To the Greens, stand aside in Kemptown and Hove; Labour, please stand aside in Pavilion

An interesting comment has been left by Dr Faust regarding voting options and tactical voting in Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Pavilion and Hove.  I thought it worthy of repeating:


“In Kemptown and Hove/Portslade this is very straightforward – if you don’t want a Tory MP then vote Labour. If you want a Green MP content yourself with working in Pavilion and trying to elect Caroline.”


“In Pavilion the picture is more unclear. Three parties can clearly still win – and despite the best efforts of all three, it is not clear who is trailing behind. Some Labour supporters will also be anxious to not have a Green MP given the effect this could have on the next Council elections.”


“If people vote for what they believe in then we will probably have two Tory and one Green MP in the city, a Tory government, and an end to speculation about PR for the forseeable future. If people vote tactically we can have two/three Labour and/or, possibly one Green MP – a minotity government, a real chance of reform, and another election shortly down the road at which a new voting system might apply.”


“I can’t see why any Green supporter would prefer the first option.”


Thanks, Dr Faust.  Where I disagree with you is that I am certain that the Greens lead in Brighton Pavilion.  What has disappointed me over the last few days is the hostility that has developed between Labour and Green supporters.


I would plead to both sides, lay off each other.  You both have progressive candidates, particularly in Brighton Pavilion.  To the Greens I would say, stand aside in Brighton Kemptown and in Hove. To Labour, I am sorry to have to ask you to stand aside in Brighton Pavilion.  We must not let what Dr Faust has warned about, that we might end up with three Tory MPs.  Rather, lets elect two Labour MPs and one Green MP. 

Advertisements

Missed Opportunity on Politics Show by parties not fielding Caroline Lucas, Charlotte Vere or Nancy Platts

Politics Show with Ian Davey (Green; Hove), Simon Burgess (Labour; Brighton Kemptown), Henry Smith (Conservative; Crawley) and Norman Baker (Lib Dem; Lewes).  Davey hesitant and not that impressive, particularly on drugs and alcohol.  Simon Burgess quite assured.  Henry Smith smooth.  Norman Baker very competent.  Only men on the panel.  Big mistake by all 4 parties.  Good question from MothersInc.  Amusing observation that none of the panel are working mothers.

The SussexSquare (Geoffrey Bowden) asked question about Pride.  Debate around tolerance. Simon says “Norman is right”, not quite “I agree with Norman”!  Ian Davey got good plug in for Caroline Lucas at end of debate, but Caroline should have been there herself. A missed opportunity for Caroline, Nancy Platts and Charlotte Vere.

There’s more to this election that just Brighton Pavilion. Tactical voting remains so important

I am in danger of presenting the general election as being about just one campaign – that in Brighton Pavilion.  In fact Roy Greenslade, a titan of the newspaper industry (and I do mean that sincerely) almost suggested that when he said on the Guardian’s Greenslade Blog, that this was “a lively blog where the left-of-centre author appears to be enthused by the Green candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas.

In Hove, it is looking increasingly likely that there will be a Tory win, although Celia Barlow pulled off one of the most amazing results last time by holding the seat.  Greens are suggesting that it is a lost cause for Labour so anti-Tories can vote according to their preference.   Don’t vote Green in Hove, not in this election.  Wait until the Greens have developed their base beyond the solitary but high profile and impressive Alex Phillips.

In Brighton Kemptown Green Ben Duncan is putting up a bit of a show, but he will come nowhere near ousing the anti-Tory challenge of Simon Burgess.  Again, don’t vote Green this time around in Kemptown.  Vote tactically for Simon Burgess.

So in Brighton and Hove, I am advocating tactical voting for Labour in Brighton Kemptown and in Hove, and definitely a tactical vote and a principled vote for the Greens in Brighton Pavilion.

In Hastings in Rye I have always been impressed by the work ethic of Michael Foster who is defending the seat against the Tory, Amber Rudd.  Please give a tactical vote for Labour in Hastings.  Michael may not set the world on fire, but he has been an excellent MP.

In Lewes it has to be the Liberal Democrat, Stormin’ Norman Baker.  If Mandelson is to New Labour what Portillo was to the last Tory Government, then the re-election of Norman Baker will be the worst thing possible for Mandelson.

Finally, the election in Eastbourne is turning nasty where sitting Tory MP Nigel Watersons in real danger of losing to the Lib Dem Stephen Lloyd.  All Labour and Green supporters must vote Lib Dem in Eastbourne.  If Stephen wins, it won’t be the last we will hear of Waterson – he has already threatened to see Lloyd in Court over an election leaflet.  Who would have thought it, nasty politics in Eastbourne.

Traditional Labour, Lib Dem and Green supporters must put longstanding lotyalties aside and vote tactically

There was an interesting report published last week by the Electoral Reform Society that suggests that of all the seats in Sussex, ten contests are effectively ‘dead’ and that in just six seats voters might make a difference.  The seats that are ‘still up for grabs’ are Eastbourne, Crawley, Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown, Hastings & Rye, and Hove.  Such are the Tory majorities in all other seats (with the exception of Lewes) that there is no hope of unseating the Tories.

In Lewes Stormin’ Norman Baker has made the seat the nearest that there is to a safe Lib Dem seat.

There is the possibility that five of the remaining seats could go Tory, meaning that there would be 14 Tory MPs returned from Sussex, one Lib Dem and one Green.  More than ever, there needs to be tactical voting in the other seats as follows: Eastbourne – Lib Dem, Crawley – Labour, Brighton Pavilion Green, Brighton Kemptown – Labour, Hastings & Rye – Labour, and Hove – Labour.

In an earlier post I warned that the growing ‘bad blood’ developing between Labour and the Green supporters could allow the Tory, Charlotte Vere, to slip through between them.  While I think that a Tory victory is increasingly less likely, tactical voting for the Greens would both guarantee a non-Tory and make a positive statement about the emergence of minor parties.  Traditional Labour supporters (like me) must put our longstanding loyalties to one side. So too should non-Tories in the other contests that are still to be decided.  One possibility could be that you find someone to ‘trade’ your vote with.  For example, a Lib Dem supporter in Brighton Pavilion could find a Green in Lewes and both agree to vote for the other’s candidate.

The election has a long way to go, but we could prevent a Tory victory by acting now.

25 days to go and the Greens are everywhere

I tuned in to the Andrew Marr Show, and there was Caroline Lucas, impressive, charming and authoritative. Then there she was on Sky with Adam Boulton, surprisingly, impressive, charming and authoritative.  Later I turned on the Politics Show, and there was Caroline Lucas once again, surprisingly impressive, charming and authoritative.

This contrasted with the Tory Amanda Plattell who ‘contentedmummy’ described on Twitter as looking “as evil as she sounds”. Together with some non-descript journalist, they attempted to rubbish the Greens and their prospects, but came acros as bitter and sectarian.

And immediately after the Politics Show, as if by imaculate planning, there  was a knock on the door – a Green Party worker. Yesterday I bumped into several Green Party workers.  The mood of all is upbeat and positive.

By contrast, the mood amongst Labour supporters is one of demoralisation, in Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown, and in Hove.

As for the Conservatives, The SussexSquare (Geoffrey Bowden) tweeted to Charlotte Vere last night, “its amazing that the majority of your tweets are devoted to attacking Caroline Lucas. You must be scared of her!”.

So I looked at the previous 10 tweets posted by Ms Vere.  Seven related to Ms Lucas!  Ms Lucas is everywhere – even having the highest profile on the Twitter account of her Conservative opponent. 

And what about Ms Lucas herself?  How many of her tweets made reference to Ms Vere?  I looked at her tweets, not just the last 10, but every one over the last 10 weeks (I must get a life!).  How many referred to Ms Vere?  50%?  More?  Well, none actually.  Not a single one.  Zero.  It is as if Ms Lucas is not even aware of the existence of Charlotte Vere.

The amazing thing about Caroline Lucas is her energy, and how she remains pleasant and totally focused, no matter who she is talking to.  She has the rare talent to relate to ordinary people and make them feel special, while charming those beasts known as Marr, Boulton and Sopel.

Candidates should not get hung up about the polls

Parliamentary candidates, a strange breed if ever there was one, see major significance in the most inconsequential events.  Amongst them are the opinion polls.  Polls cannot be dismissed as inconsequential, but they can provide comfort or cause despair when in reality they may be neither.

Polls tend to favour Labour. Historically, swing voters are more prepared to admit being Labour supporters than acknowledging their support for the Tories. In this election, we may find disaffected Tories expressing support for a party like UKIP.  But this May there is a chance that disaffected Labour supporters, reluctant to admit their intention to vote BNP, will be more inclined to acknowledge their support for the more acceptable extremists UKIP.  UKIP can expect to gather votes from former Tories, but also from traditional Labour voters. 

Sadly, Labour can expect in this election to lose support to the BNP.

The national polls, or in fact the actual votes secured, can be misleading as to who will win the election.  The Tories require over 40% of the popular vote to have an overall majority with Labour below 30%.  On the other hand, if both Labour and the Tories secure around 35% then Labour will have an overall majority. 

How will this play locally? There will be little impact in Brighton Pavilion where disaffected Labour and Conservative supporters can vote Green rather than going to one of the extremist parties. Other Labour voters will abstain while som former Tory supporters will g UKIP.  All this is extremely good news for Caroline Lucas who is attracting both this ‘negative’ vote but also those who see a Green vote as a positive and practical vote.

In Brighton Kemptown and in Hove, in the absence of a dynamic campaign such as that in Brighton Pavilion, the result will largely depend on the performance on the leaders.  On today’s performance, where Cameron has landed a number of succesful blows on Brown over National Insurance increases.  Brown himself has focussed on constitutional reform, an issue that gets my pulse racing but is hardly going to set the electorate on fire. It is early days but Brown must do better.

The Green candidate in Brighton Pavilion depends even more on the leader of her Party, but that is easy for her.  She is that impressive leader.

David Cameron is right – we DO deserve better, but it is certainly not him

Gordon has kissed hands with the Queen and the campaign is up and running.  “Britain deserves better” says David Cameron.  That is true, but we aren’t going to get it from HIM.  Here is what I hope we will wake up to on May 7th.

I really don’t want to see a Conservative government elected.  The UKIP candidate in Hove recently accused me of not being open-minded.  Guilty as charged.  I have little if any confidence in the ability of George Osbourne to manage the economy.  The Conservative Party may pretend to have reformed itself, but it is instinctively a party that cuts public expenditure and public services.  It continues to claim to be a party of small government.

Be clear, a vote for the Conservatives will mean savage cuts and even greater support for big business than even Labour will deliver.

I hope Labour ends up with the most seats but not an overall majority, not because it deserves a further term, but because it is the lesser of two evils.  Labour will cut, but some of the excesses that can be expected from the Tories may be tempered, especially if Labour forms a minority government.. 

While hung parliaments are not a great thing generally, I hope that the new parliament will have more independents and minority parties upon whom Labour will need to depend to get its programme through.  This would mean that the Whips will have less influence.

Amongst the minor parties I hope and expect that the Greens will win their first seat, Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion.  I also hope that there will be further successes for the Greens, but my lack of knowledge about campaigns elsewhere requires me to remain silent on those campaigns.

Locally, I hope Stormin’ Norman Baker holds Lewes (likely), Labour holds Hove and Brighton Kemptown (both unlikely), and Michael Foster holds Hastings and Rye (very possible).

I remain an admirer of Nancy Platts and would wish to see her in Parliament – perhaps she could beat the sitting Tory MP for Brighton Kemptown in the next general election …. in October.