The polls have closed: the Greens to get better result than expected

The polls have closed and it looks as though the next 24 hours will be more fascinating than all the speculation that has gone before. The count will start tomorrow morning (although the verification of the number of votes cast is happening this evening).

The warm weather and the very high turnout for a local election leads me to conclude that there will be some extraordinary results tomorrow.

For all their bluster, the Tory campaign in East Brighton faded before it got going, with party members being redirected to Moulsecoomb and Bevendean where, contrary to Craig Turton’s suggestion earlier in the day, the Tories scent victory – one of their few hopes of gains. M&B is definitely one to watch tomorrow at the count.

The Greens are very confident in Preston Park, and are quietly confident of a very good result in Goldsmid. Brunswick and Adelaide could be a split result. Paul Elgood may just hold on but his running mate won’t be making a victory speech tomorrow. Central Hove is fascinating, and I just don’t know what will happen there. But Withdene and even Patcham will produce good results for the Greens, but probably no actual seats although Withdene may just …..

North Portslade and South Portslade are looking good for Labour, and Brian Fitch could be looking at a dramatic return to the Council chamber, representing Hangleton and Knoll, along with Dawn Barnett and Tony Janio for the Tories.

Overall, though, the winners are going to be the Greens. Several Labour activists have told me that the Green vote has been firm, and whe they might have hoped to have picked up votes in a split household, the votes a going Green. The prospect of the first Green council in the UK has inspired people to vote Green. It seems as though the people of Brighton Pavilion like being the first constituency to have elected a Green MP. So now it seems as though more widely in Brighhton and Hove the electorate is wanting to see the election of the first Green Council. Neither the Tories or Labour have been able to offer anything as aspirational.

Whether the Greens make it across the winning line and achieve 27 councillors is another matter. While today will produce better than expected results for the Greens, whether they can secure five more than the 22 I have predicted is another matter.

If they do achieve 27 seats, then the opposition parties must not block the election of a Green mayor who would give the Greens the casting vote in the Council Chamber. The people of Brighton and Hove will have spoken.

8 Responses

  1. I love the smell of the aJaX in the evening.

  2. Just returned from the verification. Sampling isn’t an exact science and the count tomorrow is where we will really know so what follows based on sampling and opinion should be treated with caution. Good news for democracy and something we should all welcome irrespective of political affiliation is that turnout overall in B&H is above 2007 with one polling station in EB at 40% – a record.

    Contrary to the Bloggers view about the Tories scenting victory in M&B, one of their candidates has told me that they are out and Labour will get all 3 seats. Tory vote appears to be down overall (no surprise really) but quite vulnerable to Greens and Labour in some surprising areas such as Patcham (according to Geoffrey Theobald!) and Wish.

    Brunswick, Goldsmid, H&S, QP, and PP are far too close to call at this stage with lots of split Green and Labour votes in Goldsmid in particular.

    • I was sampling M&B all last night with Cath Slater. Labour have done better than expected there, but it is very close.

      I think Maria Caufield might hang on though, there were a lot of votes just for her.

  3. I think the overwhelming feeling, cross-party, was tiredness. Everyone looked a bit zonked, especially with the thought of having to go and do more tomorrow.

    I was particularly thankful Ania Kitcat still had her (seemingly endless) supply of Jaffa Cakes at the Regency verification!

  4. Just back from verification. My legs feel like they’ve been battered with a sledgehammer. It was a very exciting and interesting day. A little too close to call in H&S from what I can see!

    I’ve been up since 5.30am. It’s now after 3am and we’ve to be back at the count before 9am tomorrow. Oh my.

  5. I’m not surprised by Craig Turton’s comments about Patcham – while telling yesterday I sensed a lot of support and I’d be surprised if the Green vote was up. The fact that much of this support came from younger voters – who also appeared to favour AV – rather bears out Christopher Hawtree’s comments about the changing demographic. But I’d still be shocked to see the ward returning anything other than the old firm of three Tories.

    And a Green gain in Withdean is a nice idea, but I just can’t see it.

  6. G/E Candidates H&Portslade next time

    Conservative-Mike Weatherley
    Greens- Alex Philips
    Labour- Simon Burgess

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