out and the Goldsmid seat taken by the machine and Simpson possibly losing Hollingdean and Stanmer.  Those were the day’s ‘Backwell, Simpson,Sweeting’.”  Wow, Ghost, you go back to a by-gone age.  Celia Barlow winning Central Hove could be a headline grabbing result. I really doubt that Craig Turton will be unseated.  The East Brighton Labour team is particularly strong and working hard.  (Even today Warren Morgan reported over 50% Labour support in a Tory area of the ward).  Christine Simpson, and to a lesser degree, Pat Hawkes, are vulnerable in Hollingdean and Stanmer.

Baron Pepperpot has a word of caution: “It is, after all, prediction. And how many of us can honestly say we are totally objective. I think we are all looking forward to the drama, (although for those of us who are not standing, perhaps without the added nervous edge).  I think there is much water to go under the bridge nationally, even in the next two months. For me there are two main questions that need to be asked to determine how the vote will go at the time. One is national, one is local: How much more unpopular can the coalition become? (Mr Elgood may be taking note of this nervously). Do people see the Greens as a serious coalition leader in Brighton? (Now they are getting close to real power).”

The Baron concludes: “Two exciting months to go chaps!”  Indeed, Baron. I look forward  to the publication of the manifestos.

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12 Responses

  1. My prediction was 18 to 22 Green seats. Not 16 to 18!

    Although if you look at the previous trend we have always doubled the number of councillors at every local election in Brighton. 26 councillors here we come 🙂

  2. OK to be a bit more specific/scientific, I think Labour will probably hold all 13 current seats, and have a very realistic prospect of winning 6 or 7 seats from the Tories based on current polling and council by-election results nationally. Portslade, Wish, Moulsecoomb & Bevendean and Goldsmid are all very winnable. And we could take up to 5 or 6 from the Greens, the three in Queens Park being the most likely.

    Maybe there should be some kind of prize for the person who comes closest to the actual result (other than bragging rights)? How about a tenner to charity (I nominate RISE).

  3. That won’t replace much of the money you allowed to be taken away from the voluntary sector Warren, when you let the Tory budget through last week.

    Shame on you.

  4. Clive’s Crystal Ball says:

    Labour: 20
    Conservative: 19
    Greens: 14
    Lib Dem: 1

    Labour to win back the seats in Moulescoomb and North and South Portslade, as well as one seat in Wish (Ted Kemble’s, a clear case of Wish fulfilment) and – to general astonishment – both seats in Central Hove (the second by a hand’s breadth). They will also win one seat back in Queen’s Park.

    Greens to offset this single loss by winning two seats in Goldsmid (the other is held by Labour) and one seat in Brunswick. Advances in Westdene and Patcham are not enough to trouble the incumbents.

    Paul Elgood to hold on after a recount.

    Everything else, as you were.

    • Re the above: “don’t count your chickens” is a salutary response.

      • I’m not. And they’re not my chickens, as such.

        Just for general info, the national opinion polls in April 2007 – just before the last local elections were, taking a rough average of all taken: Conservative 37, Labour 31, LD 19. Therefore it’s hard not to conceive of Labour enjoying some kind of general uplift given that they are now polling around ten points ahead of that.

        Labour winning Central Hove is therefore a great deal less fanciful than the Greens pulling off a shock in Rottingdean.

  5. I think this might have been only used by the Green Party before in B+H, but does anyone know if they, or anybody else, is proposing to rank their candidates in order? Can be a mixed blessing, but quite effective when you are trying to make a breakthrough in particular area.

    • Not sure if it still holds that parties have to register additional names to do this – eg normal party name is “The Green Party” but they also register “Green Party First Choice”, “Green Party Second Choice” etc – or if that can now just be part of the Party description.
      Given that we will have the AV referendum on the same date there’s a chance this might be confusing for some voters, particularly if they split their votes across parties.

  6. There would have to be a United Nations intervention in Warren Morgan’s kitchen if he predicted anything other than Labour gains in Goldsmid. His wife is standing there. If he demurred psephhologically, and what a thrill it always is to use that word, then – well, you can guess the rest. “The conversation with the flying plates…” Sinatra does it wonderfully.

    Meanwhile does Clive really believe that Labour can come from a low fourth to take Central Hove?

  7. Does anybody know how the A.V referendum will work, and, do people think this will mean a higher turnout with the publicity surrounding it?

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