The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments will shortly be closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.


2010 Results:
Conservative: 18294 (36.72%)
Labour: 16426 (32.97%)
Liberal Democrat: 11240 (22.56%)
UKIP: 1206 (2.42%)
Green: 2568 (5.15%)
Independent: 85 (0.17%)
Majority: 1868 (3.75%)

Notional 2005 Results:
Labour: 16829 (37.1%)
Conservative: 16378 (36.1%)
Liberal Democrat: 8074 (17.8%)
Green: 3008 (6.6%)
Other: 1072 (2.4%)
Majority: 450 (1%)

Actual 2005 result
Conservative: 16366 (36.5%)
Labour: 16786 (37.5%)
Liberal Democrat: 8002 (17.9%)
Green: 2575 (5.7%)
UKIP: 575 (1.3%)
Other: 492 (1.1%)
Majority: 420 (0.9%)

2001 Result
Conservative: 16082 (38.3%)
Labour: 19253 (45.9%)
Liberal Democrat: 3823 (9.1%)
UKIP: 358 (0.9%)
Green: 1369 (3.3%)
Other: 1103 (2.6%)
Majority: 3171 (7.6%)

1997 Result
Conservative: 17499 (36.4%)
Labour: 21458 (44.6%)
Liberal Democrat: 4645 (9.7%)
Referendum: 1931 (4%)
Other: 2588 (5.4%)
Majority: 3959 (8.2%)

Boundary changes: Almost insignificant, Hove gains a few hundred voters from the tidying up of the boundary with Brighton Pavilion to match slight changes in the ward boundaries.

Profile: Hove forms part of a conurbation with Brighton, in 2000 Brighton & Hove achieved city status. Hove has a 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 has one of the highest proportions of pensioners. 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.

portraitCurrent MP: Mike Weatherley (Conservative) born 1957. Finance Director. Crawley Borough councillor 2006-2007. Contested Brighton Pavilion 2005, Barking 2001.

2010 election candidates:
portraitMike Weatherley (Conservative) born 1957. Finance Director. Crawley Borough councillor 2006-2007. Contested Brighton Pavilion 2005, Barking 2001.
portraitCelia Barlow(Labour) born 1955, Cardiff. Educated at Cambridge University. Worked as a BBC journalist, freelancer and college lecturer prior to her election in 2005 (more information at They work for you)
portraitPaul Elgood (Liberal Democrat) Brighton and Hove councillor. Contested Worthing East and Shoreham 2001, Hove 2005.
portraitIan Davey (Green) Brighton and Hove councillor. Former IT consultant. Runs a social enterprise promoting cycling.
portraitPaul Perrin (UKIP) Born 1965. Director of IT consultancy.
portraitBrian Ralfe (Independent)

2001 Census Demographics

Total 2001 Population: 92230
Male: 48%
Female: 52%
Under 18: 18.6%
Over 60: 22.7%
Born outside UK: 11.2%
White: 94%
Black: 0.8%
Asian: 1.9%
Mixed: 2.1%
Other: 1.2%
Christian: 61.7%
Hindu: 0.6%
Jewish: 2.3%
Muslim: 1.7%
Full time students: 4.8%
Graduates 16-74: 27.5%
No Qualifications 16-74: 21.9%
Owner-Occupied: 64.6%
Social Housing: 11% (Council: 7%, Housing Ass.: 4%)
Privately Rented: 21.5%
Homes without central heating and/or private bathroom: 12.8%

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at

191 Responses to “Hove”

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  1. Or alternatively, there could be scope for Labour to squeeze the Tory vote as the moderate alternmative to the rabid left wing Green Party. Why on earth would any Tory voter that understands anything about the candidates want to back someone of such extreme left wing, anti-Tory values views as the Green Party? You might as well go the whole hog and vote for George Galloway!

  2. I agree. As a right of centre voter, I personally could envisage one of the few circumstances where I might countenance voting Labour as being to prevent a likely victory by a hard left candidate, whether that be Galloway in Tower Hamlets or Lucas here

  3. I know what you mean Shaun, but it has been shown that the Greens sometimes can appeal to people who have previously backed the Tories. Their (partial) win in Hove Central ward shows that, and I remember well that in their annus mirabilis of 1989 a lot of their votes in the Euro-elections that year came from former Tories. They can do this because, although they have policies on many issues which are seen as left-wing, they are not an avowedly socialist party and can at times appeal, at least in the short term, to anti-Labour voters.

  4. ‘and I remember well that in their annus mirabilis of 1989 a lot of their votes in the Euro-elections that year came from former Tories.’

    I thought the bulk of their vote from that election came from people who voted for Lib/SDP Alliance in the general elections of 1983 and 87

    Your point stands though

    I remember in my school election in 1992 (an independent school in Surrey so staunchly Tory) the Greens comfortably beat Labour into third place and the majority of their backers certainly weren’t socialists

    So I’d imagine the majority of people who backed them in that election were non-socialist middle class progressives

  5. It would appear then that the Greens are currently in a position where they are benefiting from widespread ignorance among the electorate as to the detail of their policy platform. The more success they achieve the less likely it will be that they are able to enjoy that kind of advantage; of being seen as an anti-establishment, none of the above party.

    In all likelihood they will then find that in the long term there is quite a low ceiling on their potential level of support, particularly when Labour are in opposition and there is a dearth of disillusioned lefty votes looking for a home. That is unless they are prepared to switch to a more mainstream set of policies.

  6. Recent discussions on this thread were started by
    “brighton central” on July 13th “Not calling for a Green win yet but they are building a base and it could easily be the No 2 Green target in England next time.”

    While that looks unrealistic on the likely boundary changes (adding Regency Ward), it provoked me to see if there was ANY way the Boundary Commission could divide the 10 Green-held (or part-held) wards between two constituencies. I can’t find any way of doing it with contiguous constituencies, without breaking the rules or BC ways of working (not splitting wards, not crossing county boundaries unecessarily). I managed to get to 5 in a ‘Costal’ constituency (all the costal wards from Rottingdean Coastal to Wish, plus Goldsmid), but the remaining Hove wards plus Preston P, Hanover & EG, St P &NL and Withdean would have enough voters for a ‘B&H North West’, leaving Hollingdean & S (and Patcham) to be in a ‘B&H NE’ which would combine with part of the current Lewes constituency. I suspect if that nightmare scenario came about for the Green Party, efforts would be concentrated on the ‘NW’ constituency, not the ‘Coastal’ one which contains more Green-held wards, and more Green councillors.

    As for more recent discussions, it seem that in recent decades there are about 20-25% of voters nationally who won’t vote either Labour or Tory, but who could vote for Greens, LibDems or UKIP depending on the circumstances etc. LibDems (and Greens in Brighton Pavilion) have persuaded more than that 20-25% to vote for them in particular constituencies, of course.

    As for the idea that support for the Green Party comes from ignorance of its policies, that might have been true in 1989 (and might explain the quick drop in support after the Euro Election) but is far less likely to be true now, and is not likely to be true in Brighton and Hove, where the party has had good opportunities to tell the voters about its policies, and other parties have had plenty of opportunity to attack those policies.

  7. Ben, the fact that in your post you characterise the potential Green vote as being not Tory or Labour surely backs up my assertion that the Greens are currently plying their trade by fishing in the pool of anti-establishment voters. Surely it is the case that the more success the Greens have, and certainly the more councils they are involved in running, the less they will be able to play the “whatever bad thing those in power are doing is nowt to do with us” card.

    Re the level of knowledge that the electorate have of the detail of Green policies, I would have to bow to the judgement of those who live in an area where the Greens are active as to whether the party is particularly forthocoming in its campaigns as to the detail of its manifesto. However, on reading the Green manifesto I (admittedly as a Tory), get the impression that the party is pretty left wing. That I would suggest places a pretty low ceiling on the party’s potential level of support in 21st century Britain.

  8. Certainly when I’ve heard Green spokespersons on the media the policies seem rather to the left of Labour.
    To pick up Barnaby’s point was n’t Goldsmid ward in Hove all Tory reperesented until the Greens won a by-election?

  9. Kieran, I don’t think the Green Party plays the “’whatever bad thing those in power are doing is nowt to do with us’ card”, except when the unpopular policy is also one that Greens would oppose anyway. The Green Party isn’t the LibDems – who oppose every bypass, except the ones their constituents want, which they then support. The Green Party isn’t about finding excuses to oppose policies that it agrees with, just because they are unpopular: if it were to try doing this, it might possibly pick up short-term votes, but it would lose activists. What gets people involved in the Green Party is idealism. Certainly the Green Party will put effort into campaigning against policies that it doesn’t like and which are also unpopular, but it also actively campaigns against nuclear power in West Cumbria.

  10. sbjme19
    Yes. iirc when elected Alex Phillips was the first Green Councillor in Hove, now there are 6

  11. No, Goldsmid was split between Labour & Conservative. However, traditionally it had been a safe Tory ward, but the ward boundary changes which hurt Labour in other parts of central Hove helped them/us in Goldsmid making it a more winnable ward, along with some further demographic change. Even when Labour took control of the soon-to-be-abolished Hove Council in 1995, the Tories held Goldsmid comfortably; Labour’s success came later.

  12. Ben Foley (because I know he would be interested)

    Hove is the latest area where Labour is to start their selection process. They have advertised it this week… I don’t know the deadlines as they are on the members only part of Labour website (maybe Barnaby can check)

    WIll Celia Barlow try again?

  13. The details and dates for the Hove selection are as follows:

    Hove Constituency – Open Shortlist

    Closing date for applications – Tuesday 30 August 2011 (5pm)
    Longlisting – 10 September
    Shortlisting – 16/17 September
    Selection meeting – Saturday 29 October 2011

  14. Thanks Freddie Tandy

  15. Thanks Andrea, Freddie.
    Any information/clues/informed guesses when Bedford will?

  16. Ben – Bedford is one of the 26 constituencies that have been given permission to begin their selection process. It doesn’t appear to have formally started yet – there’s not even any call for CV or expressions of interest at the moment.

    The only information available currently is that it will be an open shortlist (i.e. men and woman rather than an all woman shortlist).

  17. ‘WIll Celia Barlow try again?’

    If current polls are to be belived she’d have a good chance of winning it back

    Mike Wetherby has been extremely low profile since elected

  18. It is worth pointing out that the Greens were the only party in the most recent election to put their manifesto into print (via GreenLeaf) and to distribute this across all their target wards. No other party did this.

    The ‘election special’ GreenLeaf was a huge vote winner and, as it is in the form of a free community-style newspaper, it garners a much higher readership than other political publications.

  19. I expect some “I told you so” 🙂

    but Labour is currently selecting here the candidate for what…Brighton and Hove North?

  20. Shortlisting for the selection is due to happen today and tomorrow. I wouldn’t be surprised if the local party sought to put a hold on the selection process given the BCE proposals.

    Whilst I accept that early selections are good for helping a candidate become established and well known etc., I just can’t understand the logic in seats like this where changes were always likely. Luckily for Labour, the three seats that have selected already (MK South, Ipswich and Corby) have all survived the boundary changes, with only MK having some changes.

  21. They must have been a few sandwiches short to have started their selection process a matter of weeks before a boundary review which everyone knew was coming out this month.

  22. Swindon South and Loughborough also survived the boundary review so far

    The other selections currently taking place include Stevenage (the changes are those expected), Waveney (unchanged), Norwich South (unchanged), Harlow (current constituency + 1 new ward) Hastings & Rye (unchanged) and Worcester (unchanged)

    So almost all are OK. Brighton really screwed them though because the changes are considerable

  23. All details regarding the Hove selection process have disappeared from Labour Membersnet. I wouldn’t be surprised if this means the selection has been postponed until post final boundary review. I stress that I have not been able to verify this with anyone in Hove, so it may simply be a case that someone has mistakenly deleted the Hove page, but I would think this is unlikely.

  24. I’ve only just spotted that in Brighton & Hove as a whole Labour only gained 1% fewer votes in this year’s local elections than the Greens, and outpolled the Conservatives by 3%. This looks a lot better than the bald figures in terms of council seats suggest. There will be a by-election in the Tory ward of Westbourne in the New Year (which Labour has never won); this should prove an interesting snapshot of how things stand in Brighton & Hove at the moment.

  25. The Conservatives held on to Westbourne ward last night with a majority of 201 over Labour. The Greens who shared 2nd place in this year’s elections with Labour were 3rd a further 160 or so votes behind. There was a surprisingly large number of minor candidates polling between 13 & 36 votes, with the LDs only just ahead of these on a mere 45 votes. (The Greens polled 645).

  26. The Westbourne result was interesting. Both the Labour and Conservative vote shares increased, and there was a small swing to the Conservatives.

  27. Backs up the theory that Tory support is holding up very well against Labour in the south east.

    Probably not so much in the north, a theory we might get to test in the unlikely event of a by-election in Cannock.

  28. There wasn’t much change here (a 0.5% swing from Lab to Con) on a reasonable turnout of 34%.

    That said it’s difficult to extrapolate the Lab and Grn votes to a GE and even more difficult to predict the boundaries for this constituency.

    (The Pete Whitehead/LD plan would shore up Hove for the tories however).

  29. Interesting to read the comments about Tory voters voting Green. In 1989 the campaign was fronted by Jonathan Porritt who rather like Boris Johnson was a handy public speaker and Eton old boy. He made a number of public speeches during the campaign and was always very positive.

  30. A CAIRNS
    You state ‘There wasn’t much change here (a 0.5% swing from Lab to Con) on a reasonable turnout of 34%.’
    That is simply untrue the following was the result
    Con 1027 39.2% +0.7%
    Lab 826 31.5% +3.2%
    Green 645 24.6% +0.6%
    Lib-Dem 45 1.7% -5.5%
    UKIP 36 1.4% +1.4%
    TUSC 26 1% +1%
    EC 13 0.5% -0.7%

    Turnout 2618 35.1%
    Swing 1.3% Con to Lab

  31. Has the Labour PPC been selected?

  32. Does Cannock count as the north then? I’ve never heard anyone there describe themselves as being in the north. People in the Midlands don’t like talk of the “north/south” divide because they don’t regard themselves as being in either of those categories.

  33. Labour have never actually won the ward, though, and it will to an extent depend on whether Green voters stay Green in the national election. Brighton and Hove isn ‘t really typical of the south east though. although I agree that the Tory vote will hold up much more in the south as it almost always has – largely because many 2010 LibDems will vote Tory next time.

  34. “because many 2010 LibDems will vote Tory next time”

    Interesting. Most people don’t seem to think that will happen.

  35. I would expect Labour to regain Hove at the next election (with or without Regency ward) , due to demographic change. While I agree that the Green vote is a wild card, I can’t see a major extension beyond Caroline Lucas.

    This is a long way from the safe Conservative seat I lived in in the early 1970s. Demographic and political change is endlesly fascinating for those of us who have been around long enough to experience it.

  36. It would take a miracle for the Tories to hold this next time.

  37. Andy – in the south many LibDem voters were previously Tory. Here I think the Tories will lose the two Brighton seats they hold. but they may hold on in some other south east seats

  38. Greens have selected Christopher Hawtree as their candidate for the next general election.

  39. Any chance of a Jewish census figure for this constituency Andy? I promise I won’t ask for any more.

  40. Barnaby – I don’t mind if you want to request the figures for other seats.

    Census results – Jewish, 2001 / 2011:

    Brunswick & Adelaide: 1.5% / 1.1%
    Central Hove: 4.2% / 2.6%
    Goldsmid: 3.5% / 1.9%
    Hangleton & Knoll: 0.8% / 0.7%
    Hove Park: 4.3% / 2.8%
    North Portslade: 0.5% / 0.3%
    South Portslade: 0.8% / 0.5%
    Westbourne: 3.3% / 2.4%
    Wish: 2.8% / 2.1%

    2001: 2,160 / 92,229 = 2.3%
    2011: 1,578 / 99,753 = 1.6%

  41. Not many at all. The figures would be even lower for the Brighton constituencies.

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