What impact will students have on May’s local elections in Brighton and Hove?

The question has been raised about the impact the student vote may have on the results of this May’s local elections. 

DAP has written: “The students are always a factor, the SUs usually campaign to get students to register/vote in elections… Look locally and nationally, the students have been very much more active these last 12 months than in recent history… London demos/riots… Brightons demos… Brighton and Sussex uni occupations.  Moulsecoomb and Benevendean Greens could indeed get an umpf from the students (Moulsecoomb & Falmer halls fall into M&B as well as the private accomodation), but Labour could also.  This will make it hard for Labour to return their 3rd councillor in the area… Tories and LDs will not get anywhere.  Hollingdean and Stanmer has alot of the Sussex students… they’re renouned for being very left and active. I believe they have a strong Green Party Society too… Greens indeed could benefit from this.”

This is the first local election that I can recall when the Greens have a relatively strong organisation at Sussex University.  That, coupled with the active campaigning by Rufus, Summers and Walter in Hollingdean and Stanmer, is one reason why I believe that the Greens will do well in H&S.  Their surge here will be off-set by the Lepper personal vote, hence my prediction of 2 Green councillors and one Labour councillor being returned in H&S.

The new student blocks in Falmer (on the University of Brighton side of the A27) will be a factor for the first time, although I don’t believe that Labour or the Greens have particularly focused on students here.  The Labour Party in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean is dead on its feet, the Greens remain too thin on the ground to be able to effectively target M&B, while the Tories are stropng and confident elsewhere in the ward. Both Maria Caulfield and Ayas Fallon-Khan are likely winners for the Tories.

Elsewhere, there are pockets of students, but not in sufficient concentration to be a factor in themselves. Or have I got this wrong …?