The Green Party is standing aside in Brighton Kemptown at the general election on Thursday 8 June.
The decision was taken at an extraordinary general meeting of the Brighton and Hove Green Party at Community Base, in Queen’s Road, Brighton, last night (Wednesday 26 April).
The Green candidate was due to be Davy Jones, who also contested the seat in May 2015. He polled 3,187 votes, 857 votes more than in 2010, finishing fourth.
Conservative MP Simon Kirby held the seat with a majority of 690 votes over Labour candidate Nancy Platts.
Some people felt that the Green campaign had split the left-of-centre vote although Ian Buchanan, the UKIP candidate who came third, polled 4,446 votes.
The decision by the Greens last night came as the Liberal Democrats voted not to put up a candidate in Brighton Pavilion to give Green MP Caroline Lucas a better chance of holding the seat.
The Lib Dem candidate would have been Paul Chandler who stood in Brighton Kemptown in 2010. He came fifth with 1,365 votes as his party’s vote collapsed nationwide.
In Brighton Pavilion the Lib Dem vote fell by 5,634 – to 1,525 – while Caroline Lucas polled 6,633 more for the Greens, giving her a majority of 7,967 over Labour.
The voting arithmetic was touched on by some at a rally in Brighton on Saturday and again at a meeting in Kemp Town on Tuesday evening (25 April).
More than 200 people turned up at St Mary’s Church for a meeting of the Sussex Progressives, a group campaigning for a “progressive alliance”.
Davy Jones said that speaker after speaker called on the left-leaning parties and candidates to work together to defeat the Tories.
Mr Jones said: “We’ve listened and we’ve acted on it.”
He said: “We’re trying to ensure that Simon Kirby is not elected. We haven’t been asked to endorse any other candidate.
“But Green voters will have to think carefully about which way they vote. Do they want a Conservative to win or Labour?
“It’s very significant locally and nationally. I think it will have an impact. People will take note and it will give them confidence.”
Mr Jones, 65, said that the decision was unilateral and unconditional. The Greens accepted that they had no say over Labour’s choice of candidate in Brighton Kemptown.
He said: “We hope they will be in favour of proportional representation and against a hard Brexit.”
Mr Jones acknowledged that many in the Labour Party were unenthusiastic about electoral pacts, including the Hove MP Peter Kyle, who is defending a majority of 1,236 over the Conservatives.
In May 2015 the Lib Dem candidate attracted 1,861 votes, coming fifth. Christopher Hawtree polled 3,569 votes for the Greens, finishing third, while the UKIP candidate Kevin Smith was close behind him with 3,265 votes. Mr Smith has already said that he won’t run this time.
Mr Jones said: “We can see Peter’s problem but he has to get real. Labour want to form a government but Labour can’t do it on their own.
“The reality is that if we don’t get this current government out, we’ll never get a fairer electoral system.”
And without proportional representation, Mr Jones said that his party was unlikely to be able to implement its policies.
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