07 August 2009

My Prediction For Brighton Pavilion

The following was in response to this post at the Brighton Politics Blog.

Amy Kennedy assures me that Alex Phillips knocked on 60% of the doors in Goldsmid - a fairly amazing claim.

If true, that means the Greens ran a hardworking campaign (apparently orchestrated by Jason Kitkat Regency councillor) but I too saw little evidence of them anywhere apart from one leaflet through my door and a teller at the poll station. (Though, to be fair, I was away on holiday for 7 days in the run up to electon day, so maybe I missed it all). However that low level campaign was enough to give them a big victory, so maybe they were campaigning in all the right places and I actually thought that the Labour and Tory campaigns were better and more hard hitting, so maybe their vote will fall even more by the next general election and local elections in 2011.

I am a big fan of Nancy Platts - the Labour candidate in Pavilion, who is working very hard. Ironically her appeal, especially to progressives like me could mean the Green/Labour vote splits evenly and the Tories sneak it.

However, pessimist that I am, I do believe the Greens have got enough support to give Caroline a comfortable 3,000 majority - Lucas has the advantage of being a national figure on Question Time and regularly in the Guardian - one of the most read papers in Brighton.

So I disagree with your analysis. I think even if the Green campaign is low key, their brand is strong enough to win. Nancy despite her personal appeal is trying to sell her product attached to an absolutely destroyed Labour brand.

The Tory brand has still (thankfully) not recovered from the wreckage of Thatcherism (well in Brighton and Hove anyway) and there is no sign the Tories can get much more than the 10,000 votes they got last time. So my prediction is the following (with 2005 figs in brackets);

Green 14,000 (9,600)
Tory 11,000 (10,400)
Labour 10,500 (15,400)
Lib Dems 3,000 (7,100)

The key for me is how much the Lib Dem vote collapses and how many of their voters switch to the Greens. This is where local Green campaigning will be important.

1 comment:

  1. Good piece. A very plausible argument. I think you're totally right about Nancy: she is a good candidate for Pavilion and is campaigning hard.

    I think though that a strong Conservative national campaign is a big 'unknown'. If the Tories get organised locally, and throw a load of cash at the seat with a fair wind behind them, they might find more votes than we expect.