2015 Result:
Conservative: 20846 (39.9%)
Labour: 22082 (42.3%)
Lib Dem: 1861 (3.6%)
Green: 3569 (6.8%)
UKIP: 3265 (6.3%)
TUSC: 144 (0.3%)
Loony: 125 (0.2%)
Independent: 322 (0.6%)
MAJORITY: 1236 (2.4%)

Category: Marginal Labour seat

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

Main population centres: Hove, Portslade.

Profile: Hove forms part of a conurbation with Brighton and has the reputation of being quieter and more genteel than its neighbour, though areas like Brunswick are actually rather bohemian. As a South coast retirement area the seat previously had one of the highest proportions of pensioners, but this has dropped sharply in more recent years. The constituency also includes Portslade Village and Portslade-on-Sea - the industrial centre of Brighton & Hove and one of the staunchest Labour areas in the city.

Politics: With its previous reputation as a genteel retirement town Hove was one of the more surprising Labour gains in their 1997 landslide - in the 1970s and 1980s this had been a monumentally safe Tory seat, with the party topping 60% of the vote in 1983. It is now a far tighter marginal - Labour held it narrowly in 2005, the Conservatives took it in 2010, Labour regained it in 2015.

Current MP
PETER KYLE (Labour) Educated at University of Sussex. Former charity chief executive. First elected as MP for Hove in 2015.
Past Results
Con: 18294 (37%)
Lab: 16426 (33%)
LDem: 11240 (23%)
GRN: 2568 (5%)
Oth: 1291 (3%)
MAJ: 1868 (4%)
Con: 16366 (37%)
Lab: 16786 (37%)
LDem: 8002 (18%)
GRN: 2575 (6%)
Oth: 1067 (2%)
MAJ: 420 (1%)
Con: 16082 (38%)
Lab: 19253 (46%)
LDem: 3823 (9%)
GRN: 1369 (3%)
Oth: 1461 (3%)
MAJ: 3171 (8%)
Con: 17499 (36%)
Lab: 21458 (45%)
LDem: 4645 (10%)
Oth: 2588 (5%)
MAJ: 3959 (8%)

*There were boundary changes after 2005

2015 Candidates
GRAHAM COX (Conservative) Born Portslade. Former police superintendent. Brighton and Hove councillor 2011-2015.
PETER KYLE (Labour) Educated at University of Sussex. Charity chief executive.
PETER LAMBELL (Liberal Democrat) Educated at Reigate Grammar and Oxford Brookes University. Business analyst. Surrey councillor 2009-2013. Contested Croydon Central 2010.
KEVIN SMITH (UKIP) Born India. Businessman.
CHRISTOPHER HAWTREE (Green) Freelance writer. Brighton and Hove councillor since 2011.
JENNY BARNARD-LANGSTON (Independent) Contested Canterbury 2005 for the Liberal Democrats.
DAVE HILL (TUSC) Born 1945. Educated at Westlain Grammar School and Manchester University. Professor. Brighton councillor 1975-1976, 1979-1983 for Labour, East Sussex councillor 1981-1989 for Labour. Contested Brighton Pavilion 1979, 1987 for Labour, Brighton Kemptown 2010 for TUSC.
DAME DIXON (Loony) , real name Jon Dixon. Actor and director.
Comments - 362 Responses on “Hove”
  1. I thought Rod Liddle was one of those who had moved from the left to the right. I’m always amazed by the journalists from Spiked who consider themselves left libertarians but are on crusade against any contemporary left wing cause

    The SDP were mostly old right labour ministers that had spent the 70s supporting various union causes like the exploitation of Asian women in London textiles in the case of Shirley Williams or nationalising various industries like Aerospace in the case of Roy Jenkins. They weren’t in favour of widespread nationalisation advocated by the bennite left and Labour’s 83 manifesto but public ownership where it was seen as practical was not opposed.

    Nowadays advocating anything remotely to do with public ownership us responded to with ‘marxist’ or ‘taking us back to the 70s’. Ed Miliband couldn’t even commit to anything more than public owned enterprise bidding on rail franchises.

    Tbf clearly free market solutions are now being parked in favour of a more state interventionist approach. Theresa May introduced an energy freeze which the mail called ‘marxist’ when Ed introduced it. Tories have lifted the borrowing cap and committed to borrowing billions. Which is a massive departure when every spending commitment had to be costed and the Greens got hammered for their housing and welfare policies for not costing them. Even in 2017 Labour committed to a balanced budget. A mixture of brexit, austerity exhaustion and covid has basically forced this government to think different

  2. Franchise rail is now dead and if we do see private rail again it will be a lateral privitisation of the railways which sounds like state directed privatisation rather than market forces

  3. The railways have essentially gone back into public ownership but via the back door- which is perhaps odd as it’s one of those issues which had widespread public support and you would have thought any government would have wanted to take credit from it – even a government committed to free markets and a private economy

    Liddle is exactly as you describe in your first paragraph -although he still makes a point not telling people he’s from the Left – which couldn’t be less true.

  4. Yes the end to franchise rail and by extension the wholesale entry of the railways back into the public sector is not only the most widespread nationalisation of an industry since maybe Aerospace but its been the quietest one ever. The fact Grant Shapps found something to criticise LNER for on the day it took over despite being an MP of the governing party that made that decision tells you all you need to know about how much tories despise this

  5. Tim, I think your categorisation of people as “alt right” is way off. Anyone who makes such broad generalisations could be seen as “far left”. He’s hard to pigeonhole, but I think many would just see him as a conservative. He was a longtime Labour member – I’m surprised he was still in the party until he got thrown out a few years ago. He does like to push people’s buttons and make controversial remarks, but that’s not unusual for his breed of tabloid-style columnists. Neither Matthew Goodwin nor Rod Liddle are “alt right” – that’s an interpretation by someone whose politics lie at the opposite end to theirs. Liddle is perhaps on the right when it comes to many issues, but so are many former Labour supporters.

    I think Spiked are basically contrarian – they tend to come up with seemingly arbitrary alternative views, but their main ideology is railing against what they see as political correctness, and any attempts to clamp down on ‘free speech’.

    I commented on Shirley Williams’ death in the Stevenage thread – alas, I’m the only one who has, the site being a bit quieter these days.

  6. Whilst Liddle’s behaviour is perhaps typical of the tabloid type of journalist he is – there’s no denying he’s part of the alt right movement, as is Patrick O’Flynn, his SDP counterpart. Same with Goodwin although he’s lost a huge amount of credibility after getting it so wrong in 2017.

    Huge political figure Shirley Williams. I was also surprised and sadenned to hear that Peter Ainsworth, who had also been my MP many years back, had also passed away. I met him on several occasions – thoroughly decent chap despite being a one-time Wandsworth councillor.

    First I heard it it was from Boris on PMQs today

  7. No, Liddle is *not* part of the “alt right movement” – see the Wikipedia article on the subject, which says alt right “refers to a loosely connected far-right, white nationalist movement.”
    Those are not Liddle or o’Flynn, except in the eyes of the hardcore liberal/left – which evidently includes you, Tim. It’s a completely skewed perception. You might disagree with them and find their views distasteful. But it’s a huge leap to call them “alt right”, which is more or less fascist or neo-N*zi.

    I only heard about Peter Ainsworth on BBC Radio London news – I think sadly most retired MPs barely get a mention when they die. Ian Gibson, a Blair era Labour MP, has also died recently. Although Ainsworth wasn’t that old. And I’m not sure what’s wrong with being a Wandsworth councillor?!

  8. You should read Liddle’s column in the Sunday Times forever defending it not outright praising bigots, tax cheats and criminal with constant personal sniping of whichever figure of the liberal elite he has it in for that week. It’s thoroughly nasty stuff – the sort of shit you would expect from the likes of Katie Hopkins, Nick Griffin or Tommy Robinson

    It reads like pretty standard alt-right stuff to me.

    As for the Ainsworth thing, you’re probably too young to remember but Wandsworth councillors in the 1980s/90s had a reputation of being on the Thatcherite Right – although Ainsworth himself was from the moderate wing of the party.

  9. If his column was on a par with the likes of Griffin, Hopkins or Robinson, the Times, your paper of choice, wouldn’t employ Liddle. But if you dislike him that much, you don’t have to pay his wages by buying the newspaper.

    I had a feeling you meant something like that about Ainsworth – I knew Wandsworth Council got rid of a lot of social housing to benefit the Tory vote. As I’ve read elsewhere, they gerrymandered the electorate – but unlike Westminster Council at the time, had the sense to do it legally. Possibly a Ken Livingstone quote.

  10. Tim, as with everywhere, the Wandsworth Conservatives are a mixed bunch. Yes, Christopher Chope was once a councillor there, and he initiated council housing sales before it became a party policy. So was Lucy Allan (now MP for Telford). They are certainly from the Right, as was Edward Lister, a former leader and now one of Boris’s closest advisers. However, most Wandsworth councillors are among the most moderate of Tories in the country. Certainly those I knew when I was an active member of the Battersea Association. I would class my local ward councillors when I lived there in that category (I am not going to name them), as was Kim Caddy, the losing candidate in 2019. I only met one person who voted for Brexit, and I know I was not the only member who voted Liberal Democrat in the European election in 2019.

    And while the council did sell off council housing, they were pretty radical in providing new homes, being pioneers of the Hidden Homes initiative, converting redundant spaces on estates such as garages into new homes.

  11. The main thing about Wandsworth council of course was that they had the lowest council tax rates in the country and I knew plenty of labour voters who would vote Tory locally for that very reason. Probably explains why in the mid 90s it was one of the handful or councils they held nationwide, despite going on to loose all Wandsworth seats at the general election to Labour.

  12. Mike Weatherley, who held this seat for the Tories during the coalition government, has died.

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