04 May 2007

2007 Elections: Regency Ward Results and Brighton and Hove Council Results

Sven Rufus (Green) 863 (+167)
Hermione Roy (Green) 781 (+368)
Roy Pennington (Lab) 565 (-169)
Michael McFarlane (Con) 525 (+61)
Robert Nemeth (Con) 516 (+81)
Sue Bucknall (Lib) 454 (-216)
Dan Yates (Lab) 447 (-273)
Kevin Donnelly (Lib) 425 (-306)
Corinne Attwood (B+H Ind) 218 (-)
Tony Davenport (B+H Ind) 57 (-)

Congratulations to the Greens Sven and Hermione! They ran an honest campaign.

Good to see the Lib Dem lies backfire on them - Their 'only Lib dems and Labour can win here' leaflet was despicable - what a load of crap! The Lib Dems were even beaten by the Tories into 6th and 8th place! How they had the gall to suggest they could get '9-12 seats' - in the end they were lucky to hold onto the 2 in Brunswick+Adelaide - the Greens will surely take those as well next time - now they are in second place there.

Disappointed for Roy and Dan who worked very hard here. We will be watching Sven and Hermione to see how hard they work for Regency ward.

Overall Brighton and Hove Council results. Detailed results here.

Tories 26 (20)
Labour 13 (23)
Greens 12 (6)
Lib Dms 2 (3)
Indepen 1 (2)

I haven't fully analysed the results yet and compared the vote shares to 2003 - but the Greens taking Queens Park from Labour leader Simon Burgess and ex-leader Ken Bodfish will lead the headlines. Personally I think it is not that surprising Simon and Ken lost - if I'm honest I think this signals where some of the Labour old guard got it wrong i.e totally riding roughshod over democracy by removing councillors from committees if they failed to tow the party line (what is the point of a councillor if he cannot represent his ward?). It is also a signal to Labour for a more open and honest approach that Sue John (Labour deputy leader) also lost her seat in S. Portslade. Hopefully this will scupper Simon Burgess's attempt to secure nomination for the Kemptown parliamentary seat.

More shocking for me was the loss of a seat in the previously solid Labour seat of Moulsecomb+Bevendean and also a seat in N.Portslade. Nicole Murphy did poorly here and this probably stops her bid for Pavilion in its tracks. If you can't hold a seat when your party colleague won the vote, you can forget about being an MP.

Even those Labour candidates that did hold on in safe Labour seats have seen their majorities slashed (East Brighton an honourable exception).

The Greens predicted they would get 12 seats and that is precisely what they have got, considering how they won the vote in Brighton & Hove in the Euro elections of 2004 this is not too surprising - maybe they should have been more ambitious. Labour held 2 seats in Preston Park because their councillors there demonstrated their independence from the party line otherwise the Greens would have become the official opposition.

The frightening thing now is the thought that the Lib Dems (who lost a seat falling from 3 to 2 seats out of 54) could back the Tories in their cuts agenda and car park building. It could be tough times for social care and services in Brighton and the most disadvantaged will suffer. Even if the Tories manage to paint the railings on the seafront and rebuild the bandstand (their two most prominent promises and I am not holding my breath it will happen) the price to the poorest in Brighton will be great, as the city is clogged with traffic even more and services are cut. You two Lib Dems we are watching you and be sure this site will highlight every time you vote with the Tories!


  1. Not sure how happy I feel about your welcome of greens into regency. Accept your analysis of why labour lost though. Greens though are not a progressive force and certainly not any cop when it comes to defining policy in the many years to come. Like you say for the lib dems - watch the greens closely. I personally think the lib dems are nothing compared with the pain and suffering the green vote will now potentialy have the power to inflict on the socially disadvantaged of brighton. Bottom line - people voted green and wow, got a tory council in return. Now that was clever. Clean campaign or no, even a bottle of toilet duck could achieve that - or similar Ecover product - they have still enabled a tory council to make our lives hell for next few years. And your plea that they should have stood more candidates - perleeeese. Green council? May as well just start digging our own land fills. Heck, I thought you were a socialist ! Regards....

  2. Maibee: I wasn't saying the Greens should have stood more candidates (they couldn't they already had a full slate).

    I ws just saying they underestimated how well tey could of done.

    As for welcoming the Greens in Regency - there is no point being sour about it and the Green candidates seem genuine - they won overwhelmingly and if they are true to their policies they will be a breath of fresh air - the Labour leadership should be adopting green politics not pretending they are Tories. You are right that the Tories won seats because ex-Labour voters switched to Green or other parties, but whose fault is the electoral system?

  3. Prompt response. Blame, fault, etc. However we feel, a tory council is now in place. By voting Green, the burghers (sp) of Brighton have achieved the opposite of what they probably would have wanted - a Tory council. I can not reconcile the idea that by being not a labour council this is somehow a kind of learning curve that we need to address. We all know that Labour was inevitably going to get a kicking this time but I don't see how you can relate this to being somehow pleased that we lost. This is your line it seems but you have not mentioned the crucial key words - 'tory' and 'council' - and now we must face the consequence of it all.

  4. I suppose I didn't mean you were pleased that labour lost. I don't know. Just wept like a child when Roy lost and then it was only down hill from there. Oh well. 'Things can only get better....'

  5. I'm gutted that Labour did so badly - but lets be realistic - the leadership largely brought this on us.

    You can't go into an election offering loyalty 'citizen' card and sunday opening for the library and expect to inspire voters to support us. Where is the radical thinking? Where is the free bus travel for under 16s? Where is the pedestrianising the lanes or the sea front? Where are the radical policies to reduce congestion?

    I'm also really worried about what this Tory administratin is going to do (no doubt with Lib Dem backing). But who is the national govt that has bottled electoral reform? If we want to stop the split left gifting seats to the Tories with small minorities of the vote we have got to have a democratic electoral system. It makes me angry how we are letting down the majority of this country - we have got too stuck in our diminshing interest groups and lost sight of the policies that help people.

  6. Neil:

    Rough night/day down your way and not that much of a surprise by what I was seeing on the election broadcasts.

    Tell you, what, to cheer you up a bit you can be a honorary Sandwellian for a few days.

    We took one seat from the Tories, held them off in their key target ward and stopped the BNP in their tracks - not a bad night's work all around.

  7. Well done - good to hear some of my fellow midlanders are doing well. I'm from Walsall - I hear the Tories are in control there. I cannot believe the Tories won Pleck!! Was solid Labour when I lived there.

  8. Neil, I'm with you the majority of what you say. It's no wonder that after two decades in control Labour are perceived more as 'managers' than representatives of the people. Roy pennington was an honourable politician who always put forward the needs of local residents. I'm only dissappointed that I couldn't do more to ensure he kept his seat. The sole benefit of this is surely that the Tory-two failed to make almost any impoact despite their high cost campaign and the direct intervention of David Cameron himself.
    Until Labour can show itself to be the party that acts for the people then things will never get better.
    I've been silent on this til now but some of the abusive e-mails and comments I've received have only served to confirm my pre-election belief that Labour needs a radical overhaul bofre it can ever hope to move back into control in Brighton and Hove. The future of Brighton though, for nowlies in the hands of the Tories I'm afraid.

  9. Understand totally Dan, I know you worked really hard in this ward, but like you say it is one consolation the Tory boys only managed to get an extra handful of votes despite getting Cameron himself to darken our doorsteps (perhaps that helped them lose?). Also for me I am really relieved the Lib Dem bullies went backwards. Labour has got to get it's act together if we are going to retain our parliamentary seats - we don't want losers like Simon Burgess and Nicole Murphy.

    Take it easy - see you at next meeting.

  10. Maibee: as I'm Green voter I have to say that you display a rather arrogant viewpoint about elections and voting for non-Labour alternatives.

    1. You are simply wrong that city centre voters let in the Tories by voting Green.

    The wards where the Greens gained seats were NOT in areas where the Tories had any significant chance of gaining a seat.

    The Tories gained seats from Labour in areas mostly where the Greens did zero campaigning.

    It is Labour's unpopularity in Tory-leaning areas outside the city centre which handed the Tories more seats.

    2. The Tories do not have a majority of the seats on the council.

    If they chose to, Greens, Labour and LibDems could form a 'traffic light' coalition and keep the Tories out.

    3. People should vote for whom they want elected, rather than be scared into voting for something second best.

    Many voters identify with the Green message and feel that Labour has let them down locally.

    Labour has had ten years to change the electoral system to something fairer which would keep the Tories out of power permanently in many town halls and at Westminster. Why hasn't it?

    4. The Greens have proved themselves far more radical and pro-social justice than Labour on the city council.

    For example, they have consistently opposed cuts to social services imposed by Labour and opposed the ending of the city's Peace Messenger Status - proposed by Labour.

    So it's a bit rich to suggest the Greens are soft on social justice!



  11. brightoncentral: Mostly agree with you on point 1 but I know the Greens campaigned quite hard in Goldsmid and this meant Labour lost seats there to the Tories as a result.

    Also of course the votes the Greens have won in the Hove and Kemptown constituencies could result in Tory MPs in those places come the next GE.

    Of course I am not saying any of this is the Greens fault - they want a change to the electoral system (as I do) - We need to stop such absurdities as people voting for leftwing policies and ending up with a Tory.

    On point 2, the Tories with the Independent (who is Tory in all but name) have a majority because they will have the Mayor's casting vote (those 2 Goldsmid seats were crucial but to be fair Labour should not have lost to the Tories in Moulsecomb&Bevendean and in Portslade - these seats gave the Tories their chance as well). Even the Greens, Labour and Lib Dems combined could not stop the Tories (and also lets be realistic - tribal politics as it is means these parties will never all agree and the Lib Dems want cheaper easier parking so are closet Tories anyway!).

    Absolutely agree with point 3 as I mentioned above.

    On point 4 - yes I do believe the Greens are committed to social justice but it is easy to oppose cuts from the safety of the opposition - what is hard is arguing for the tax rises to pay for such services and I didn't see any of that in the Greens literature (or of course Labour's literature). The political realities of governing are hard and until we have a Green administration we want have an answer to how effective the Greens are on social justice.

  12. what's wrong with Nicole Murphy

  13. mumbo - there is nothing 'wrong' with Nicole Murphy - but I was unconvinced by what she has to say - of course nurses deserve more than 20k - but so do a lot of workers and nurses have seen their wages go up 26% in real terms under this govt putting them on the same starting wage as teachers.

    I found Nicole unconvincing as a communicator - I am not sure what happened in Portslade but out of all the Labour candidates - Nicole got the worst result - that is just not good enough if you want to be put forward to be our candidate to win the seat in Pavilion. I'm sorry but that is the truth. i like Nicole as a person - but currently she is not quite there in terms of being an MP.

  14. I wonder if it has occured to you that the Tories may have targeted NM BECAUSE she had shown an interest in a Parliamentary Seat?
    Unfortunate, but it may have had an impact.

    Her position on Nurses pay is that NURSES IN SCOTLAND HAVE GOT THE FULL 2.5% and in the rest of the UK they have to wait until November!!

    She fights for equality and for the record, the seat wasn't hers to 'lose'!!
    You will be delighted to know that she is no longer 'in the frame', in pavilion. Although of course you will have a female PPC whatever happens!

  15. In terms of the percentage of vote decline for Labour, Nicole did the worst of all the 54 Labour candidates - maybe there were local factors in Portslade but you can't argue with that fact. I have argued against Simon Burgess for Kemptown for precisely the same reason. If you cannot get elected as councillor in a previous safe Labour seat then surely you have lost your chance of becoming an MP, simple as that.

    Not getting the nomination is probably a blessing for Nicole as whoever gets it is going to get humiliated by the Green candidate in Pavilion. I think we are heading for the first Green MP here.

  16. Well I wouldn't be too sure about that Neil!
    I found her to be the best of the bunch actually.
    She is a very effective communicator. She seems to have inspired you to want to communicate thats for sure!
    I'd try really hard to forget her if I were you!

  17. Swansea Man3/6/07 5:33 pm

    Why is this Nichole Murphy so important anyway?
    It says she isn't in the running for Pavilion.
    Why do you want to talk about her so much?

  18. I am sorry Nicole didn't make the cut. I know her personally but I was just being honest. I didn't vote for her to be nominated - no importance other than that.