02 June 2007

Lord Bassam - "the Left won vote in Brighton & Hove".

Like the majority of councils around the country, Brighton & Hove ended up with a Tory party in control ready to implement policies that the vast majority of voters voted against. As Lord (Steve) Bassam points out;

"Taking the top vote for each party in each ward the Tories (as the sole major party of the Right) secured 27,544 votes, while the parties of the Centre Left totalled almost 46,000 (Labour 20,228, Greens 17,046 and Liberal Democrats 8,686)."

He goes further to point out;

"The Tory "victory" is purely and simply a product of the fragmentation of the Centre Left vote - and the outcome in terms of seats won reflects that fact...just as Labour's percentage share of the vote declined from 2003, so too did the Tories, whose share fell by 14.6 per cent in Pavilion and 11.2 per cent in Kemptown...Of the four parties seriously contesting the city council elections, only the Greens increased their share of the vote."

If Steve knows this why does he avoid mentioning the only solution - PR always gives majority rule - we would have a Labour-Green coalition in Brighton & Hove that would continue to fund social services and reduce traffic in the centre of Brighton and implement more bus, cycle and pedestrian friendly policies. Instead we will have a Tory administration doing the opposite - cutting vital services and making it easier to bring cars into the centre bringing more death and pollution against the voters wishes

It makes me laugh when defenders of the present system talk of how it gives a 'clear single party' result, when in fact the majority of councils are coalition or minority rule. Worse than that, this system produces the wrong 'winner' most of the time - the party with the most votes doesn't win the most seats and we have ruling coalitions that are formed that do not represent the majority of voters. How can anyone defend such a system? - yet vested interests in the status quo are so strong they do just that.


  1. You could have had a left leaning alliance running the Council this time, but YOUR Labour Councillors ruled it out. A vote for Labour in these elections was infact a vote for a Tory Council.

  2. Who didn't vote against Carol Theobald for Mayor?