Brighton, Pavilion

2015 Result:
Conservative: 12448 (22.8%)
Labour: 14904 (27.3%)
Lib Dem: 1525 (2.8%)
Green: 22871 (41.8%)
UKIP: 2724 (5%)
Independent: 116 (0.2%)
Others: 88 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 7967 (14.6%)

Category: Semi-marginal Green seat

Geography: South East, East Sussex. Part of the Brighton and Hove council area.

Main population centres:

Profile: Brighton Pavilion is the western side of the Brighton, a georgian seaside resort that has avoided much the economic.


Current MP
CAROLINE LUCAS (Green) Born 1960, Malvern. Educated at Exeter University. Former communications officer and advisor for Oxfam. Oxfordshire county councillor 1993-1997. Contested MEP for South East England 1999-2010. First elected as MP for Brighton, Pavilion in 2010. Principal Speaker for the Green party from 2003-2006, she became the first Leader of the Green Party in 2008.
Past Results
Con: 12275 (24%)
Lab: 14986 (29%)
LDem: 7159 (14%)
GRN: 16238 (31%)
Oth: 1176 (2%)
MAJ: 1252 (2%)
Con: 10397 (24%)
Lab: 15427 (35%)
LDem: 7171 (16%)
GRN: 9530 (22%)
Oth: 1014 (2%)
MAJ: 5030 (12%)
Con: 10203 (25%)
Lab: 19846 (49%)
LDem: 5348 (13%)
GRN: 3806 (9%)
Oth: 1520 (4%)
MAJ: 9643 (24%)
Con: 13556 (28%)
Lab: 26737 (55%)
LDem: 4644 (9%)
Oth: 2710 (6%)
MAJ: 13181 (27%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
CLARENCE MITCHELL (Conservative) Educated at Friern Barnet County School. Media strategy advisor, former spokesman for the McCann family and former BBC journalist.
PURNA SEN (Labour) Deputy Director of the Institute of Public Affairs.
CHRIS BOWERS (Liberal Democrat) Writer and tennis commentator. Lewes councillor since 2007. Contested Wealden 2010.
NIGEL CARTER (UKIP) Born 1950, Chelmsford. Educated at King Edward VI Grammar, Chelmsford. Contested Brighton Pavilion 2010.
CAROLINE LUCAS (Green) See above.
HOWARD PILOTT (Socialist Party GB)
NICK YEOMANS (Independent)
Comments - 951 Responses on “Brighton, Pavilion”
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  1. Comfortable Labour gain.

  2. This seat is Labour target no. 19 and Conservative target no. 84.

  3. I would like to see Lucas hold the seat in 2015

  4. I don’t see why it would be a “comfortable Labour gain”. It’s not impossible but it looks harder to me than most. There is very little territory in the seat now where Labour has a clear lead over the Greens – even in Hollingdean & Stanmer, the Sussex University campus gives the Greens a large potential vote. Ironically it may end up being in the most Tory areas in the North where Labour give themselves a chance.

  5. Green hold — People would vote Green if they thought they’d win, in Brighton it’s not a wasted vote, so you’ll see the Greens extend their lead.

  6. Lucas has the advantage of first-time incumbency and, as Calorus says, there were probably still some people in 2010 who didn’t vote Green because they mistakenly thought it was a wasted vote, so I’m expecting a Green hold.

    The performance of the council will affect the result here, though; the Green vote has been done in council by-elections since they’ve been running things. How closely will voters associate Lucas with the council?

  7. I’m inclined to trust the opinion of Tim Jones and Mark Senior here above all others, given that this seat is in their back yard.

    Both I think are confidently expecting a Labour regain.

  8. Labour could win if enough people want them to oust the Conservatives from government in 2015. I certainly don’t see such an outcome as a foregone conclusion.
    I would plump for a Green hold because there’s still some novelty of this being their only seat in the country, and the radical, anti-establishment sentiment amongst the electorate. The Greens would be very disappointed to lose their only representative in Parliament and a fair number of the residents would probably feel this way.
    It will be interesting to see what happens to the LibDem vote. If it falls, who would benefit the most?

  9. “It will be interesting to see what happens to the LibDem vote. If it falls, who would benefit the most?”

    It will probably go to the Greens. The LDs lost their last seats on the council to them in 2011 and I can certainly see the appeal that the Greens would have to LD voters. Such a collapse would certainly be to Ms. Lucas’ benefit here. I think Labour will find this seat hard going and could well gain the other two Brighton & Hove seats while missing out on this one.

  10. I would be very surprised if Labour wins this. Whilst I have heard – albeit I don’t follow regularly news from there – that the Greens have lost alot of public support from their work on the council, I just can’t see that translating into kicking out Lucas. As has been suggested, I suspect there will be some people who didn’t vote Green because they didn’t actually believe they could win, who will vote for them in 2015 knowing they can. Plus, Lucas is very visible and hard working. And she’s the only Green MP, and some voters will probably vote for her if only because they don’t want to see the party swept from Parliament. I think Swan said it right here when he said voters wouldn’t mind returning an anti-establishment candidate.

  11. I wouldnt be suprised if Labour vote share here actually declines. If there was one seat in the country where this would be true, it would probably be here.

    By the country I mean England, I imagine several Scottish seats will see Labour share falls.

  12. I think Labour could be vulnerable in one or two seats to the SNP – Dundee W and Ochil & S Perthshire

  13. Possibly Falkirk West too

  14. ‘I’m inclined to trust the opinion of Tim Jones and Mark Senior here above all others, given that this seat is in their back yard.

    Both I think are confidently expecting a Labour regain.’

    I was – but i have to agree with other posters that this will a tougher nut for Labour to crack than the raw data suggests

    My previous prediction was somewhat based on the radical boundary changes which initially would have paired this part of Brighton with central Hove, which would have benefitted Labour by removing Tory-voting wards in the North like Patcham and Withdean, although by retaining the current boundaries Lucas has given herself more than a fighting chance

    She is genuinely popular and has seemed particularly good at getting support from affluent middle class liberal professionals – one of the seat’s main demographic groups – who even in today’s new world order would have to think twice about voting Labour

    I wouldn’t like to call it now

  15. The formula that Anthony has used to determine whether seats are “safe” or “marginal” is, with the very greatest respect to him, a bit of a blunt instrument. Many would argue that Labour are more likely to win in Filton & Bradley Stoke than they are here. I don’t think the Tories have an earthly in this seat – in fact, they could well be finished here for good, unless they get a very nice boundary change.

  16. One of the most interesting seats come 2015 I think, I don’t think it’s a 3 way marginal though as the Conservative’s are highly unlikely given the current political climate to be able to gain a seat like this. That’s not what I would be saying if I was Caroline Lucas though, if she could convince Labour Voters in Brighton Pavilion that the tory’s might take the seat then she could benefit from tactical voting to ensure that they hold on.

  17. The 2010 Labour candidate is trying to get selected in Kemptown rather than here this time. Both are AWS.
    The man who stood and lost in Kemptown is attempting to become the PPC in Hove.

  18. Caroline Lucas was re-adopted as Green candidate for Brighton Pavilion last month:

  19. Had Lucas had to defend the new Brighton Pavilion & Hove, then she may have had some difficulty.

    I think on the retained boundaries, she will increase her majority taking more of the 7000 + Lib Dem vote than anybody else, even if part of the Conservative vote here goes to Labour.

  20. Labour have starting accepting applications to be the candidate. It’s an AWS, and the selection vote is timetabled for the 20th July.

  21. Thanks for these dates, Edward. I’m updating my target list and candidate list with the information.

  22. FWIW Electoral Calculus currently give Labour a 73.6% chance of regaining this seat.

    This is in sharp contrast to the betting markets where Paddy Power for example are offering odds of 6/5 against Labour, equivalent therefore to giving them only a 45.5% chance.

    One or other of these views is significantly wrong.

  23. I would certainly rate Lucas as favourite.

    Incumbancy, tactical votes and general hostility to the political establishment will all boost her chances.

  24. I used to think that Caroline Lucas would hold Brighton Pavillion, but now I am not so sure. The Green Council in Brighton is becoming very unpopular due to pay cuts for the low paid, closing libraries, they campaigned against cuts and have done the opposite, they have racked up council tax after promising not to and they have really messed up on parking and cars due to their ‘Green’ ideology. If Labour has an effective campaign against the Greens here, saying vote Green, get Blue and how they have broken their promises with a strong candidate who is a bit of a liberal lefty, like Katie Ghose, they could win on that basis. But it will have to be a different campaign. Personally, I would not have focused resources on this seat – much more effective in Tory and Lib Dem marginals.

  25. Not convinced that the ‘Green-led’ council are as universally unpopular as our friends at the Argus and on its comment pages would paint them, particularly in the wards of the Pavilion constituency. Also, there is some unease amongst former Labour voters about the party’s joint budget veto with the tories, forcing service cuts rather than council tax rises, though this move could play either way. My guess is that it will be a fairly narrow Green hold but it’s probably going to be a close one.

  26. They are universally unpopular from both the left and the right. Trade unions like the GMB, are campaigning against them over their cuts to pay and their decision to sack low-paid council workers. They are getting absolutely smashed for what they are doing by shutting libraries, cutting services and putting up council tax. Labour will just say that the Greens claim to be anti-austerity and they lied. They could say how Caroline Lucas said the UK should stop growing and how many jobs that would cost Brighton. How if you vote Green, you’ll let Cameron in again. I used to believe Lucas would win, but with a strong candidate and strong messages like these Labour could end up beating her.That being said, it would be a tough fight.

  27. But Caroline Lucas is very clearly of the left, and perhaps voters in this seat like the fact they have an MP who is well respected and distinctive.
    Its a very bohemian seat and if it came down to it quite obviously she would side with having a Labour rather than Tory government.

    I think she could hold on but it will be very close – and I think the LD’s could easily implode

  28. Well exactly, which is why Labour should say that voting for her will let Cameron get in – Vote Green, Get Blue! That is what Labour’s message needs to be in Brighton Pavillion.
    LDs could easily implode, but it depends what happens to that vote and in that area it could go to the Greens.

  29. Having said that, how often does Caroline Lucas vote with the Tories?
    As a Labour party member I think a positive pro-Labour campaign will be needed here. Brighton voters are a sophisticated electorate

  30. No, Mike, you’re not understanding what I am saying. The fact that she is a Green MP, in a seat that could be Labour’s mean that the Tories have an advantage. Voting for Caroline Lucas, will not get a Labour government it will be a wasted vote. I know you are from the kind of fluffy wing of the Labour party, but it will have to be an aggressive campaign attacking the Green’s record locally and Lucas – vote green, get blue! I know you’d vote for Lucas, rather than the Labour candidate.

  31. I have to say that Caroline Lucas’s decision to give up the leadership of the Greens to that awful woman with that screeching Kiwi accent was a calamitous error which may well cost her her seat. I think this will be very tough for her to hold.

  32. I think that it is more likely that Lynne Featherstone will lose her seat, compared to Caroline Lucas. I think that unless there is a vicious anti-Green, ‘vote green, get blue’ campaign for Labour – then she’ll hold on. However, the Greens are just completely nuts. Mike Homfray should join them.

  33. Much as I disagree with Mike on almost everything, I think that’s very unfair.

  34. I was referring to you calling him nuts.

    This is not the place to attack other peoples’ political views.

  35. I see the trolling is continuing today

  36. “No, he should. Mike Homfray would be at home with the Greens, absolutely at home without a doubt. He does not even vote Labour and said he will not vote for his Labour MP – why on earth is he in the party?”

    The most ardent supporters of their party are often the most critical. Just because you believe in the core values of a party doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything the current leadership say and do – or leave nonsense comments on what feels like the whole constituency guide of this site.

  37. @LBERNARD – Mike Homfray spends most of his time online attacking Labour policy on the economy, education, public services, local government, on energy prices and utilities and almost everything. He called for the expulsion of Progress, a group that includes Ed Miliband and has called on him to sack key members of the shadow cabinet. He has repetitively attacked his vision, has openly said he has not voted Labour in a very long time and has said he will not be voting Labour in 2015 because of the MP. He should go.

  38. Mike Homfray may say all those things online, but he does not do so here. He respects this as a place for non-partisan discussion of elections, as should you.

  39. I don;t want to make common cause with Bob, but Mike strikes me as pretty much a single issue (homosexuality) obsessive and often makes highly partisan posts on here. He has also expressed support for Sinn Fein-IRA. It isn’t for me of course to say whether or not he belongs in the Labour party. After all the Labour party still happily includes terrorist apologists like Ken Livingstone. If Bob has a problem with being in the same party as these kinds of traitors, then he probably shouldn’t be in the Labour party.

  40. Well we all transgress into partisan posts from time to time, including myself, indeed sometimes it is impossible not to put one’s political views into a point you are trying to make about psephology….this is often especially true when discussing factors like race and sexuality which, as you say, Mike seems to have very strong opinions about.

    I personally think that’s quite different from someone like Bob who is being deliberately partisan on very many threads at once and, as Runnymede says, basically trolling. There are plenty of places where you can do that, including on the polls pages of this site.

  41. ‘After all the Labour party still happily includes terrorist apologists like Ken Livingstone. If Bob has a problem with being in the same party as these kinds of traitors, then he probably shouldn’t be in the Labour party.’

    There’s nothing more trecherous than collabarating with groups that celebrate the SS – as some Tories were advocating when Cameron launched his leadership-winning pledge to take trhe Tories out of the EPP in the European Parliament

    Some of us have relatives killed by the likes of the SS in the second world war

    If Labour did expell Progress it would show that they have learnt nothing from what happens to oppositions over the last 30-35 years when they abandon the centre ground

  42. Of course Progress won’t be expelled. There is a place in the Labour Party for Progress, the Campaign Group and even people like me. I do get extremely annoyed with people who are trying to expel people from the Labour Party for no good reason. I would not currently favour action against Progress however, even though I am a strong opponent of their point of view.

  43. “If Labour did expell Progress it would show that they have learnt nothing from what happens to oppositions over the last 30-35 years when they abandon the centre ground”

    But we haven’t really seen what happens when government and opposition both abandon the centre ground at the same time, as seems to be happening now.

    2015 will be really interesting.

  44. It could happen, who knows? I don’t think Ed Miliband’s abandonment of the centre is a lurch to the left, it is just he does not know where to pinpoint the centre ground and it is becoming a problem. Cameron is also straddled, as he is a centrist one minute, a rightwinger the next – and it seems the Tories are lurching to the right, out of fear of UKIP and blinkered backbenchers.

  45. ‘and it seems the Tories are lurching to the right, out of fear of UKIP and blinkered backbenchers.’

    This also shows that Cameron himself really isn’t the heir to Blair at all

    as much as i may personally dislike him, Blair stood up to the Labour left and made it clear when he was in charge there demands would be ignored, which is the complete opposite of Cameron who is cowardly bending over backwards to appease his own right-wing backbenchers who love making his life a misery, and whose answer to his increasing amount of problems is to appoint more Etonians to his inner-circle

    It’s no wonder his personal ratings – usually his one saving grace – have gone into freefall

    I’m beginning to think Shaun (as in Bennett) wasn’t quite so off base in his criticisms of the PM

  46. H. Hemmelig -> Im hoping its a case of better the devil you know!

  47. I think that will be a powerful theme, but the problem facing the Tories as we have all discussed many times is that they are unlikely to obtain a majority and will have no viable coalition partners except perhaps the DUP.

  48. They won’t get a majority. Tories needed at least a 5% swing on the boundary changes (which were in their favour) from Labour on their current vote share, to get a majority. A swing from an Opposition to a Government, has not happened since Lord Palmerston was PM. The boundary changes have gone. Tories also need to increase their % of the vote, no PM has not happened since 1955 under Harold Macmillan at a time of growth and rising living standards (won’t be the case in 2015!) not even Thatcher and Blair achieved that. Also, Cameron didn’t get an overall majority against the most unpopular PM in living memory. Also, they are an utterly divided party and as the Lib Dem refugees defect to Labour, it means that ‘easy marginals’ and three-way marginals will automatically go to Labour. I used to believe that they will gain seats from the Lib Dems, but since Eastleigh, I think the Lib Dems are at their strongest when it is only a battle between them and the Tories. Local elections show that they actually hold up relatively well in those areas, and the incumbency of those Lib Dem MPs will allow them to hold onto seats the Tories should take. In fact, I think that they might lose Camborne and Redruth to the Lib Dems, because UKIP is very strong in the South West and they will be picking up A LOT of Tory voters. Eustice’s majority is only 66 votes, so it is an ultra-marginal. However, if there is a strong Lib Dem swing to Labour and a reasonable fall in the Tory vote to UKIP, and Labour has a popular, local activist like Candy Atherton – it is possible they could gain the seat, but I doubt it hugely. But Camborne and Redruth and Eastleigh will be weird seats to watch.

  49. Good heavens, you need to learn some more history young man.

    “A swing from an Opposition to a Government, has not happened since Lord Palmerston was PM.”

    Yes it has, it happened in 1983, October 1974, 1966, 1955 to name but four occasions.

    “no PM has not happened since 1955 under Harold Macmillan at a time of growth and rising living standards”

    Anthony Eden was Prime Minister in 1955 not Harold Macmillan.

    Now don’t stay up too late….school in the morning!

  50. Apologies, I meant to type 1959 not 1955.
    And you are wrong. A swing of 5% from an Opposition to a Government has not happened since Lord Palmerston – you need to learn your history. In 1983, there was actually a 1.5% swing away from Mrs T, it just so happened that there was a 9.3% swing away from the Opposition to Alliance – get real. Labour only got a 2% swing in 1974, that was really insignificant.
    So brush your teeth, HH, it’s half past 8! You should ask Mummy to bring your teddy!

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