Wishing for an incendiary campaign in Wish ward

Possibly one of the most intestine contests this May, and one that has, until the last 24 hours, been largely ignored, is the contest in Wish ward. The characters involved are fascinating and the ingredients are there for quite an incendiary campaign.

Defending the seat aree two sitting Conservative councillors, Ted Kemble and Garry Peltzer Dunn. Nice guys they may be, they are unlikely to ignite the election campaign. They had comfortable majorities at the last election, but with the re-emergence of former Conservative councillors, Mark Barnard and Jenny Barnard-Langston, who are standing as independents, sufficient Tory votes may leak to them to make this a marginal seat.

Standing for the Lib Dems is former Brunswick councillor Bob Bailey and Daniel Russell. For a number of reasons, not least the Clegg Effect, they can expect to heavily beaten. It is interesting to note that Mark and Jenny have decided not stand as Lib Dems. If my memory serves me correctly, they defected from the Tories to the Lib Dems some years back. They sure know how to back a lost cause.

Labour, which came a spectacle second after the Tories last time out, are fielding two women candidates, Anne Pissaridou and Christine Robinson, which may help the cause. They would need to make up around 700 votes which is not impossible given the changed fortunes of the the Tories and Labour.

Veteran campaigner and someone well known in the area, at least by this correspondent, is Sue Baumgardt who is the “Green Party First Choice Candidate”. Anton Simanowitz is the Green Party’s “Second Choice Candidate”.

Bringing up the rear, but very likely to beat the Lib Dems, is Richard Allden of the UK Independence Party.

At one point the Tories would have considered another Hove ward, Goldsmid, as a safe seat. But an excellent campaign by Melanie Davies won a seat for Labour, and then Alex Phillips was able to take a seat for the Greens in the Goldsmid by-election in 2009. The same could happen in Wish. Labour will eat into the Tory majorities, and a strong showing by Sue Baumgardt could make this a three way marginal. One Tory should be re-elected but I wouldn’t want to call the second seat. Much depends on what resources both Labour and the Greens commit to Wish. Judging by how stretched Labour is elsewhere, and the concentration by the Greens elsewhere, the Tories could just hold on.

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12 Responses

  1. Cannot see the Green machine spreading this thin on the ground in the next month fighting on too many fronts, Peltzer-Dunn should be reasonably fresh in his ward for his year as Mayor and Kemble should get a little something for being a sitting candidate, The Greens know where their vote is in the wards they want to win already by now and when you see them out these next weeks they’ll be mopping up..will they deviate?..i doubt it.

  2. Tory hold

  3. My theory is that the Green vote follows the seafront. If one is going to be here, then the sea is a draw. Of course, the Tories might sneer that the Greens have just crawled out of the sea, but there it is – rippling beneath the sun, a continual advert to vote Green..

    If the Blogger regards Wish in this way, then what about Westbourne? And my South Portslade forays for library matters have revealed that it is changing.

    Why did Labour lose Wish?

    Meanwhile, this evening a man had a dog called Dylan, whch led to discussion of Bob’s recent discs.

    And if Warren Morgan is Labour’s Candide in his predictions for his party, who is its Cunegonde? That thought occured to me on a pavement. A speculation which some, myself included, might judge a bit of a waste of brain space, but there it, a clear caee of Election fever.

  4. Just a reminder that in the 90s and early 2000s Labour held all seats in Wish and Goldsmid.

    • Before the huge debt crisis. And now more affluent, young professionals live in the area- many commuting to London.

      • Oh yes, that’ll the ‘huge debt crisis’ that rabid coalitionistas are trying to pin entirely on Labour, rather than mention their banker chums. It is like listening to demented parrots.

        Remember that it was a deregulated financial sector that sparked off all this, and the Tories wanted more of that, not less.

        There are also lots of less-than-affluent, not-as-young-as-they-used-to-be professionals living in Goldsmid (and probably Wish too). Some of them commute to London too, mostly because local wages are pretty poor, by and large.

        I’m afraid, my Tory chums, that trying to pump up some kind of yuppie feelgood factor is not going to get you very far at the moment.

      • We all know that Labour were running a huge structual deficit long before the financial crisis. Yes, the crisis would have happened regardless of who was in power at the time, but the country was living beyond its means even when the economy was strong. This is now having to be corrected. At least the current government is responsible enough to face up to the economic reality we are faced with.

      • This is why the Conservatives were promising to follow Labour’s spending plans until September ’08, then?

        I’m afraid your lot were completely irresponsible in their response to the crisis – the bank bailout was almost certainly the least bad option at the time, and yet Osborne opposed it, presumably for reasons of narrow party advantage. And then there was the ‘talking down’ of the economy – the kind of behaviour that the Tory press would have deonounced as unpatriotic had anyone else done it.

        Believe me, I have no vested interest in defending Labour – I was campaigning against them at the time myself. But I *am* very interested in recording what actually happened and in not letting the overpromoted public schoolboys currently running the show get away with a complete rewrite of history.

  5. An “intestine contest”? You have to have guts to stand in Wish….

    • Three comments in a row: Warren Morgan is certainly having an intestine debate with himself. Labyrinthine.

      A word to have one checking in the dictionary, so it’s also a chance to check psephological: the very word for this blog, especially as its root is in Greek for pebble.

      And it just occurs to me that a warren is indeed labyrinthine.

      Obviously, this Election will turn upon vocabulary.

  6. “We all know that Labour were running a huge structual deficit long before the financial crisis”. Rob, the deficit pre-crash in 07/08 was equal to 2.3% of GDP. It was 3.4% in 1996/97 when the Tories left office. Debt was 36.5% in 2008, down frm 42.5% in 1997. That’s not the Labour Party saying that, those are figures from the House of Commons Library.

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