Nancy Platts is still fighting in Brighton Pavilion, but the new poll giving her a 10% lead is misleading

There is some confusion about a poll commissioned by the Brighton Argus that suggests Labour is 14% ahead of the Greens and 10% ahead of the Conservatives.  This contrasts with a poll published in December that put the Greens well ahead of the Conservices with Labour further behind.  19% say they are yet to make up their mind, enough to swing the election to any of the three candidates.

This poll will no doubt give the Labour candidate, Nancy Platts, a huge boost.  She has another reason to be optimistic – the strong performance of Labour in recent weeks.  Today’s speech by Gordon Brown was powerful and convincing, and comes a few days after his performance on the Piers Morgan programme which I understand (although didn’t see it myself) was compelling viewing and showed the real GB in a very favourable light.

The Green candidate, Caroline Lucas will, no doubt, dismiss the poll, and with some justification.  The question asked “Which party would you vote for if there was a general election tomorrow” disadvantages the minor parties.  In reponding to such a question, those who are yet to understand the particular situation in Brighton Pavilion as a three way marginal, will consider just the three main parties.  As election day approaches, and as the viability of the Green campaign is better established, voting Green will become a greater reality.

Charlotte Vere, the Conservative candidate, will probably ignore the poll.  Opinion polls always underestimate the strength of the Conservatives.  There is still an embarassment factor amongst former Labour voters who might be considering a Tory vote.  She will no doubt continue to do what she excels at, being a one woman tornado in Brighton Pavilion, and she will receive a boost next weekend with the Conservative Spring Conference coming to town.

It is the view of this blog that the earlier poll is more dependable.  Caroline Lucas maintains momentum and, with a better showing from her supporters and local Green councillors, she should still poll well.  However, don’t underestimate Nancy Platts.  She has a strong local presence and is engaging.  Mycomments made previously that she is the right candidate, wrong party may yet prove to be wrong, as Labour and Gordon Brown strengthen their poll rating.  Faced with a stark choice between David Cameron and Gordon Brown, the voters may yet throw a lifeline to Nancy Platts.