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. Well, most people on here were expecting a hung parliament, maybe with CON fairly narrowly ahead on seats. A majority of 2-3000 would have been consistent with that. Despite the undoubted demographic change in Hove Kyle did well to make a gain when most marginals, including a few with new Tory candidates, were held with increased majorities. I know nothing about Graham Cox but he did increase the Tory vote, both numerically and in % terms. But the 23% who went LD in 2010 seem to have swung disproportionately for Kyle here.

  2. An anonymous MP told the BBC that 60 MPs would suddenly find confidence in Corbyn, 30 MPs would toe the line, the 30 more would continue to be hostile and the rest would be deselected. I think this sentiment from an MP expecting deselection demonstrates the leadership election was the PLPs last play.

  3. Despite the demographic change I would imagine that in a landslide, and quite possibly in something less than a landslide, the Conservatives could win Hove again. It has become a younger, more ‘bohemian’ place which has made it into a close marginal when once it was a safe Con seat. But I don’t see it continuing to swing towards Labour like some London seats. It is a different type of demographic change from Mitcham and Morden, Ilford South, Brent North etc.

  4. Simon
    “I imagine that the way people have behaved will end up being as important as what their actual political viewpoint is. If they’ve spent more energy opposing the Government than their own leader then they’re much more likely to be ok than if they’ve spent all their time and energy trying to overturn the membership’s choice for leader”

    Agree 100% with that, my own MP Stephen Twigg (Liverpool West Derby) is as Blairite as they come, hell thanks to the Portillo moment he’s essentially the Blairite poster child, I’ve spoke to him personally and know he doesn’t agree with Corbyn on most issues, he nominated Liz Kendall, parachuted into a Lab heartland seat etc etc all things that should make him vulnerable to de-selection but I imagine he’ll be fine simply because he has kept a low profile and hasn’t openly criticised Corbyn.

    Then you look at the likes of Jess Phillips who is actually very left wing in many areas and is openly critical of Blairite MP’s, all things that should endear her to the left, but she’s probably a prime candidate for de-selection because she has been so openly critical of Corbyn bordering on being intentionally obtuse at times.

  5. ”but people are acting like he’s potential shadow cabinet material when he clearly isn’t.”

    @rivers10. Hahahahaha. Oh the irony…

  6. Pepps
    Care to elaborate?

  7. Well your current shadow cabinet is a complete and utter joke filled with hard left ideologues, gaffe prone idiots and people with zero talent in seemingly anything. Oh your leader has no leadership qualities whatsoever. To say Kyle isn’t cabinet material when compared to that sh*tshow is frankly hilarious ;-).

  8. Who said I approve of the current shadow cabinet?

  9. Just assumed you did based on your past comments. Plus the shadow cabinet contains virtually all of the PLPs hard left faction (with the exception of some of the older ones like Skinner). You also support Corbyn who is really the weakest link out of them all perhaps with the exception of Abbot.

  10. Do you feel better now you’ve got that off your chest.

  11. @Matt Rivers asked me a question so I answered and plus I felt fabulous anyway :).

  12. Pepps
    With the greatest respect don’t ever presume things about people, you just went on a big partisan tirade based on inaccurate information about myslef and it doesn’t do you any justice. We all get passionate at times but tone things down a lil bit lest you put your foot in it.

    Yes I am on the left but I judge things on their merit. I’ve said since before he was even elected leader that I don’t want Corbyn leading the party in a GE cos of his various flaws, I just want him to democratise the party, drag it to the left and then hopefully replace him with somebody more media savvy (I have actually had that exact discussion with you many times) and I’m only supporting JC this time cos the behaviour of the PLP has been so insulting to ordinary members that I can’t stomach the thought of doing anything they want me to.

    As for the shadow cabinet your damn right certain people in it have no unearthly business there, Kelvin Hopkins springs to mind even though I agree with the man totally re his beliefs he isn’t frontbench material and never has been. As I said I’m not blinded by my own beliefs something I wish you would also engage in since all but the most hard right fanatics would acknowledge that certain members of JC’s shadow cabinet (no matter how far to the left they are) have serious talent.

    As I’ve tried to shove down peoples throats since the GE don’t ever base things on platitudes, broad presumptions, generalisations, what the media says, general consensus, common knowledge or what’s happened in the past. Examine all the details and come to a conclusion in the knowledge that it isn’t a fact its your own OPINION.

  13. I love Kelvin, he was like dad’s best friend from NUPE and he loves trains. Apparently he dabbles a bit in trams but that’s just side hobby. What’s not to love about that man.

  14. @rivers10 This ‘tirade’ was timid compared to your one on Brexit the other day. I remember you said something to the effect of Brexit ruining your personal future, the country’s economic wellbeing and our international standing? Well this is exactly what I fear from Corbyn and the hard left (though I believe they would be far worse than anything Brexit could throw up) so maybe you can understand the emotion?

    Nothing I say is ever meant personally so I hope nobody ever takes it that way and believe it or not I do actually have friends who are die hard Corbyn loyalists. We get on fine (mostly) though I can’t resist making a few digs here and there :P.

    Very few people in modern politics have ‘serious talent’ (that goes for the Tories too) some may be moderately talented but that is a world away from being gifted. The only modern politician I would describe as having ‘serious talent'(off the top of my head) would be Nicola Sturgeon. Just out of interest who do you think is ‘seriously talented’?

    Yes I agree with Hopkins but by the same token you can throw in Corbyn, McDonnell, and Abbot for starters, none of whom should ever have been on the front bench in the first place let alone shadowing some of the great offices of state. Note from my previous comments I said they were unsuited for the front bench as they have no leadership qualities, are gaffe prone, spent their lives protesting and opposing things and are driven by purist adherence to an ideology and to whom pragmatism is an alien word not because of how left wing they were.

    While I accept I am sometimes blinded by my own beliefs this is true of everyone including you to an extent. While the past is not the be all and end all it does provide a guide to what is happening now and to dismiss the past completely is a very foolish thing to do; to paraphrase something I heard when I studied history ‘to understand the present you must first understand the past’.

    Yes of course different people come to different conclusions based on the same facts but some conclusions are reasonable and some are not. For example my belief that Labour’s performance in the last local elections were poor is a sensible conclusion to come to, your conclusion that the results were not great but passable can be reasonably backed up too even though I don’t agree and there is a great deal of counter evidence. However if someone came to the conclusion that the results were amazing and Labour was definitely on a path to government they would be plain wrong. Similarly if you said JC could become prime minister in a very hung parliament after the Tories rip themselves to shreds over Brexit this is a reasonable opinion to take, however if you claimed that the public will suddenly reverse their opinion on Corbyn, warm to his his views and hand him a majority, then I would say this is based on wishful thinking and not on the evidence.

    On a lighter note I posted a plan for the South East on the Europe South East thread if you want to take a look. I think it disappeared quickly from the side bar though as there’s only a few of us interested in boundaries lol :p.

  15. @Matt Wilson I wouldn’t disagree with your point that by-election candidates were selected more on competence and qualifications than ideology. In some ways, that’s the point – that good quality moderate candidates such as McMahon and Allin-Khan can still win selections over pro-Corbyn candidates. It suggests that CLPs are not having some sort of ideological litmus test .

  16. Oldham and Tooting are both seats that have passed motions against corbyn through.

  17. Pepps
    I hold my hands up over my recent tirade and any subsequent tirades on the EU result. That issue has genuinely infuriated me cos I didn’t hear a single legitimate reason for leaving and thus far nothing good has come of the Brexit vote and I highly doubt anything will. No matter how much you hate a particular government you have the opportunity to be rid of them in a few years, in all likelihood though Brexit does mean Brexit. Throw in the fact that even in a god awful system like FPTP there is “some” correlation between seats and votes that meant that the Tories only achieved a very small majority considering they mustered up a little over a third of the vote while on the EU ref it really was a winner takes all scenario and despite there being less than 4% in it the Leavers took home everything and they haven’t even offered a wisp of a concession. Finally the huge age divergence with the overwhelming bulk of people of our age (under 25’s) voting remain (though I know you weren’t one of them) while the overwhelming majority of over 65’s voted Leave, in fact Remain won every age group under 45 so annoyingly those that have to live with the consequences longest didn’t actually want the result we got. So yes all in all I’m furious over that and it probably isn’t going to change, it isn’t a partisan point though, me and H.Hemmelig (who don’t agree on much politically) have been in total agreement over this issue.

    Moving on from that though I should emphasise I know nothing you say is meant to be offensive and I hope you know that about myself too but politics is a delicate subject and its very easy to rile someone up and your language is very often not particularly tactful if not out and out grating. For example you have essentially called me an idiot on multiple occasions before today, you’re probably not even aware of it and sure it wasn’t direct but you have explicitly said Corbyn supporters are stupid or words to that effect and it just isn’t necessary or productive, I know you don’t mean to call me stupid but how else can it be construed, I’m a Corbyn supporter you said their all stupid the language speaks for itself. As I said just try and tone it back a lil bit.

    As for who I think has talent within the current shadow cabinet I know you don’t like him but I think Clive Lewis could go places, also Richard Burgon and Rebecca Long Bailey have definite potential if you polish them up a bit. Kate Osamore is literally perfect for cutting through to a London crowd, I actually think her best role would be as a future London mayor. Angela Rayner, Cat Smith and Racheal Maskell all have the perfect balance of passion and presentation to be excellent shadow cabinet members as well.

    Finally I’ll be sure to have a look at your plans for the SE.

  18. I suspect if Andy Burnham wins the greater Manchester Nomination Cat Smith will become the shadow home sec. She seems more competent than Kate Osamor ( both corbyn female supporters) while Rayner and Abbott seem to enjoy their new roles. Could be Maskell. Will be surprised if its a man.

  19. BM11
    Very possible re Cat Smith, I was actually surprised she didn’t get something more substantial in the shadow cabinet considering how close she is to Corbyn, possible concerns over the present vulnerability of her seat maybe?

    As for Osamore I don’t think it will be her, don’t think she has any real desire to climb that high and as for Rayner and Maskell both seem very happy with their present briefs so yes out of those I’ve mentioned Smith seems the most likely.

  20. Interesting point, that. Voting closed today so results should be in shortly (weekend or next week, does anyone know?). Manchester may be close between Burnham (name recognition) and Tony Lloyd (playing to the Corbynista crowd). From what I can gather on social media Steve Rotheram (Corbyn’s PPS) looks nailed on for Liverpool City Region.

    I expect Burnham and Rotheram would stay in their current roles until after the leadership election. Though Burnham, having perhaps sensibly tried to avoid association with the coup whilst running for the nomination, could now decide to stand down immediately. I think you need somebody fairly experienced for Shadow Home Sec – it would be a massive job for Smith or Osamor at this stage. So maybe Jon Trickett might be moved again? Leaving Smith – who currently given the circumstances seems a bit wasted doing only one, relatively low key job – to take Shadow BEIS?

  21. Burnham pledged during the camapgin to resign as Shadow Home Sec as soon as he became the nominee. Through not as an MP unless he becomes the Mayor next May. Rotherham would if he become the nominee be under similar pressure but as his post is less work he would be able manage it.

  22. And The GM result is announced on Tuesday. I am not sure when the Merseyside ( and the much quiter) West Midlands result.

  23. Re Rotherham I actually had a little chat with him after a hustings event the other week (my analysis of which can be found on the Liverpool Riverside thread for those interested) and he told me straight up that at the height of the coup he got told by Corbyn he could have basically any shadow cabinet position he wanted but he refused cos he wanted to focus his efforts on becoming Mersey Mayor, if he fails to get nominated (presently I would have him as favourite) I imagine there is a possibility he’d be promoted to the shadow cabinet proper. Not as shadow home secretary obviously but perhaps doing whatever job the person who becomes shadow home secretary once did.

  24. @rivers10 thinking those people are mega politically talented is a case of being blinded by your own beliefs, some do indeed have their plusses (though some are pretty dreadful) but none would fall into the ‘seriously talented’ category reserved for people like Nicola Sturgeon who have an obvious gift for politics.

    As to the examples you gave I’ll run down my opinion of them (you obviously wont agree though lol), some like Richard Burgeon, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Angela Rayner I will leave to one side as I am not overly familiar with them:

    -Cat Smith: Obviously some political talent there, though how much is yet too be seen. Probably needs a Thatcher style revamp to make her into someone who could face the country. The fact that she holds a marginal seat will probably scupper her chance of ever being leader though.
    -Kate Osamer: A hard left partisan hack of the highest order. You may be right that she could get somewhere in London but nationally she’d be a disaster.
    -Clive Lewis: I initially thought he’d be utterly dreadful but have changed my opinion somewhat. He has quite an interesting and compelling back story so I hear. Still his interview performance on mainstream news channels needs a great deal of work he comes across a chippy, unlikeable and rather bitter. However I saw his interview with Owen Jones (yes I do sometimes watch lefty stuff) when he was far more likeable, whether he can project this in scenarios where the interviewer is not your friend that is going to throw you easy questions is yet to be seen.
    -Rachael Maskell: All of Clive Lewis’s drawbacks with none of the benefits. Dull with a capital D.

  25. Possible future Labour leaders from the 2015 intake, going from most left-leaning to most right-leaning:

    Clive Lewis
    Louise Haigh
    Jess Phillips
    Keir Starmer

    I would have stuck Jo Cox on the end of this list if I had been writing it a few months ago 🙁

  26. @Polltroll Absolutely no way Jess Phillips ever becomes Labour leader, she is way to independent minded and mavericky. She has also got one hell of a gob on her and a tendency to alienate people from all wings of the party so she literally has no base of support.

  27. Helen Hayes could be a future shadow cabinet member. And/Or Matthew Pennycock as well.

  28. Seeing as other people are doing this, my view on the 2015 intake members of the shadow cabinet (I appreciate the Corbynistas on here won’t fully agree, though I haven’t been entirely uncharitable to some of them):

    Burgon – Utterly deluded, wants Labour to model itself on Venezuela even though Venezuela is a basket case. Has made an idiot of himself several times – like not having visited the city weeks into his appointment as Shadow Economic Secretary (with responsibility for the City) and missing Treasury Questions to take part in a Stop the War protest against Labour MPs. A hopeless case really. If the leadership ever ended up with him I reckon they’d do even worse than with Corbyn.

    Long-Bailey – Unexciting, but seems competent. Has taken up a lot of work recently on the Finance Bill etc. after the resignations of Seema Malhotra and Rob Marris, and Burgon’s move to Shadow Justice.

    Rayner – Very enthusiastic, which counts for something. Great story, regardless of the current circumstances, to have made the shadow cabinet aged 36 after leaving school with no qualification and having a baby at 16. Very left-wing (though she won’t say who she’s voting for in the leadership election) and has a very annoying voice. But a rough diamond that could be worth watching. Any leader would want to utilise her enthusiasm in some way.

    Lewis – Like Pepperminttea I’ve slightly changed my mind. Still think he’s nothing like shadow cabinet material but he’s started saying some interesting things – I don’t necessarily agree with them, and on many points I think he is just wrong, but they are interesting nonetheless. He doesn’t seem quite as die-hard as Burgon or Osamor.

    Osamor – Seems to be a fairly straightforward Corbyn loyalist. Can’t say I’m that impressed but he clearly needs a few loyalists.

    Maskell – Not too bad, but not sure she’s got that bit extra that makes you viable leadership material (or even shadow cabine tin normal circumstances). Like Rayner I don’t think she’s actually said who she’s supporting for the leadership.

    Smith – I think there’s talent there. Very young and probably not yet ready for a real front-line job. But whatever the future of the leadership if she holds her seat I can see her being around for a long time.

  29. A very, very generous assessment haha.

  30. I should put on the record that the people I mentioned where not necessarily leadership potential, in fact out of the names I threw out only Lewis, Long-Bailey or Rayner could probably do a semi decent job as leader in my opinion.

    Also I would take exception to the claim that I’m being blinded by my own beliefs, another of Labs 2015 intake Imran Hussein has done very little to impress me despite being a Corbynista. Personally I’d be dubious to make him a minister (which Corbyn has) let alone a shadow cabinet member.

    I also agree though with Pepperminttea’s observation of Jess Phillips, she is basically Frank Fields replacement, a totally independent maverick MP that alienates both wings of the party. I probably have more chance of being party leader than she does…

  31. Apart from Burgon the members of the shadow cabinet that are really hopeless are the old lefties from earlier intakes – Grahame Morris, David Anderson etc. I almost feel sorry for them because they are hopelessly out of their depth. I also think Jon Trickett is pretty appalling, even though he has more shadow cabinet experience.

  32. @rivers10 I was referring to your claim about anyone not on the hard right recognising that some of the people you mentioned having ‘serious talent’. I was vehemently disagreeing saying some of them are moderately talented and passable in the talent level that should be required to be on the front bench but its pretty clear to me that none are exceptionally gifted.

  33. Peter Kyle could already have a huge personal vote and may vastly increase his vote share even more in 2020 if he isn’t deselected. My prediction would be on that basis (!)-
    Kyle (Labour)- 49%
    Conservative- 34%
    Green- 7%
    Lib Dem- 5%
    UKIP- 4%
    Others- 1%

  34. My my. Welcome back The Results.

  35. Thanks a lot Tristan!

  36. Pepps
    That’s something I actually forgot to mention n my response to you, I actually agree with you that hardly any politicians today (bar perhaps Sturgeon as you said) are genuinely talented, when I say talented I mean contextually with the fairly low standard we presently have to cope with from both sides of the house.

  37. Why would he already have a huge personal vote? Granted nobody local, that I’m aware of, has commented recently but no one has had many good things to say about him that would suggest he was hugely popular locally

  38. Agreed. Clearly he has the incumbency factor but unless he has some local rep that everyone else is aware of I’m not aware of? I hope people aren’t just assuming that he’s simply very popular because he is is the only Labour MP in the South East. That might be a significant achievement but I wouldn’t say that is entirely down to him

  39. Kyle is on BBC South East local news almost daily these days. He has become the South East’s rentagob non-Tory MP who blabs on about anything & everything just to get on the TV as much as possible. The previous holders of this prestigious position were Norman Baker and Stephen Lloyd – both defeated in 2015 despite never being off the TV.

  40. Well, it is pretty clear that the long-term trend in Hove is towards Labour. If Kyle wants to increase his majority here, he will have to do so by making a real difference to local people’s lives in his constituency surgery, rather than spouting off on telly.

    Though to be fair, Brighton has been hit harder than anywhere else by the chaos at Southern Rail. As that’s one of the South East’s biggest stories at the moment, he does have some justification to be on the news a lot right now.

  41. Though that would depend on the state of the Labour Party come 2020.

  42. Speaking as one of his constituents, I have to say I am not impressed with Kyle. He doesn’t take any interest in local affairs and his contributions in the House of Commons are underwhelming. His speech in the recent Brexit debate was meaningless.

  43. Why has the boundary commission got it in for Hove.

    They seem to regard it as a district of Brighton rather than an equal partner. The current Hove constituency (and historical borough) could be retained by simply adding Brightons Regency ward to the constituency. In turn the Royal Pavilion would remain in Pavilion so the Pavilion name could be retained as Brighton Pavilion.

  44. ‘They seem to regard it as a district of Brighton rather than an equal partner. The current Hove constituency (and historical borough) could be retained by simply adding Brightons Regency ward to the constituency.’

    That was what was originally proposed – but it was opposed by almost everyone locally

    You can’t really call a seat that contains the centre of Brighton, Hove

  45. Trevornh can I ask whether you voted for Kyle in the GE?

  46. The proposed boundaries for B and H are a real hatchet job, Pepps proposed something similar a while back as a joke and we all (Pepps included) concluded that the BC would be stupid to actually propose it…yet they did.

    “You can’t really call a seat that contains the centre of Brighton, Hove”

    So change the name? The proposed Brighton Central and Hove is a bigger monstrosity that the BC are happy to go along with. Just adding Regency would have been infinitely tidier.

    “Pity the BC can’t pair East Sussex and West Sussex for the BR rather than East Sussex and Kent”

    As always with the boundaries Plop its the fault of the Tories and their stupidly rigid partisan quota, a bit of flexibility and none of this would be an issue.

  47. Could have had a +/- 10% quota rather than 5% That would have eradicated the need for 95% of the weird boundaries in one stroke while still equalising the seats.

  48. 99% of people would but the Tory hierarchy calculated that such a rigid quota disproportionately hurt Labour and thus here we are…

  49. Plus or minus ten per cent is far too much. It means you can end up with differences in electorate size equivalent to the population of a small town.

    Much of the difficulty in drawing boundaries to a rigid quota could be alleviated by crossing ward boundaries. There is no good reason for respecting the boundaries of local authority wards to the extent that the commission does.

  50. You say that Plop but SADC hasn’t been redrawn since 1999 and I discovered yesterday that the division my mum’s standing in hasn’t been changed since it was first formed in 1973.

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