An awkward Charlotte Vere, an out-of-date Nancy Platts, and a potential Caroline Lucas/Alex Phillips substitution

A week is, as Harold Wilson said, a long time in politics. In the last week Charlotte Vere hit the ground running and her new website is, in my opinion, the most impressive of all three candidates in Brighton Pavilion. Nancy Platts and Caroline Lucas underestimate her at their peril.  However, the website does have the feel of someone new to Brighton and Hove, with Chuck, as she likes to be known, posing awkwardly at various points around the constituency. 

Nancy Platts, as always, is active in and around the constituency, being the first rate candidate that she is.  However, her campaign is demonstrating the absence of an activist base that is the lot of Labour candidates up and down the constituency.  A leaflet was put out last week that is two months out of date.  In the leafet Nancy writes: “I thought I would take this early opportunity to let you know a few of the things that the Prime Minister said in his speech at the Labour Party Conference”.  Early opprtunity?  The speech was two months ago.  Nancy is being let down by her campaign team.  It Labour can’t arrange for a leaflet drop throughout the constituency in a timely fashion, Nancy’s campaign is doomed.  She deserves better.

Caroline Lucas has visited the constituency this week, speaking at a meeting at the University about threatened job cuts.  But she still still lacks a presence in the City.  Alex Phillips has a higher profile than Caroline, speaking well at a conference on issues impacting on older people where she was ‘representing’ Caroline.  The Greens need to make a decision – if they want to win Brighton Pavilion, their candidate has to be seen beyond the usual Green suspects and students.  Perhaps they are thinking of switching candidates at this late stage.  It would explain Alex Phillips’ higher than usual profile.

And the Lib Dems, following the resignation earlier this week of their candidate, Andrew Falconer, are to select his replacement from an all-woman shortlist.  In doing so, this hopeless Party is attempting to hitch its rusty shopping trolly onto the bandwagon that is the real campaign between Nancy, Caroline/Alex and Chuck.

There will be plenty of twists and turns before the Brighton Pavilion campaign is settled.

Lib Dems give up on Brighton Pavilion as candidate stands down

I am grateful to Green Ben Duncan for breaking the news that the Lib Dem candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Andrew Falconer, has quit the race to succeed David Lepper. The only thing that has surprised me about this move is that the Lib Dems had a candidate at all. 

I watch politics in Brighton and Hove quite closely but have to admit that I had no idea whatsoever that the Lib Dems had selected anyone.  In fact, only last week I searched the internet, including the Lib Dems Brighton and Hove site, to see who the candidate was, and even the website had not been told about Andrew Falconer’s selection.

The Lib Dems in Brighton and Hove are a joke, holding just 2 seats on the City Council.  What will they do now?  Hold a joke ‘open primary’ like the Tories? S lect a woman in order to elevate the camapign to a level playing field?   Select a charasmatic, public figure to represent them, someone like …?  Actually, apart from Uncle Vince Cable the Lib Dems don’t have anyone known outside their own front room.

I hope the Lib Dems won’t waste their time fielding a candidate, even a token paper candidate, in Brighton Pavilion. They should concentrate their efforts in constituencies such as Lewes where they have a sitting candidate in Stormin’ Norman Baker, and Eastbourne where they have the best chance of beating the Tory Nigel Waterson. The Lib Dems could encourage their supporters to vote Labour or Green in Brighton Pavilion and Labour and the Greens should reciprocate being encouraging their supporters to vote tactically for the Lib Dems in Lewes and Eastbourne.