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 - 948 Responses on “Brighton, Pavilion”
  1. Re-read your sentence

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

    Now tell me where that mentions a 5% swing. If that’s what you meant you should say so.

  2. oh children, play nicely

  3. You’re clearly misreading what I wrote but if you are getting a bit reckless because you need to wake up earlier or you haven’t got your teddy, that’s fine with me.
    Fact is that the boundary changes were favourable to the Tories and they required the Tories to get a 5% swing from Labour to the Tories to get a majority. A swing of that scale has not happened since Lord Palmerston was PM. No PM has ever increased their share of the vote since Harold Macmillan in 1959 at a time of rising living standards and economic growth – not going to happen in 2015 and Cameron could not win against Brown. Your party might even lose Camborne and Redruth to the Lib Dems – who will get thrashed! Brush up on your history, revise for your Key Stage 2 History Test – mind you, I suspect they teach you about kings and queens rather than former PMs.

  4. Labour shortlist

    Kusum Parashar – a retired college lecturer in adult and further education who once stood as a Conservative Party council candidate in London
    Purna Sen – the deputy director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics and a local party activist in Brighton
    Anne Marie Waters – a lawyer who grew up in Dublin and lives in South London

  5. The recent rubbish scandal – which within just a few days turned Brighton into a maggot-roidden cesspit towards the tail og last week – involving the local council could cost the Greens here – even thhough Caroline Lucas sided with the strikers

    I can only imagine what visiting tourists would have thought of the town and from what I can tell from the ground the public is just as disgusted with the way the Green-led council has handled it, than the striking binmen themselves

  6. Anne Marie Waters would be an interesting candidate. She is a very strong opponent of Islamic extremism but from a left wing perspective.

  7. As someone who is quite sympathetic to most environmental issues I simultaneously find Caroline Lucas and the new leader of the Greens extremely irritating. This perplexes me somewhat.

    I think it’s because the Greens have shifted away from things like protecting the countryside into juvenile leftist politics which often have nothing to do with the environment. Caroline Lucas’s recent pathetic stunt in the commons wearing that anti-page 3 T-shirt being a prime example.

    The Greens are missing a big trick by drifting off along that road. They would have a thick seam of support in middle England in terms of opposing housing developments, campaigning against fly-tipping etc etc.

    As it is I very much hope Labour kick Lucas out. Tim – as a local, what do you think are her chances of holding her seat?

  8. But I don’t think the Greens want the kind of supporters you are thinking about HH – they see them as part of the problem.

  9. In Oxford, the Greens are quite happy to appeal to the right kind of NIMBYs – middle-class lefties who perhaps conflate their own self-interest with environmental principle. Hence being one of the most anti-development parties in the city.

  10. A very green with a small-g policy would be to burst the housing bubble and allow the greediest buy to let investors to go bust, as opposed to stoking up the market even more with mortgage subsidies and concreting over the green belt of southern England.

    I am disappointing not to see any mainstream politicians advocate such a policy.

  11. ‘I think it’s because the Greens have shifted away from things like protecting the countryside into juvenile leftist politics which often have nothing to do with the environment. ‘

    Any party serious about being more than a protest party has to go further than their core beliefs

    Look at UKIP. They too started out as a single-issue party but have incoprporated a whole other reactionary hard-right policies that complement their utter hatred of everything European

    ‘As it is I very much hope Labour kick Lucas out. Tim – as a local, what do you think are her chances of holding her seat?’

    I probably wouldn’t be the best person to ask as I go out of my way to stay out of local politics in brighton but it’s a hard one to call

    Lucas herself remains quite popular as a local MP – even if her Green colleagues on the council aren’t

    The unchanged boundaries certainly favour Lucas

  12. Maybe she’ll survive as a kind of Cyril Smith figure, divorced from the unpopularity of the local and national parties and with a substantial personal vote.

  13. Probably the worst party leader since Michael Foot

  14. I would much rather listen to Michael Foot than to Natalie Bennett.

    She comes across like a third-rate actress on Neighbours.

  15. I’m on record here earlier in this thread, saying what TJ said – that despite the unpopularity of the Green council, Lucas would survive. Seeing how this rubbish scandal has developed, my opinion has shifted somewhat: rubbish building up can obviously be an emotive issue. TJ mentioned Lucas has sided with the strikers, which knowing her is actually where her sympathies lie, but it’s also politically wise. Still, if an election were held tomorrow, this scandal would tar the Green brand enough to cause Lucas real damage. They’d be best hope this passes into a distant memory by 2015, and that there’s no more equally visible own goals.

    Incidentally, this whole episode illustrates to me again how leading Greens tick. For all their talk sometimes of being the true-left party, they don’t have a feel at all for the working class. I was struck in looking at the data for the 2011 local elections there, that their support was really quite limited in working-class areas, and that it was those middle-class former Lib Dem areas where their support really rolled in. And alot of their leading figures are middle-class born and bred themselves.

  16. The following blog suggests that while the proposed “Brighton Pavilion & Hone” may have been better for Labour on a notional basis, its creation could in practice have been better for the Greens.

    “New constituency boundaries: containing the Greens and helping the Tories
    Posted on September 12, 2011 by brightonpoliticsblogger

    The new boundaries for Parliamentry constituencies have been leaked, and I am grateful to Dem Soc, Brighton and Hove, and the fascinating Anthony Zacharzewski in particular, for sharing the information.

    Enter, stage right, my friend Gerry Mander, who has created new boundaries designed to contain the Greens. There is no rationale other than that. The new Brighton Pavilion and Hove constituency (Brunswick & Adelaide, Central Hove, Goldsmid, Hanover & Elm Grove, Preston Park, Queen’s Park, Regency, St Peter’s & North Laine) guarentees the re-election of Caroline Lucas – the proposed constituency currently has just one non Green councillor, the very non-Tory and all-round nice guy, Andrew Wealls.

    That is the tactic, load all Greens into one constituency. A central Brighton and Hove constituency makes some sense, but Brighton & Hove North is a most bizarre concoction: Hangleton & Knoll, Hollingdean & Stanmer, Portslade (north and south), Patcham, Hove Park, Westbourne, Wish, Withdean.

    As St Anthony says: “It’s a strange division, as I suspect that the people of Hollingdean (Brighton & Hove North) would see themselves as having more in common with central Brighton than with Hangleton & Knoll or Mile Oak.”

    That’s the least of it, AZ, what about residents of Stanmer Village and Portslade South? What on earth do they have in common.

    Coalition partners Norman Baker and Simon Kirby will be eyeing up each other with suspicion, even hostility. The new Lewes and East Brighton constituency is made up of Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, East Brighton, Rottingdean Coastal, Woodingdean, all Lewes town wards, Saltdean, Chailey, Wivelsfield, Ditchling, Plumpton, Kingston, East Chiltington, Streat, and St John Without.

    I think that this new constituency will see the end of Stormin’ Norman. Why vote for a candidate without backbone who implements Tory policies when you can vote for a candidate with backbone who implements Tory policies.

    The aim, I suspect, is to guarantee two Tory seats in Brighton, Hove and Lewes. Simon Kirby will have taken some comfort. Mike Weatherley must be relieved, or is he? What if Caroline Lucas decided not to stand in Brighton Pavilion and Hove but chose, rather, to stand in Brighton and Hove North? She could win it given that she polls well in Withdene, Patcham and Hollingdean and Stanmer, and she could well attract lots of support in some of the current Hove seats. But then again so could another Green candidate, if the Greens choose their candidate with care.”

  17. On balance, I think Labour will take Hove and Brighton Kemptown with ease. I doubt that it will be able to unseat Caroline Lucas unless it goes on the offensive and picks a liberal-lefty, wishy-washy person who could attract those ‘we want an alternative’, ‘greeny’ types. I suspect Purma Sen is the frontrunner.

  18. ‘On balance, I think Labour will take Hove and Brighton Kemptown with ease.’

    I think Hove is a more likely Labour gain than Kemptown to be honest – but I’d say both are in balance and such a prediction with an election two years away is premature

    On Van Fleet’s point about the Greens – they are, much like the Lib Dems were, a left-of-centre, middle class alternative to Labour, and such parties tend to do much better with left-leaning arty university types and professionals with a social conscience, than the traditional working classes

    Its no coincidence that their best seat in the country – this one – is also one of the Lib Dems worst

  19. Tim, why do you think that Hove is an easier gain for Labour than Brighton Kemptown? Not saying you’re wrong. Just curious to know your reasons for why you think that will be the case.

  20. ‘Tim, why do you think that Hove is an easier gain for Labour than Brighton Kemptown?’

    Mainly because Kemptown has more WWC – who increasingly vote Conservative – and elderly voters in it

    Of course Hove has both WWC and elderly voters amongst its electorate, – look how well the Tories in wotking class Hangleton in 2010 – but it’s all contained within the city boundaries, whereas Kemptown has retirement seaside towns like Saltdean and Peacehaven – which are staunchly Conservative

    And also because Simon Kirby seems to be held in higher regard than Mike Wetherley, who has been very low profile, since his election

    Hove is more affluent – and there are plenty of affluent voters who do vote Tory – such as round Hove Park – but there are also plenty who don’t – Brunswick & Adelaide, Goldsmid area

    Thus I’d have Hove down as an easier gain than Kemptown – although if I were a Labour supporter I wouldn’t be overly confident of winning either

  21. Well an obvious possible explanation is that Kemptown also includes a big chunk of Lewes all the way down to Peacehaven, where the Tories must poll quite well.

    Hove is presumably more tightly drawn and urban.

    I was surprised the Tories didn’t do much better in Kemptown last time.

  22. Kemptown is a constituency where there are large chunks which are hopeless for either of the 2 main parties. Thus, I tend to think that while it exists in its current form it will be quite a low swing seat. The Tories are very weak in the areas closest to central Brighton, and are also a long way behind Labour in Moulsecoombe & those parts of the former Tenantry ward which remain in the constituency. They aren’t much better off in East Brighton either. On the other hand, Labour are a long way behind in Rottingdean Coastal ward (which contains other areas as well as Rottingdean), E Saltdean & Telscombe Cliffs. The outcome will depend on Labour keeping to a minimum the Tory lead in Peacehaven & Woodingdean – the Tories will be ahead in these areas but not by as much as the areas I mentioned above. I am not the most grossly optimistic Labour chap here but I’d personally be surprised at a Conservative survival in either seat despite Labour’s lacklustre performance in the last city council election.

  23. In 1997 Brighton Kempton had a notional 1992 Conservative majority of over 10000.

    The boundary changes not only added a large part of East Sussex but transferred traditional Labour ward near the town centre to Pavilion.

    Of the remaining areas, Rottendean is similar to Peacehaven but much of the rest of the constituency may have become less Tory. No question about it, Labour would have retained the pre-1997 Kempton by some 5000 – 6000 votes (perhaps more).

  24. Why is that any of a surprise. Hove had a 12000 Con majority in 1997 and on similar boundaries only a tiny Con majority in 2010. The Tories lost a huge amount of support in Brighton and Hove in the 1980s and 1990s which has either died off or moved away, never to return. The question is whether the non-Brighton bits of Kemptown will also drift to Labour over the longer term making it a safeish Labour seat.

  25. Hove had a 12000 Con majority in *1992*

  26. The Tory vote in Hove declined from 59% in 1987 to 49% in 1992, partly due to an independent Conservative saving his deposit. So the 1997 result was even worse for the Tories than the figures suggest.

  27. ‘Of the remaining areas, Rottendean is similar to Peacehaven but much of the rest of the constituency may have become less Tory.’

    Politically they might be similar but Rottingdean is a fairly genteel, smart and picturesque coastal town whereas Peacehaven is a morbidly depressing, run-down dump

    What they do have in common is a dispropprtionate amount of Tory-vitring elderly voters. I’d suggest that any similarties end there

  28. The most obvious link apart from the rather elderly age profile is the fact that they are also both heavily owner-occupied areas. Peacehaven may not be as pleasant as Rottingdean but it still has demographics which are clearly stereotypically Tory ones. The 3 wards which make up Peacehaven on Lewes district council actually gave Labour a slight plurality of the votes in the 1995 local elections, but that was obviously exceptional and it would take a truly gruesome night for the Tories for that to happen again. Having said that, the recent UKIP success there – perhaps not surprising given its character – is also pretty gruesome for the Tories.

  29. ‘The most obvious link apart from the rather elderly age profile is the fact that they are also both heavily owner-occupied areas.’

    Good point Barnaby – in stark contrast to Brighton & Hove obviously which has a relatively low proportion of owner-occupied households

  30. Thanks for the insight, guys. I had forgotten that Brighton Kemptown included a chunk of Lewes district. Although Labour has a decent chance of gaining these two seats, neither of them seem as likely Hastings and Rye which must surely be the party’s best prospect of a gain in the whole SE region especially with their success in local elections there recently.

  31. I doubt that Labour will take this seat from Lucas. Of all the Brighton seats, this has to be the one with the clearest outcome. There were a lot of dirty tactics here last time (all the “vote green, get tory” and “vote green, get labour” rubbish). As people know Caroline can win here, they are more likely to back her. Expect to see her majority increase.

    GRN: Up (probably to around 40%)
    LAB: Pretty much stagnant, will go up to 3% either way
    CON: Down big time
    LIB DEM: Down big time
    UKIP: Up significantly, but behind Greens and Labour for sure

  32. ‘UKIP: Up significantly, but behind Greens and Labour for sure’

    I’m not so sure UKIP will be up significantly

    Of all the seats in the South East this has to be the least likeliest for a strong UKIP showing

    Even if their bubble hasn’t burst by the time we go to the polls in 2015, I still don’t see UKIP making any real headway in Brighton & Hove, and certainly not in this seat

  33. UKIP will do poorly here and in all likelihood will be behind the Tories as well. 10% would be a good showing for them. I agree that this has got to be the weakest UKIP seat in the South East.

  34. Keeping a deposit here would be a suprise for UKIP.

    I see labour down more than the tories here with many going green. The tories should retain a decent-ish core vote.

  35. Maybe

    Green 45
    Labour 24
    Tory 21
    LD 6
    UKIP 4

  36. I think that is plausible

  37. I think that Caroline Lucas’ very high potential personal vote will ensure a Green hold, despite the unpopularity with the council; however, even I wouldn’t have predicted a Green vote as high as 45. That’s making me smile! 😀

  38. I think a lot will come down to who Labour select – if they go for a London-based lawyer, I think the “local” card will get played very effectively.

  39. I would not be surprised by a Green majority in excess of 20%. This constitiuency is its own little world and (unlike the other 2 B & H constituencies will be less effected by a national swing).

  40. ‘I would not be surprised by a Green majority in excess of 20%.’

    i’d be shocked if it were as high as that – especially with current polls suggesting a labour gain

    but i agree that with a strong personal vote – which will include plenty of people who would otherwise vote lib dem or labour – lucas probably is now the favourite to hold on in 2015

    the other two brighton & hove seats are much more in the balance

  41. does windsofchange vote green

  42. Yes, I support the Greens.

  43. I think a fairly heavy swing from LD to Green is a possibility in this seat, so there could be a result something like this:

    Green: 37% (+6%)
    Lab: 35% (+6%)
    Con: 17% (-7%)
    LD: 6% (-8%)
    UKIP: 5% (+3%)

    You may also get an effect where once Tory voters realise they don’t have any chance of winning the seat (which wasn’t entirely the case in 2010 because some of them may have thought they might come through the middle) they may switch to UKIP.

  44. Also, there may be a feeling that its good to have a green voice in parliament and people may want to see that retained even though they may not necessarily be green themselves.

    As Caroline Lucas is to the left of Labour, its not as if she poses any threat to Labour by supporting a Tory government in the case of a close finish

  45. I totally agree with Dalek’s comment – I don’t think you can even start to apply national swings to this seat.

  46. Would you vote Lucas agaisnt Berger Mike?

  47. Until this bin strike, I think a Green-win here was close to a dead-cert. BUT this will have really undermined their credibility amongst politically active lefties, which are important in places like Brighton because it undermines their left-wing credentials. It will have also dented the Greens amongst ‘normal’ voters who’ve had their rubbish pile up on the street.

    Fascinating to see if people vote against a tarnished Green brand or for a respected Lucas brand.

  48. I plead the second amendment……:)

  49. What – do you want to shoot her? lol

  50. Or is it the fifth. My response would get me thrown out of the Labour party…..

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