The BBC have commissioned a very rare creature – a local government voting intention poll for a single council, in this case a ComRes poll of Brighton and Hove. The reason, naturally enough, is because of Brighton’s status as being the only Green party council in the country. The poll does not bode well for it remaining that way – it shows the Green party down by about 10 points since the local elections in 2011, Labour up by about 7 points. The figures I have for the 2011 vote in Brighton & Hove are slightly different from those used by the BBC, probably due to dealing with multi-member seats differently, but either way it doesn’t show the Greens doing well. Of course, just as Westminster polls are snapshots of the current position, not predictions of what will happen when the election does roll round, the same applies to local elections.

The poll did NOT ask how people in Brighton and Hove would vote at a general election, so we can’t conclude from it whether or not Caroline Lucas is in trouble of losing her own seat.

Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll is out today and has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 37%, LDEM 14%, UKIP 8%. The three point lead is at the lower end of Populus’s typical range, but perfectly explicable by the normal margin of error. Full tabs are here

175 Responses to “ComRes Brighton poll and latest Populus polling”

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  1. LD on 5% 1% in the 45-54 Age Group now that’s really scary territory.

  2. I swear I’m first. :-)

  3. I noticed that in or discussion on UNS that Brighton would go Labour.

  4. Just came in from the airport and thought I would beat everyone. Ken is a sly competitor.

  5. These figures are very much in line with the Ashcroft polling of marginal seats in September, which indicated all three top 30 targets in the city (Hove – Tory, Pavilion – Green and Kemptown – Tory) would fall to Labour.

    The poll also mirrors the 11% swing from Green to Labour seen in a council by-election is a previously safe Green ward in Caroline Lucas’s constituency in July., some ten times the swing needed to overcome her small majority.

    Even if her personal vote were to cancel out the damage done to Green support, the 10% increase in the Labour vote shown in all polls nationally would be enough to unseat her. Many of course will make no distinction between her and her colleagues running the council.

  6. 8

  7. “The BBC have commissioned a very rare creature”

    Wouldn’t be impartiality by any chance? ;-)

  8. Maybe the Greens are slumping in the polls due to the fuel price hikes. A lot of the increases are attributed to Green levy initiatives and some people might be blaming the Windmill camper van brigades!!

  9. @Allan Christie

    I am informed, repeatedly, over the last couple of days that for the BBC ‘impartial’ means ‘following the Daily Telegraph’s editorial line under threat of Government intervention’

    I really should stop reading that rag when I visit my parents.

  10. The greens are slumping in Brighton because they are not very good at running a Council. Ask the residents about their rubbish collection!

  11. Co-Op Bank’s proposed solution to it’s funding black hole has collapsed in face of opposition from Bond Holders.

    Peston reports Co-Op Group will cede control of the Bank to the bondholders when it floats.

    What price Labour’s friendly banking arrangements then ?


    Is there a Green method of collecting rubbish that is different from a Labour method?

  13. Oldnat,

    Yeah – they don’t do it.

  14. Oldnat – um yes, if I recall correctly it was “get into a big industrial dispute with your refuse collectors and end up not doing it at all”

  15. There are few more effective ways to lose a closely-fought council than to mess up bin collections!

  16. Colin;
    The chairman of the Co-op claims the Group will retain effective control of the bank.
    I bank with the Co-op, I’m a member of the Co-operative Party and I do business with the Bank on a consultancy basis.
    But I feel for the employees, they are very proud to work for the Co-op and rightly so.
    What I don’t understand is why the Co-op group won’t bail out the bank, it’s a small part of the whole and the Group is cash rich.

  17. Anthony

    In that case, I’m surprised the VI is still so high!

    (btw Shouldn’t we have a Brighton image at the top of the thread, so that we know its safe to discuss Brighton rubbish? :-) )

  18. A little Brighton Pavilion? It would be rather nice, albeit, there probably aren’t enough Brighton threads to justify it.

  19. TROTS57

    There seems some dispute on the likely outcome then.Reports I read say the Parent Group will end up with 30% of the equity.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the employees, and also about the failure of the Group to divert funds.
    It was, after all ,the Parent Company which sat back & watch it’s Banking arm managers screw the business & it’s ethos completely with the ill fated takeover of Britannia.

  20. Going to Brighton on Thursday to see the new Bill Bailey show.
    I hear he has some good LibDem jokes-maybe some Green Party ones too will appear?

  21. TROTS57

    ” the Group is cash rich”

    I’m not surprised. My last divi payout was about the size of the SDA vote in the Govan local by election!

  22. @ OLDNAT

    This might explain a) the answer to your question and b) why the Greens vi has dropped so much:


    Thanks. I note that was back in May – I presume something has been settled by now?

  24. AW……I was just demoted to second place on this thread, having established a commanding lead, and having received a grudging compliment from Howard. Is this some form of retrospective penalty ? Points deduction ? I need to know because I’m a sensitive soul. :-)

  25. OLDNAT

    Yes the dispute was finally settled – but not until 23 July.

  26. The Greens messing up the bin collections and their MP (who has no power over the council) losing her seat over it is why party politics is rubbish (pardon the pun) in local government.

    A dispute with refuse collectors leading to bin collections being stopped is the sort of thing that could happen under a Conservative council (and did in the 1970s).

    To assign blame to the Greens for it is to say that it’s somehow their party’s fault that their councillors are incompetent. Really though, a council’s responsibilities are basically:

    – Collect bins
    – Clean up rubbish
    – Make sure traffic’s at an acceptable level and there’s enough parking and buses
    – Planning permission

    Of those, only the latter two are really affected by ideological considerations. Of course what’s done with collected rubbish will vary, but that doesn’t really affect residents in a huge way.

    I’m no great fan of the Greens, but it seems to me that it’s unfair to blame a party’s national representative for the actions of a bunch of nobodies in the council offices.

    I’d quite like a return to the majority of councillors being independents, elected to serve a local community rather than trying to act as cheerleaders for their national parties.

    It has practical issues as well, mainly to do with avoiding talking about local issues – if you have solutions for local issues and are a bit of a lefty, but you live in, say, Reigate, it becomes easier to just make the right Conservative noises and become their candidate than to actually put your ideas to local people and win an argument.

  27. Ken
    Give me a break it makes a change for my posts not to be in moderation until the end of time!


    ” it seems to me that it’s unfair to blame a party’s national representative for the actions of a bunch of nobodies in the council offices.”

    True. But parties deliberately conflate anything they can to gather votes. The Glenrothes by-election was dominated by attacks on the then SNP led Fife council. In Thursday’s Dunfermline by election, the SNP seem to be reciprocating by focussing on the current Labour-led Fife council.

  29. @ Trots57, Colin

    RE: Co-op bank, there are rumoured to be 2 reasons why the Group will not re-capitalise the bank.

    1. The BOE (Treasury) won’t let them; &/or
    2. It’s not within the existing powers of the Co-op Group charter to do it.

    I will try to nail down what the actual reason is & will let you know when/if I do.

  30. The actual Pavilion seat is virtually everything you associate with Brighton. Not sure how that would help the Greens on the council, but I think it’ll be plenty to help Caroline Lucas hold on in 2015. She distanced herself from the local party’s stance on bin collectors this summer.

    Kemptown is basically the gay quarter tacked onto several Labour and Tory leaning areas outside of the main town (includes a few Peacehaven wards outside of B&H).

  31. Why are pollsters having so much of a problem identifying the true level of UKIP support ? One poll has UKIP on 17% and another 8%. This is a massive difference, which must need looking at. From what I can see, UKIP are on a average of 11% across the polls.

  32. Mr N.

    It wasn’t just that the Greens messed up bin collection. There are other factors at play here and much more political than simply the way rubbish collection is organised.

    The first is that this is the only Green council in the country, so what they do is very important in seeing what they do when they are in power. It is also the case that the only Green MP represents Brighton as well, so even if she has no direct say in Council affairs, the feeling is (rightly or wrongly) that she must have some influence with the local party and therefore with the Councillors.

    The second is that, in spite of their rhetoric and left sounding politics, the dispute arose as a result of their proposal to cut wages of council workers by £4000 p.a. Attacking the pay and conditions of low paid council workers is not what would be expected of a Green council, especially by those who voted for them.

  33. The GMB in Brighton are supporting a group called ‘Unchain the Brighton Motorist’.

  34. STEVE…………….I concede my victory to you, on compassionate grounds, I too have suffered the privations of the naughty step. :-)

  35. As far as the Green Party in Brighton is concerned, surely the fact that their MP is currently on bail for a criminal offence, doesn’t help their image……….!

  36. @ Ken

    It probably does help.

  37. Amber


  38. I think we all would hope that in 2015, as well as Caroline Lucas, also Nigel Farage gets a seat. It won’t happen though IMO as long as we have this system of representation.

    I often look at an MP’s constituency when they are in the news and also often, it enrages me that some young wet behind the ears college type has been parachuted into such seats. It’s the same in both main parties and is also detectable in my lot’s selections.

  39. Great news on the nuclear deal today. It’s actually a very clever deal. We don’t have £16bn for a desperately needed new major nuclear plant for secure base load elec, so we cut a deal for private finance with a guaranteed high strike price. I think it’s a brilliant move, and will prove to be even better looking back in 10 years time. Apparently other cash strapped countries are looking very carefully at this deal as a way of getting expensive capital infrastructure projects under way in the energy industry.

  40. AMBER / OLDNAT……………Tom Harris, Labour MP for Glasgow South, alleged that she did it to get arrested, and that it was, ‘ pure self promotion’ not impressed your Tom.

  41. “I think we all would hope that in 2015, as well as Caroline Lucas, also Nigel Farage gets a seat. …”

    I for one hope he doesn’t.

  42. I do wonder what Farage would be like in parliament. I get the impression of a late-era David Owen, going on sanctimoniously and looking ridiculous with his three or four MPs.

  43. ““The BBC have commissioned a very rare creature”

    Wouldn’t be impartiality by any chance? ;-) ”

    I can see by the odd smilie thing that the above is dead funny: what does it actually mean?

  44. KEN

    Fair enough. I’m not very impressed with “Amber’s Tom” either. :-)

  45. @Rich

    Heard of PFI/PPP The same reasons were used. “We can’t possibly afford to build a hospital/finance transport improvements. I know lets call in the private sector. They can put some initial money in and we can part them back at a whacking great premium for 40 years!”

    Yes, a masterstroke. History teaches us that we learn nothing from history. Mainly because we chose not to do so.

  46. Re Nuclear

    While Martin McAdam CEO of Marine Power is hardly a disinterested commentator, he has at least looked at the “small print” (which, I imagine, only a few on here like Alec are qualified to comment on).

  47. OLDNAT………. ‘ Your Tom ‘ in the generic sense, you Scots ! :-)

  48. KEN

    I bet you had to think for a bit before you chose the term “generic”. :-)

    I’m sure that you wouldn’t have been so crass as to mean by it “without individual character or distinctive characteristics”.

  49. @ RAF

    Agree completely- if EDF can take the ‘risk’ then why can’t we as a country? Insurance policies carry a premium and this is all this appears to be. I don’t think I’m being partisan as this seems to be the policy of both main parties (as least it was in the past with New Labour anyway).

  50. Brighton is not the only place where seemingly their strange mix of environmentalism and self-interest has landed them in trouble.

    Here in Bristol the newly elected Green Party leader (who is a City Councillor) has just decided it would be a good idea to also set up a Ltd Company to JR planning permission consent for a supermarket …and then become a director of this non-trading company with the sole intention of obtaining a protective court cost order, thus limiting their damages to £10,000. All while costing her own Council she serves potentially £100,000s to defend the JR. Meanwhile the tax payers could have to pick up all her company court costs above £10,000 as well in the event of a likely JR failure.

    On top of all this, the Greens have not chosen well in making enemies on a large scale …… the redevelopment site is Bristol Rovers FC, who will use the money to build a new stadium with a new car park for the University of the West of England, which in turn releases land to build hundreds of new houses in North Bristol.

    So all progress has been halted temporally in what has been called a local economic miracle.

    The latest twist to the saga …….


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