Labour take seat from Tories in Hove by-election

Posted On 09 Dec 2022 at 3:31 pm

Labour has taken a seat from the Conservatives, winning the Wish ward by-election in Hove.

Bella Sankey

Bella Sankey won the seat in the by-election which took place yesterday (Thursday 8 December), with the count held this afternoon.

She won by 763 votes and said that “change is coming”, with the local elections just six months away.

Councillor Sankey, 39, was born and raised in Brighton and Hove and studied law at Cambridge University.

She went on to work at Liberty – formerly known as the National Council for Civil Liberties – for eight years where was the policy director.

And she has spent the past four years as the director of Detention Action, campaigning against the costly detention of migrants in inhumane conditions.

The by-election – for a seat on Brighton and Hove City Council – was called after the death of Conservative councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn who was first elected more than 50 years ago.

The turnout was 34.24 per cent which was higher than some candidates and their parties had expected although lower than at the local elections in May 2019.

The returning officer, Geoff Raw, said that a total of 2,600 people turned out to vote out of an electorate of 7,593. Of those, 717 voted by post and 1,883 cast their ballot at a polling station.

At the local elections, 3,758 people voted – a turnout of 51.13 per cent.

The by-election result

Bella Sankey (Labour) 1,519 votes

Peter Revell (Conservative) 756

Ollie Sykes (Green) 190

Stewart Stone (Liberal Democrat) 96

Patricia Mountain (UK Independence Party) 34

2019 result

Garry Ian Michael Peltzer Dunn (Conservative): 1,421

Robert Stuart Nemeth (Conservative): 1,531

Alex Braithwaite (Labour): 1,275

Adam Imanpour (Labour): 1,107

Andrew James Coleman (Green): 973

Alasdair Buchanan Howie (Green): 521

Al Emery (Liberal Democrat): 262

Gemma Margaret Marie Therese Furness (UK Independence Party): 121

Turnout: 3,758 (51.13 per cent)

  1. Nathan Adler Reply

    An expected but good result for Labour. The Tory vote collapsed but interestingly so did the Green vote.

  2. Matt G Reply

    Robert Nemeth looks to be toast.

    • Paul Temple Reply

      Whilst no Tory fan I think Cllr Nemeth will be one of the few Tories that holds his seat. He is a good local councilor and that means something, (despite a failing national government)

  3. Lord Emsworth Reply

    Congratulations to Bella

    So sick of the Tories both locally and nationally

    Time for change

  4. Sd Reply

    Great news, well done Bella!

  5. Nick Reply

    The Tories lost around one in 2 of their voters. But the greens did much worse – losing around 4 in 5 of theirs. On that basis, we’d have a Labour council with a Tory opposition and few if any greens. Whether it goes that far we’ll see, but it shows just how people are feeling about the greens.

    Odd isn’t it, if you don’t listen to people and deliver poor services the electorate don’t want to vote for you again. How surprising!

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      Always dangerous to extraplolate from one by-election result. Such resources would be thinner when all wards are to be contested soon. And we should recall that Labour had minority control of the Council in 2019 – and managed to lose it without an Election two years later.

  6. Martha Gunn Reply

    But 16 point drop in Green Party vote is much more than any one-off oddity Christopher.
    Combined with Tory to Labour swing of 18 points makes this result deserving of close scrutiny.
    Labour has now drained the Corbyn toxin and is a transformed party.
    It will go into the election next year with none of those pickled political relics of the Corbyn era standing in winnable seats.

    • NotASJW Reply

      I’m a recently moved to the ward from central Brighton. I’ve always voted green in Brighton, but I voted labour this time. I think a lot of green votes will swing based on ‘any body but the tories’. I looked at the last election and saw 2 tories on top and then labour in the following 2 slots, so went for labour on teh basis that green might have been a wasted vote.

      Whilst I also agree that a good local councillor is a good local councillor, regardless of party politics, how any one can look at tory values and think ‘That’s what I want to align with’ absolutely astounds me.

  7. chris Reply

    Oh I just don’t care who wins as long as it is not green. That’s how good they are..

  8. Patcham Guy Reply

    Shame really, the Conservatives always have the most sensible people,(that is relatively speaking, i’m not a fan of political parties, or politicians generally.) Hope the voters in wish ward come to their senses before main elections.

    • ChrisC Reply

      So sensible that they voted with the greens for the loan to the i360.

      Something they don’t admit to these days,

  9. Chris Grace Reply

    The Labour Party worked hard in the area. The candidate herself came to our house, we had campaign info that included a postal vote form, and on polling day we had a visit from Labour. Meanwhile the Conservative and Green parties just delivered a leaflet.

    A well-deserved win from a very credible candidate.

  10. vintagefan Reply

    Good news in that it indicates that the Greens will be toast at the next council elections.
    But Labour who have supported the Greens in all their loony vanity and pro cycling schemes have got to distance themselves from the Greens before then to get my support. Also show they’re not ruled by the Momentum caucus. And that they’re concerned about real local issues eg cleaning up the graffiti, collecting the rubbish, keeping open public toilets and children’s nurseries not posturing about climate change and dementedly trying to rid the city of cars etc.
    And let’s not forget they did win control of the council at the last elections under Nancy Plats but lost it when councillors had to resign over anti Semitism and other matters.
    They also coined the disastrous City of Sanctuary label.

    • fed-up with brighton politics Reply

      They probably meant City of Unsanitary but couldn’t manage to spell it nicely.

      They have been trying to distance themselves from the Greens fairly recently, with varying degrees of success, belatedly realising that they had tied themselves to a rapidly drowning party with stone weights round their necks. However, the existing main bunch of them, minus the ones who’ve become ‘independents’, haven’t shown much initiative to date (memo to Labour – criticising the current ‘administration’ is not enough by a long chalk), so they need to show a lot more intent and constructive ideas, which do not cost the long-suffering ratepayers even more money-for-nothing than we have now. Unfortunately, they may promise to do all the basics, like tackle the weeds, clean up the City etc, but will then get into office and discover that the financial cupboard is even barer than they thought, so we go through the same thing all over again for another 4 years.

  11. Valerie Reply

    No party can turn the city into a clean and spruced up place to be proud of. The problem is deeper than people know.

    1. The city has too few paying council tax.
    20% of residents are council tax exempt students – who make a zero contribution to costs and generate cost to the council. Another hefty % are exempt on low wage threshold, low pension or unemployment basis.
    2. This is a very low wage city
    High income areas generate higher council tax
    3. Not enough money comes to the council from business rates
    4. There is no longer a local authority grant from central Govt. This has brought many local authority councils to bankruptcy across Britain
    5. Slovenly squalid residents and visitors who do not want to have to pick up the slack in straitened times & feel affronted at the very idea they should take masks, food packaging, etc home or to a bin make the beach, the Pavilion lawns and gsrden and the streets into a tip. This ‘entitled’ squalor is a massive drain on council resources.
    6. Public toilets are not the legal responsibility of councils but traditionally are paid for by councils. This has led to so many closures. But squalid abuse by users has caused & contributed to closures and prohibitive cleaning and repair costs.

    Costs exceed income!!!!!

    Increasingly bidding for pots of grant money fior non statutory initistives is how officers get money for projects people hate. The money cannot be used for things like more affordable housng, street cleaning etc.

    Residents and visitors need to STOP making the city a dirty, teenagerish loutish mess and maybe de-weed outside their own houses etc. Once upon a pre-war time people used to sweep the street outside their homes!

    • Boomers out Reply

      The “lost” council tax from students is paid for by central government. There is no financial loss in CT in any area by having students.

      There are around 11000 students in Brighton, there are nearly 3 times that of pensioners who recieve a discounted ct bill which is not compensated through central government.

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