Greens pull out of general election contest in Brighton Kemptown

Posted On 27 Apr 2017 at 1:31 am

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.

Davy Jones

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.”

Simon Kirby in Rottingdean High Street

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.

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    The Green vote could go to the LibDems there. No sign yet of a Labour candidate. Looks as though national Labour will impose one.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Or alternatively the Lib Dem’s vote could go to the Conservatives and the Green’s votes could go to Labour.

      I can’t honestly see centre Lib Dem’s voting for whoever Jeremy’s Momentum group push for the seat as the policies of both Green and Labour are so similar far-left.

      If this is the case then I’d expect Simon Kirby’s majority to possibly increase.

      But at least it will save Lib Dems and Greens from wasting money on lost deposits.

  2. Jack Sprat Reply

    Peter Kyle will lose his seat to the Tories but at least he will have allowed Labour voters the chance to vote Labour. Thanks a bunch, Peter !

  3. Ian Sadler Reply

    Mad idea to “stand down” in favour of what? who? – and to get zilch in return. Alliance my fundament. Surrender.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Capitulating to Lord Bassam. Ghastly.

  4. Julian Wadey Reply

    Have Labour found a candidate for Kemptown yet?

  5. Valerie Paynter Reply

    Respect! And now I want to hear how much honour the LibDems can muster – not just for Pavilion, but for Kemptown where residents have suffered a truly dreadful MP who MUST be unseated. He should be ashamed to dare stand again, frankly.

    If Peter Kyle won’t see sense then let Hove be a free-for-all. But I suspect he is confident of being returned. Sadly, like the Labour Party itself, he is enamoured of overdevelopment and massive tower block developments that solve no problems and create new ones. He won’t get my vote. And neither will the LibDem chancers blowin’ in the wind, still looking for a vaguely left wing bandwagon to hitch themselves to.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Please remind us where you live and which party you support now, after all, you stood for the Lib Dems as a parliamentary candidate at one time(or did I get that wrong)?

      It may be your opinion that Simon Kirby is a terrible MP, but it appears some feel he has done a good job, and he has also had ministerial responsibilities to attend to, which Peter and Caroline have not whilst they concentrate on their own personal agendas.

      So do you want Lib Dems to stand down everywhere to allow the Greens to have more seats? Do you actually want Peter Kyle to stand down and give the Greens Hove & Portslade?

      Unfortunately, I’m my book, you have to “earn” respect rather than just “get it” and I’m not sure that the Green Party has earned much respect in the city after the 4 years they mis-ruled the council.

      It’s weird now that with the alliance it looks like the political parties are after having deals with each other as to who gets which seat and the voting public are going to be ignored – so much for democracy ?

  6. RAY LOVE Reply

    Greens won’t stand down in Bath where they are hopeless and the Lib Dems only need a small swing to win.

  7. Gary Wilson Reply

    Good luck Simon Kirby. The only fit MP in Brighton.

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