A good weekend for Labour, but what is it with Warren and the Sugar Puffs?

It’s been a good weekend for Labour, particularly in Hanover and Elm Grove and in Queens Park. Activists by the dozen descended on these wards in a major push for Labour. Baron Pepperpot writes: “Loads of Labour supporters out in Queens Park today, and if I’m not mistaken, I thought I saw Cllr Morgan at the monument that bares my name… No sugar puffs in hand though, although he does look like a big cuddly honey monster…… Queens Park is going red…”. Another Baron, this one Herkonnen, says of the numbers who turned out, “over 60 in fact, met at pepperpot and split between QP and H + EG”.

Yes, it was a good turnout, but will it make the difference? In Queens Park it might just, but I think that Labour is deceiving itself if it thinks it can unseat the Buddha (Bill Randall).

Labour would have been better advised to have directed it’s resources to seats at risk, such as Hollingdean and Stanmer. Labour remains deluded about its prospects, believing it can win in wards such as Brunswick and Adelaide.

Where Labour is heading for an absolutely thumping result is East Brighton. Warren Morgan, whose account of the campaign can largely be relied on, writes: “On Saturday in my ward alone we spoke to 100 people, 70 of them uncontacted since 2007 or earlier, or never contacted at all. 65 voters were Labour, and just three admitted to being Tory. We’ve been doorknocking every week for a year. You do the maths. And in terms of voter contact we are nowhere near the top of the Labour held/target wards.”

Actually, Waren’s last comment is one that I take issue with. Unlike East Brighton, few other wards have the Labour activists to carry out a complete canvass. Queens Park, thanks to Tom French’s singleminded determination, is an exception.

In Hove, Labour is running quiet yet effective campaignsin South Portslade and North Portslade, nothing exciting but enough to challenge for both seats in each ward. The Labour campaign in Hangleton and Knoll isn’t great, but the Brian Fitch Machine should see The Legend elected.

It is being suggested that Celia Barlow has disappeared from the fight in Central Hove, even that she isn’t registered to vote in the election. Can anyone shed light on this.

And finally, Harris Fitch, showing wisdom beyond his years, asks the question that needs answering. He asks: “What is this Sugar Puff thing?”. Yes, Warren, come clean, please tell all….

14 Responses

  1. Labour would not be better served in taking it’s resources from Queens Park to H & S, dearest BPB.

    I would actually say that a few might want to take the number 81 from the Lewes Road garage and get off at the Hanover. Queens Park is winnable…

  2. I would have said labours best campaign is in Hangleton. Two seats at least a shoe in. qp and heg lots of work gone in and both in contention. North and south portslade should never have been lost and coming home. Regency and Brunswick a punt but again lots of work. May 5th could well be a good night for labour.

  3. I think the challenge from Jo Heard, the independent, is going to win her a seat in Hangleton. Portslade has to come back to Labour. As for Regency and Brunswick, the first is a Green given I think, and the second is down to popularity votes. Exciting init?

  4. Meanwhile the hapless intern tasked with bashing the names of all the candidates over at the Argus has given up at North Portslade, and rebranded one of the Greens standing for that ward as a Lib Dem.


    The parties’ own literature continues to disappoint, for the most part. Labour’s manifesto has no text in it, if you download it on a mac.

    Their latest citywide leaflet draws attention to some of their achievements, which is fine. Unfortunately, they have jumped on the bicycle-to-rent bandwagon, which strikes me as a total waste of time. Brighton is not London: where is the evidence for demand for this?

    Below the familiar bar graph of the 2010 election they assert that ‘Voting Green or Lib Dem just helps the Conservatives here’, an interesting assertion to make in Goldsmid.

    The Greens have got in on the fib-o-meter act with vast histogram of the 2009 Euros, which they claim was the last city-wide poll. I’m intrigued to know which part of the city was excluded from last year’s general election?

    Nothing from the Tories. Have they given up on Goldsmid?

    • Have you seen the Green leaflet in Preston park? It says something like “greens winning here in preston park 2010” with the bar chart showing the general election results.

      I hate misleading graphs, and they are guilty for it in PP. I hope the poli blogger picks up on this one.

  5. We have made far fewer contacts in our ward than in many others we are aiming to take seats in since January. The Labour teams – and I’m not going to give away our internal numbers here – are well into four figures on that measure alone.

    Depends how you define “a complete canvass” – have we doorknocked every voter in every house or block on every street? No, not by a long way. Have we got enough Labour promises to win? Comfortably. Have we contacted every household by leaflet? I’d say 90% have had at least two leaflets from us over the past year, known supporters will have had over a dozen. We will have put out around 40,000 newsletters, cards and letters in East Brighton over the year between the GE and May 5th.

    After all the complaining – not least from our host on this site – about “misleading graphs” from Labour featuring the result in Brighton and Hove last May – turnout 70% – it is amazing that the Greens are using the 2009 Euro election results for the city – turnout 33% – on the front of their election Greenleaf as if it was relevant.

    And I’ve no idea about this Sugar Puffs thing BPB, I think it is the product of your fevered imagination…

    • I would argue that the Euro result is a better comparison for local elections due to the absence of tactical voting – there will be a degree of tactical voting in the locals but not much.

      I know from the doorsteps that a lot of Green voters in Kemptown and Hove voted Labour in the 2010 General Election to try and keep the Tories out, which was frustrating for us (especially since you lost anyway) but predictable and understandable in that context.

  6. I found a UKIP lealfet along the way. It’s clear that, apart from a weird foray into St Peter’s, they are targetting Tory seats, along with hopes of the anti Europe element in Hollingdean: in the latter they could pick up Labour votes, and perhaps also in Brunswick.

    The UKIP vote in Wish could help Labour, and in Patcham it could take votes from Tories and Labour, and that would aid the rising Greens. Patcham should be very interesting.

    Non-voting children are a factor in the Election, the children themselves rather the schools issue. I’ve yet to hear a child say, “look, mummy, it’s the Conservatives!” However…

  7. I’d like to point out that our candidates in Central Hove – including the hard-working Caroline Penn who has been out every day delivering as well as Celia – are still campaigning to win those two seats from the Tories.

    Its not unusual for candidates not to be registered to vote in wards where they are standing so I don’t know why Celia is being singled out here. I thought where politicians live was not something that should be questioned?

    • To clarify – are you saying that Celia has been out delivering every day and that she is registered to vote somewhere in Brighton and Hove?

  8. Of course Celia is registered in Brighton & Hove – you have to be to be a candidate.

    Greens need to be careful on this issue as no-one wants to be asking questions about where their candidates actually live (and I’m not talking about St Caroline here) and not where they are renting for the duration of the campaign to get a postal address and a vote in the ward.

  9. May I also add to Warren’s comments that Celia was out only this afternoon leafleting in Central Hove.

    I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong – but as far as I am aware, I am the only candidate for the Central Hove ward that actually lives here. Despite Tory claims to be “local residents”.

    • Yes, I think you’re right, but I understand Chris Hawtree, Rebecca Taylor and Jan Young are all within ten minutes walking distance despite living in adjoining wards; close enough. Though Jan still seems to be relying on a telephone campaign from what we’ve heard.

  10. Anyone else got canvassing injuries ? Sunburn, sore heels , repetitive Q and A syndrome ? I have loved campaigning and the QP blitz for Labour on Monday was fun and effective. It will feel strange when all this is over.

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