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Brighton Journal | 29th February 2020

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Labour cling on in Brighton amid Green surge

Labour cling on in Brighton amid Green surge
Daniel Green

The Labour Party have remained the largest party in Brighton and Hove by one seat, amid a Green surge winning votes from both of the largest parties.

Labour have won 20 seats (down three on the last election), the Green Party are up to 19 (up eight), with the Conservatives pushed into third with 14 (down six).

The Greens swept across the city, taking all the seats in Hanover and Elm Grove, Preston Park and Withdean. The party also won a seat from Labour in Hollingdean and Stanmer and Queen’s Park.

Green Party activists celebrate gaining eight seats in the local elections

Phelim Mac Cafferty, leader of the Greens in Brighton, said of the result: “People went out of their way to vote for us and vote for us in very large numbers, which is fantastic news and echos what’s been happening all around the country as well.”

However, it wasn’t all bad news for Labour, with the party making gains from the Conservatives in Westbourne and Central Hove.

Brighton Labour leader Dan Yates praised the party’s victory and said: “I’m delighted, it’s the first time in 20 years that any political party has kept control of the council. It’s changed and changed and now it’s stuck.

“It’s a significant vote of confidence in Brighton of how Labour has administered the city over the last four years, so we will be trying to do exactly the same over the next four years.”

“We have also seen a significant vote for the progressive parties. We know Brighton is a progressive, pro-EU city and they have shown the Tories, even in their heartlands, that they are not okay with the actions of the Conservartive government.”

In a stunning result, independent candidate Bridget Fishleigh topped the poll in Rottingdean Coastal, winning a seat from the Conservatives.

Fishleigh, who previously led the campaign to save Saltdean Lido, is the first independent to be elected in Brighton and Hove for 12 years.

She said: “People didn’t vote for me as a protest vote. They voted for me, because I’m a strong local canidate with a track record.

“Nobody was talking about Brexit. They were talking about congestion on the A259, overdevelopment of the Marina and building new homes on greenfield sites without the adquate infrastrucutre.”

Tony Janio, the Conservative Party’s leader in Brighton, kept his seat after rumours it had been lost to Labour.

He said: “The residents of Hangleton and Knoll spoke and they went against the trend of marginal wards across the country.

“The major parties have both got national troubles and that was played out here.”

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