England and Wales: July 2009 Archives

Greens win in Brighton.

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alexphillips2.jpgThe Tories started today running Brighton and Hove Council, but the local Greens just took a ward off them in a by-election. Congratulations to the local team, outstanding work, and to new Councillor Phillips. This should be an end to the highly undemocratic Cabinet-only system of government in the area.

The ward's not in Brighton Pavilion, our English colleagues' best target seat, but you know this helps in so many ways. You can still get 2-1 on Caroline Lucas to win. I've got a little at 7-2, but that was a while ago.

Here's the actual result. The missing numbers in the change are from an independent who didn't restand.
Green: 1456 (40%, +18%)
Tory: 1104 (30%, +1%)
Lab: 816 (22%, -5%)
Liberal: 280 (8%, -8%)

Two vital by-elections.

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Infuriatingly for anoraks (and no doubt candidates) the good burghers of Broadland aren't counting the votes for Norwich North until tomorrow. The BBC will be most upset: they've booked a Norwich venue for Question Time tonight, and will have only speculation, not even any exit polls.

I am reluctant to play the expectation game with the election - not least because I'm an irrational optimist. Having said that, if we don't quadruple our 2005 vote I'll be pretty disappointed. A particular pleasure has been seeing unusually balanced BBC coverage, despite squawks of protest from the Put An Egomaniac Into Parliament camp.

With Adrian Ramsay and the team the official opposition on the local authority, and with Greens winning across the whole of Norwich in the Euros, it would have been hard for the Beeb to do otherwise, but we started from a low base in Norwich North, and I can hear the weasel words they'd have used to keep us out. 

There's a vicious circle that takes in exclusion from media coverage and limits to our electoral success, and we're gradually starting to turn it around. No matter what our successes elsewhere, the vital thing will be to start winning Westminster seats, and there's a second vote today which may make even more of a difference on that front.

There's a Brighton by-election, another area where Greens topped the poll in June, and the most likely venue for a Green victory at the next UK General election. Formerly Labour-voting chums of mine are out with the Green leaflets, while other Labour folk have endorsed us. It looks like it's between us and the Tories, and we could displace them from Council leadership if we win. It'd be an ideal platform for the adjacent Brighton Pavilion campaign, and it can't hurt for media coverage that the local Green candidate is pretty photogenic.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the England and Wales category from July 2009.

England and Wales: June 2009 is the previous archive.

England and Wales: August 2009 is the next archive.