A Tom French win could be good news for the Greens in Brighton

It is unlikely to happen – a Labour win in the St Peter’s and North Laine by-election on Thursday.  Labour’s Tom French has excelled as one of an exciting breed of young, enthusiastic Labour candidates, bringing much of the same energy and determination that characterised Labour in Brighton during the mid-19980s.  Tom will probably come a creditable second, although a win is not completely unthinkable. His time will come.

Of course a Labour win would be sensational, as was Alex Phillips’s election in the Goldsmid by-election almost a year ago to the day.  It would give Labour such a boost in the year before crucial council elections.  (Why do we say “crucial council elections”?  All elections are crucial or critical or important!).

But a Labour victory might not be a disaster for the Greens.  Of course they would never want to lose their safest seat, but it might just give them one almightly kick up the backside.  It would remind the Greens that elections are won on year-round campaigning, high profile candidates and councillors, and a clinical approach toi building the party and running election campaigns.

So where do I stand?  I would love to see Tom French elected on Thursday.  But I also don’t want to see the Greens diminished in any way on the Council.  The Lib Dems and their Tory partners have no hope.  So it allows those of you with a vote in St Peter’s and North Laine to vote for either the Labour or Green candidate without any fear of letting the Tories slip through the middle.

What I really want is the Greens to be fantastically successful next May, to end up as the largest Party.  I predict they will secure 20 seats next May.  With a real effort, some great candidates, and the people of Brighton and Hove waking up to the nightmare that is the Lib Dem Coalition, the Greens could just get a majority.  Now that would be wonderful.