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. Rivers, would you accept then that having a tight quota but allowing as much crossing of ward boundaries as is necessary would be the ideal solution, better than a ten per cent quota margin of error?

  2. Kieran
    No since as I stipulated in cases like Worcester (where the present sensible seat which neatly encapsulates the whole local authority) would still have to be modified by tacking on a piece (whether a whole ward or just a fraction of a ward) from a different authority all for the sake of 400 odd electors.

    I’d be more inclined to accept a more rigid quota but not quite as rigid as the present +/-5% more like +/-7.5% thus allowing the (many) cases where a neat/sensible seat has to be modified for the sake of a couple hundred votes or less to be eradicated.

  3. Why would he? The best (only?) chance he has of holding on is by emphasising how he could be part of the opposition to a Tory government. Nobody in this election believes Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister in two months’ time, so writing “Jeremy 4PM” on your leaflets is pretty pointless. Conversely, when your leader is 1/5 to be gone by the end of the year, it’s relatively easier to persuade Corbynsceptics to overlook him.

  4. I think Peter Kyle will buck the trend and hold on here. This seat was strongly remain and Kyle’s Blairite views may convince some Tories angry at the government’s brexit stance to back him tactically. There’s bound to be one or two seats that the Tories will miss out on from their top 40 targets. I think this will be one of them.

  5. I imagine JC goes down well with Green voters in Caroline Lucas’ backyard

  6. Tend to agree with AKMD, I’ve only heard good things about Kyle so this might well be one of those seats that bucks the trend

  7. Can’t agree that Kyle will hold off a half decent Tory candidate….although he won’t lose by a huge amount

  8. “I think Peter Kyle will buck the trend and hold on here. This seat was strongly remain and Kyle’s Blairite views may convince some Tories angry at the government’s brexit stance to back him tactically. There’s bound to be one or two seats that the Tories will miss out on from their top 40 targets. I think this will be one of them.”

    Don’t know much about this seat but sounds spot on. the Coinservatives would need a remain candidate to win this seat.

  9. I’ve mostly heard positives about Kyle and his standings on the right of the party will sit well with Tories

  10. Are you fully taking into account :…?

    National polls giving CON lead of 15% +

    TWICE as Many more Lab voters are switching to LIB DEM then Con voters switching to LIB DEM. ( national polls suggest)

  11. “TWICE as Many more Lab voters are switching to LIB DEM then Con voters switching to LIB DEM. ( national polls suggest)”

    if that’s the case could Labour be losing votes to Lib Dems in seats like (Tooting, Westminster North, Ealing Central) and the Tories win through the back door.

  12. I’m sure plenty of Momentum warriors will be campaigning hard for Peter Kyle in this seat so they can retain their threats to deselect him 😉

  13. If the Conservatives gain this, it will be narrowly and on a swing some way below the national average.

  14. I think Hove will go Tory but narrowly.

  15. I imagine PK is quaking in his boots at the thought of this election – but he may just be able to sneak it – though it always amuses me that Hove of all places is a red blob in a sea of Blue (and Green).

  16. Patrick

    “…though it always amuses me that Hove of all places is a red blob in a sea of Blue (and Green).

    You have to remember that Hove is not the place it was. The only reliable Conservative-voting ward now is Hove Park, which includes the mansions of Dyke Road Avenue and the suburban housing around Woodland and Shirley Drives. Hangleton and Knoll, which includes most of the old Nevill ward as well as Hangleton, is usually reliable for them too, although the electorate here is of the sort Tim Jones considers to be core Tory support nowadays. The rest of the seat has slipped away from them. Even the upmarket Westbourne ward elected a Labour councillor in 2015, and former strongholds such as Goldsmid and Central Hove are now Labour-Green battles.

    Back in 1991, the only wards the Tories didn’t win were the two Portslade wards, which voted Labour, and Brunswick and Adelaide, the only Liberal Democrat ward in the city, and now a Green stronghold. I don’t think the character of the seat will have changed much since. I think the real danger to Peter Kyle comes from Momentum, who have taken over the Brighton and Hove Labour Party (as they apparently have my local party). Presumably though, with the announcement that sitting Labour MPs won’t have to face reselection, this risk is gone.

  17. The character of the seat won’t have changed much since 2015.

  18. PollTroll easier to deselect a Labour MP than a Tory one 😉 I jest of course people on this forum would probably take me seriously

  19. Kirsty Adams, the Conservative PPC reportedly believes that she restored a deaf man’s hearing through the power of prayer. Good grief.

  20. This revelation might just save Peter Kyle here. Nobody wants a nutter for their MP least of all here!

  21. If that wasn’t enough, she also has links to an evangelical church that practices gay conversion therapy. What a bizarre candidate to parachute into a constituency like this one.

  22. She’s also caused some minor controversy by telling the local paper her Brexit vote is none of their business.

    Though I can sort of understand why she’d be reluctant to reveal it either way – the constituency is Remainy, but she’ll need the UKIP 6% to come over to her in order to win.

  23. eugh christ almighty

  24. It seems like some of the Tories were also caught unaware by Mrs Mays snap. I guess everyone else thought the phrase ‘i won’t call a snap election” (said 100000 times by may) meant just that including her own party.

  25. For this seat I will predict-
    Kyle (Labour)- 46%
    Conservative- 37%
    Liberal Democrat- 10%
    Green- 4%
    Independent- 3%

  26. Lots of posters in windows for Kyle who has been canvassing extensively in the more Labour parts of the constituency, ie Hangleton and Portslade. He also has been getting some high profile Labour politicians, eg Harman and Starmer, to come down to the south coast to support him. It looks like the local Conservative party has made a bad choice in their candidate, but they have form here – they let Nick Boles go. The LibDems and Greens are also very quiet.

  27. 15.1% swing from CON to LAB

  28. Jesus.

  29. Remain seats are swinging hard against the Tories.

  30. They are

  31. Does anybody know which constituencies had the largest swings between the two main parties between the 2010 and 2017 general elections?

    I have huge swings from Con to Lab in Hove (18.9%) and Canterbury (14.5%) but I also have massive swings from Lab to Con in Ayr Carrick & Cumnock (18.9%), Lanark & Hamilton East (17.6%) and East Renfrewshire (16.9%).

    Are there any other constituencies that recorded 10 to 20% swings between the two main parties over that period?

  32. A bunch in London where the swings from Con to Lab topped 10% – City of London, Westminster North, Putney, Chelsea & Fulham, Tooting, Battersea…

    Hove had the biggest swing outside Scotland. It was a perfect storm – obviously the enormous concentration of Labour activists in the area, but also the fact that Peter Kyle was a fairly vocal Corbyn-sceptic allowed Labour to triangulate (as in there were peole voting for Jeremy Corbyn, but also those voting for Peter Kyle) – plus the Tory candidate seemed hilariously bad and her evangelical tendencies would not go down well in a place like this.

  33. An evangelical? Oh my that’s almost the silliest Tory selection since Adrian Rogers in Exeter in 1997.

  34. The Tory candidate in Hove apparently claimed to have “healed” a deaf person through prayer and “laying on of hands”.

    If it was a one-off, it could be slid around, but a number of Tory 2017 candidates had links to dodgy religious groups (by dodgy, I mean for example inherently homophobic, I have no problem with candidates religious views unless they are basically rather hateful and hurtful to others). In Eastbourne, Caroline Ansel had links to a religious group that advocates the utterly appalling “gay cure therapy” and apparently took on an intern they provided. The Tory candidate in Darlington, Peter Cuthbertson, had previously penned a series of homophobic blog posts. The IoW MP got dumped because of his remarks. I have to guess that this “pattern” may have affected support across a number of seats.

  35. Cuthbertson’s comments on rape were exceedingly dodgy as well.

  36. The Tory candidate here was frankly abysmal. What on earth were the local association thinking, if indeed they were thinking at all? I suppose she was chosen at a point when the Conservatives thought that they were a shoo- in for a majority of 100, and that they wouldn’t have to work that hard.

  37. As both my eldest brothers are Deaf i find it incredibly offensive that someone would go round making such a claim

  38. Tristan: even if you assume that the Tories, at the time of selection, thought things would be plain sailing, it’s still deeply worrying. Basically it would change the selection question from “who is most capable of winning this seat for the Tories?” to “who is the most appropriate to be an MP?” A faith-healing nutjob should not be the answer to either of those questions!

  39. The joke was made multiple times that the Tory selection here literally couldn’t be worse, a homophobic, deeply religious, climate change denying Brexiter to contest an ardently pro Remain, pro LGBT, pro Green and very irreligious constituency…its almost like they wanted to lose

  40. I guess they must have been the “saboteurs” the Daily Mail was talking about 🙂

  41. Lol unfortunately I imagine the average Daily Mail reader has something of an irony deficiency so I doubt they’ll appreciate your comment XD

  42. Polltroll- I’m not saying that it makes it ok. I’m just trying to get into their (the associations) heads.

  43. Following on from my post above I have found an even larger swing from Lab to Con between the two general elections 2010 to 2017. One of 19.5% in Ochil & South Perthshire. It is as a direct swing from Lab to Con without the Conservatives being aided by the SNP taking Labour votes.

  44. Absolutely staggering result for Labour here – given than prior to 1997 the seat was staunchly Tory

    Shows the difference a good candidate (Kyle) and a bad candidate (Adams) can make and also underlines how utterly dim some Tory Associations really are. As one poster says above, it’s as if the wanted to lose

  45. Oh this wasn’t just down to the candidates. It was the perfect storm. Even if Labour had put up a witch doctor and the Tory candidate had been great, Labour would have still carried this one at a canter.

  46. It would be interesting if there were any reliable polling of the gay vote for 2017. My hunch is that May has probably undone a lot of the progress Cameron made. It’s easy to picture Cameron attending a gay wedding but not May.

  47. Certainly hitching yourself to the DUP isn’t going to help…

  48. ”My hunch is that May has probably undone a lot of the progress Cameron made.”


    Based on my personal experience I’m not sure that is true. Certainly the gay Tory vote was more reluctant than 2015 that is true but I think the vast majority held their nose and voted Tory anyway and I personally didn’t detect any direct switching to Labour among this group. Interestingly enough of my Facebook friends that post political stuff the straight ones are near 100% Labour however the gay ones are much more 50-50.

    The gay vote would have indeed swung Labour but this would be almost entirely a function of Labour mopping up the gay Green vote from 2015 (significantly larger than their average share) whilst the Tories having very little in the way of gay votes to gain from UKIP. Basically the Tories probably stayed roughly static in their share of the gay vote whilst Labour got a big increase due to the Green’s collapse.

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