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


    It depends, if they don’t stand up to the DUP on gay related issues then yes it will be pretty damaging. However if they do stand up to the DUP or LGBT issues don’t come up this parliament then most gay Tory voters are mature enough to realise that seen as it is a hung parliament the Tories have to work with them. Sure you will hear a lot of ‘how dare the Tories work with the homophobic DUP’ (even with issues completely unrelated to LGBT rights) but predictably these objections will come almost exclusively from shouty left wing types.

  2. You know, I know, and even the most fanatical of DUP-haters on this forum know, that the social issues on which the DUP’s backward-looking reputation has been formed are devolved to Northern Ireland (and, in the context of a still sectarian Northern Ireland, are not quite so backward-looking). However, that is probably a deeper level of analysis than most of the electorate at large can be bothered with.

  3. Ideology to one side, the idea of a deal with the SNP to put Miliband in no.10 was enough to put voters in England right off Labour. Clearly this time nobody thought there would be a hung Parliament. However, polling shows the deal with the DUP is unpopular. The PM’s net approval ratings are almost as bad as Miliband’s. If you think the voters of England are happy to have an unpopular leader in number propped up by a party that does not stand in England then why isnt Miliband PM.

  4. This is very true. And just as the Tories warned might happen in 2015, the devolved region is getting perferential treatment.

  5. I’m gay myself – Cameron is the kind of right-wing politician that you could see gay people voting for. If they’re socially liberal and support same-sex marriage then why not? Not all of us are left-wing economically.

    May just comes across as prudish, old-fashioned and uptight. Her history on LGBT matters is patchy.

  6. Cameron has made such a statement in the last couple of days. The transition from Camerons socially liberal leadership to May’s socially conservative views has cost the Conservatives ground in urban areas….particularly in Greater London.

  7. Swings and roundabouts, I feel. Cameron might have held on to the likes of Kensington, but equally he probably wouldn’t have hung onto WWC seats like Thurrock.

  8. I see no reason why he wouldn’t have.

  9. For the two elections Cameron was Tory leader the party actually did particularly well with the wwc

    This is remartkable for 3 reasons 1) the existence of UKIP – whose vote between 2013-17 was almost exclusively wwc 2) Cameron was upper class himself and surrounded himself with people from a similar background and 3) Cameron’s whole pitch between 2005-08 and his detoxification of the Tory brand was aimed at winning back the middle classes

  10. Polltroll
    “Cameron might have held on to the likes of Kensington, but equally he probably wouldn’t have hung onto WWC seats like Thurrock”

    History doesn’t really back that up though, remember Thurrock was once seen as a safe Lab seat and more recently was the kind of seat the Tories could only win in really good years (I believe Thatcher only won it once in 87?) For Cameron to win it in 2010 when he couldn’t even manage a majority and hold onto it with an increased majority in 2015 against the UKIP surge says a lot and while May did manage to hold onto it this time it was with a reduced majority.

  11. In my view, the Conservatives did well with wwc voters despite Cameron and not because of him. The Conservatives had already started to win over more wwc voters *before* he became party leader- if you look at the class breakdown of the 2005 election you will see that the Conservatives made the most progress with blue-collar voters.

  12. Cameron’s “achievement” in 2015 was to get the professional and managerial middle-classes to close ranks against Labour to an extent not seen since 1992. That relative unity was broken after the referendum result, not least because the ABs were the only social group to vote Remain.

  13. I agree. In 2015 the Tories did best in affluent, middle class areas ie where traditionally you’d expect them to do best. In 2017 they actually did worst in these areas.

  14. ‘In 2015 the Tories did best in affluent, middle class areas ie where traditionally you’d expect them to do best. In 2017 they actually did worst in these areas.’

    Whilst I agree with Tory that the Conservatives did well amongst the wwc despite having Cameron as leader rather than because of it, I think their real achievement in 2015 was how well their vote held up in wwc seats despite the pressence of UKIP. Nearly all their gains in 2015 from Labour were these types of seats – Telford, Plymouth Moor View, Southampton Itchen, Corby, Morley, Derby North

    The same is true in 2017. Apart from Derby North, the Tories held all the aforementioned seats and added other wwc places like Mansfield, Derbyshire North East, Clacton, Cleveland and Walsall North

  15. Hardly worth talking about reduced or increased majorities in the case of Thurrock. It’s seen, basically, 3 consecutive cliffhangers, though in one case it involved 3 parties, on the other occasions 2. It is correct that before 2010 the only Tory win in the constituency (which was formed in 1945) was in 1987.

  16. Tim- you make a very fair point re 2015, though it was still the most class-based election we’ve had since 1992. Remember that as well as fighting Labour to a standstill, the Conservatives also took a lot of seats from the LDs, some of which are very middle-class: Cheadle; Cheltenham; Solihull; Twickenham; Thornbury & Yate; Lewes; Kingston & Surbiton; and Bath.

  17. ‘Tim- you make a very fair point re 2015, though it was still the most class-based election we’ve had since 1992’

    But with the Tories winning such a large chunk of the WWC vote, I’d question that

    Whilst they did win some very middle class seats from the Lib Dems, they fell further afield in urban middle class seats they once held but made a virtual clean sweep of the suburban and rural South and Midlands, which contain many seats, particularly along the south coast that are anything but middle class

    Location would seem to be a bigger factor than class

  18. https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/how-britain-voted-2015?language_content_entity=en-uk

    There was a Lab to Con swung of 3pc among ABs in 2015- crucial to the outcome of the election.

  19. *swing

  20. Thanks for the link Tory – interesting article

    One notable feature of 2015 was the amount of 20,000+ majorities for Tory MPs in their safe seats throughout the South and Midlands

  21. whereas in 2017 there were quite a lot more 30,000+ Labour majorities (don’t think there were any Tory ones) and, while many Labour MPs obtained over 80% of the vote – I think all in London or Merseyside – no Tory MP got over 70% of the vote.

  22. Indeed Barnaby – there were many Labour MPs – including Corbyn – who got over 40,000 votes

    The only time the Tories have got close to that number is in oversized strongholds like Huntingdon and Hampshire East

    They even fell short in the Isle of Wight – classic white Brexit territory – which of course has the largest electorate of any seat

    Having said that quite a lot of Tory MPs managed to poll 60% or above this time round

  23. Turnout may have been a factor there was a higher turnout among Labour voters and lower among Tory voters meaning that despite polling a large share of the vote in many seats the Tories didn’t get quite the same numbers as Labour

  24. Labour picked up quite a bit in a few Surrey seats – not that they are likely to ever win any of them though some of them are more marginal than former Labour seats like Castlepoint. Though new targets in other southern counties are coming on the radar like the Bournemouth and Southend seats and Colchester (though Labour have won that seat in 1945).

  25. Bournemouth was recently reckoned to be the UK’s most Right-wing city and i for one was very surprised by how well Corbyn’s Labour polled there

  26. The odd thing is that Labour did slightly better in Bournemouth East than West – all of the most deprived areas of Bournemouth are in West.

  27. The same is true of Southampton and Plymouth as I think PollTroll pointed out

  28. although I suspect some of the Tory improvement in Southampton Itchen (my sister’s constituency) can be explained by large-scale exclusive waterside developments, which Test hasn’t really seen.

  29. ‘The same is true of Southampton and Plymouth as I think PollTroll pointed out’

    You could add Bristol to that list too All the most exclusive parts of Bristol are in Bristol North West and Bristol West, both Labour, yet the 2 Tory seats in the city are in working class Kingswood and Filton

  30. “The same is true of Southampton and Plymouth as I think PollTroll pointed out”

    One delightful aspect of this site is & has always been the same misinformation repeated time and time again despite having been debunked multiple times.

    So for the umpteenth time I will remind posters that the nicest parts of Plymouth are those wards east of the river Plym, all of which are in a safe Tory seat (Devon South West).

    Yes it is arguable that Moor View is more deprived than Sutton but the difference is less stark since the boundary changes shifted Devonport into the Sutton seat, which also contains a large number of students these days.

  31. ‘You could add Bristol to that list too All the most exclusive parts of Bristol are in Bristol North West and Bristol West, both Labour, yet the 2 Tory seats in the city are in working class Kingswood and Filton’

    And to a lesser extent Leeds, with the very deprived, working-class Leeds East now being a less safe Labour seat than middle-class Leeds North East (where the Labour majority is now over 30%, compared to 9% in 2010).

  32. Im sorry HH i clearly didnt read your response

  33. It’s because old discussions get buried quickly and people who missed them never see them.

    By the way I think Portsmouth should probably also appear on your list…I don’t know it well but I think North is the grimmer half of the city, by and large.

  34. ‘By the way I think Portsmouth should probably also appear on your list’

    I think the whole city’s pretty grim to be honest but the grimmest part of all – the Paulsgrove is in Portsmouth North

    I imagine Right-wing Brexiter Penny Mordaunt goes down very well there indeed

  35. What has happened to Ms Mordaunt? She seems to have fallen off the radar completely since got branded with the dreaded “rising star” label for talking a lot of horsecrap about Turkey.

  36. Fallen off the diving board more like….splash!

  37. HH
    I was going to make a “Splash” pun but you beat me too it, ah well

  38. H.Hemmelig is quite simply right about Plymouth, of course.

    I think you’ll find plenty of areas in safe Labour Bristol South (which hasn’t been lost since the 1931 election, unlike all other seats in the conurbation) which are a good deal grimmer than anything in Kingswood & Filton/Bradley Stoke. There are only a few right-on studenty enclaves in Bristol South – it’s mainly working-class terraces & council estates. As Tim must surely know, the grimmest areas of Filton & Bradley Stoke are the ones which vote Labour broadly speaking – the Tories hold the seat because there is a much more middle-class series of places represented by the Bradley Stoke name in the constituency title. It is true that Kingswood has some very working-class areas but I don’t think that it’s correct to say that its social composition is more working-class than Bristol South, or probably East either. It’s always been a competitive marginal or semi-marginal, except for in the 2 Blair landslides, since the seat was formed in 1974.

  39. It’s difficult to catgorise seats in Bristol as one thing or another as they nearly all contain wards which contradict each other demographically

    Both West and North West do indeed include the most desirable wards in Bristol – clifton, stoke bishop, henleaze, westbury – but thet both also contain some of the least desirable too – south mead, st pauls, st lawrence weston – whereas seats like kingswood and filton tens to be more equal

  40. Peter Kyle is considering his position.

  41. Might be one to watch once further Brexit votes occur.

  42. If I were to pick somewhere likely to support a stand against far left crazies, I wouldn’t go anywhere near Brighton & Hove. Yes it’s ultra Remain but also Corbynista Central these days, with the aid of a huge Green support base.

  43. ‘Peter Kyle is considering his position.’

    I’m surprised that he wasn’t one of those who walked away

  44. Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson are putting an amendment down next week regarding People’s vote. If that fails it could be when they both resign.

  45. It’s surely gonna fail. Even with Labour I can’t see a majority of parliament backing it

  46. That the SDP seems waaay to the left of centre by today’s standards I think shows how far to the Right the UK has travelled as a country over the past 30/40 years.

    Owen was always a difficult politician to position but Williams and Jenkins remained decisively left of centre throughout their political careers and it would be difficult to imagine then even in today’s Liberal Democrat which has remained broadly centrist despite being decimated in recent years.

    There is of course a new SDP Party which is actually far more interesting comprising figures such as alt-right journalist Rod Lidle, vicar Giles Fraser and ex UKIP heavyweight Patrick O’Flynn. Needless to say it beats little resemblance to the real thing.

  47. I think in general it’s very difficult to compare the relative left-right alignment of different eras. Public spending as a % of GDP has consistently risen during Labour governments and fallen during Conservative governments, over the past 50 years, but overall there seems to be no long-term movement in either direction. (Though admittedly there is slightly more to it than size of the state, and I would acknowledge that in other areas such as public ownership and union membership, Britain has moved significantly rightward.)

  48. I’m not sure what your comment has to do with this seat, Tim – the SDP Alliance were a distant second in Hove.

    Interesting (but unsurprising) that Tim has Liddle down as “alt-right” (a misnomer I think). Indeed I’m not sure the current SDP is much like the original one (but it probably does reflect a big chunk of mainstream opinion).

    Jon Lansman said the 2017 Labour manifesto was only as radical as the (old) SDP platform!

  49. Liddle consistently tells anyone he’s left wing whilst writing the nastiest most right wing columns in the history of journalism – going out of his way to offend as many people as he can

    He’s clearly a member of the Trump-esque populist Right – and like Mussolini, Piers Morgan and other one-time left wingers, he obviously realises he can make much money from these media megalomaniacs by writing from the alt Right.

  50. And TM – I thought I was posting in Chesham & Amersham originally.

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