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Proposed new constituency: will Norman lose?

On 13 Sep 2011 at 9:44am Vulture wrote:
According to projections in the Guardian - which I know is Holy Writ to all you Lewes lefties, if the Boundary Commission's proposals are enacted before the next General Election, Norman Baker will lose his seat to the dreaded Tories.
For those who haven't followed the story, the Commission is re-drawing Parliamentary boundaries in order to decrease the number of MPs. Under their proposals Lewes will be largely merged with Brighton East - containing places like Kemptown and Peacehaven. The Tories gained Brighton East in 2010, and the Guardian reckons they are in line to swallow Lewes too.
So its make your mind up time for Lewes lefties. Vent your bile on Norman by not voting for him (needless to say Labour and the Greens have no chance here) or see the Tories return. What's it to be?
On 13 Sep 2011 at 9:56am Paul Newman wrote:
The Times also has Baker on the hit list .He will duking it out with Charles Hendry . From what I gather Mr. Hendry might be the sort of Conservative who would give old Baker a good run for his money
He has genuine intellectual credentials ( which will be a novelty on the ballot paper) and he is a reform group member, the left wing of the Conservative Party, inspired by the One Nation vision
In many ways not my cup of tea but given the famed trendy leftiness of Lewes it might be the right place to be. Of course the Guardian is probably over egging it , I `d like to see the basis of this assertion
Also there is the realpolitik , Baker has a lot of clout in the coalition , no really he has , he may well kick . His problem is that the Liberals have extracted so many concessions already there is little more they can reasonably ask for .
On 13 Sep 2011 at 10:29am Mercian wrote:
A Brighton East and Lewes constituency would be very interesting. The Labour vote in Kemptown was 14,000 odd giving the Tories only a 2,000 majority. Kemptown was Labour from 64 to 70 and from 97 to 2010. Meanwhile Lewes is stuffed full off people who basically won't vote Tory and that number is increasing all the time judging by the number of Guardian-reading DFLs and OFBs - that has found its expression in the Lib Dem and increasing Green vote but could it move to Labour? I wouldn't be so sure this is a safe Tory seat, anyone could win it.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 11:37am Paul Newman wrote:
I think if Labour had a leader who was not tainted by Brown owned by the Unions and snuggled up with Balls they would have a much better chance . A David Milliband might have garnered moderate support . Not Ed .
On 13 Sep 2011 at 12:12pm giveitarest wrote:
I lean towards Mercian's view. I've had a look at the boundary commission info. What's interesting is that probably 60% of the geographical area of the new constituency (the villages: Chailey / Plumpton / Kingston etc) provide less than 10% of the electorate. Basically, East Brighton itself is staunch Labour and only went Tory because of the marginal swing in Rottingdean / Woodingdean. But Saltdean, demographically, is definitely swinging left because of Brighton house prices. I agree that the basis of Norman's support in Lewes itself is 'anyone but a Tory' and he's now widely disliked for his part in the Coalition.

There will be precious little to show of an economic recovery by the time of the next election - it won't be about Labour winning so much as the Tories losing. So I think there's a solid likelihood that Lewes will have a Labour MP. The biggest issue might be which party can put forward a 'unification' candidate - ie someone recognised in both Brighton and Lewes.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 12:40pm Mercian wrote:
Of course, the anti-Tory vote could be split between the Greens and Labour. Mind you, I think the Greens would have a good chance of winning the new seat as well. It could go any way.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 1:47pm Paul Newman wrote:
Its interesting that support for New Labour in the South East is actually lower than for the Conservative Party in Scotland .The South East is the only tax exporting region outside London so its hardly surprising.
In Scotland Conservatives have admitted the brand is so toxic they might as well start afresh with a new Party. The same is true of Labour here. I was wondering about a new Party without all the baggage of overspending taxing, uncontrolled immigration, nil progress on education, health and a 10% plus deficit. What about the Southern Slightly Social Democratic Party ?
On 13 Sep 2011 at 3:04pm Zebedee wrote:
With a nod to the Greeks and bearing in mind the UK's wholesale disaffection with politics, politicians, political parties, bankers and the general unfairness of it all my vote's for The Indignant Party.

In reality it doesn't matter. As any sort of advancing entity the UK is finished.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 3:47pm DFL wrote:
Here's the proposed split up. Lewes gets well and truly carved !!

Check it out here »
On 13 Sep 2011 at 3:52pm Vulture wrote:
As I thought, the Lefties are in la-la land on this one.
giveitarest even professes to believe that there's a 'strong likelihood' that Lewes will have a Labour MP. Yeah, right....like a strong likelihood that Tunbridge Wells will elect the Worker's Revolutionary Party.
Apart from all else, the Left vote is hopelessly split between the Lib dems, Labour and the Greens whereas the Tory vote is solid. giveitarest implicitly admits this when he calls fro a leftie unification candidate. And that's about as likely as the Conservatives carrying the Glasow Gorbals.
But he's right that there are an unhealthy number of lefties here in lewes itgself compared to the rest of the south-east (apart from Planet Brighton). It was the same with the AV referendum when Lewes was again out of step with everyone else around. No wonder Polly Toynbee lives here.
So its Norm or the Tories folks. Its clothes-pegs on the nose time.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 5:06pm Mercian wrote:
I think you're missing the point, Vulture. A Lewes and Brighton East constituency would be a very different constituency to the eixsting one. It would contain 55,000 Kemptown voters and just 23,000 Lewes voters. Kemptown would clearly decide the MP, and as we know, it has voted Labour many times in the past.
Far more voters in the existing Lewes area (around 39,000) will vote in Uckfield in the future. That'll be as Tory as they get.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 5:07pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I think the suggested change will mean that a Labour vote will not necessarily be a wasted one, in future, for the reasons given by Mercian, et al.
Tufton Beamish must be turning in his grave.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 5:15pm Mercian wrote:
Meanwhile, as the population of Guardian-reading Stoke Newington and Crouch End continues to move to Lewes en masse....
On 13 Sep 2011 at 5:22pm bastian wrote:
politicians seem so desperate to have power and that they will do anything for it,even move boundaries,yet the liberals seem the most power hungry at the moment and they stand to lose the most in this shift.Liberals are middle of the road,they get knocked down by traffic in both dirrections.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 7:57pm Fairmeadow wrote:
But which seat will Norman choose?
I agree with Mercian, that the new Lewes/Kemp Town seat looks pretty Green. The Greens have made a prsurprisingly good job of running Brighton, and have the huge advantage of not being Tories, Labour or LibDems. How hard would it be to choose between Caroline Lucas and Cameron, Miliband and Clegg?
Might Norman be better off in the new Uckfield seat, which includes Newhaven (mainly LibDem), Ringmer (ditto) and Uckfield (ditto). Charles Hendry will surely prefer the bluer parts of the former Wealden constituency, hived off into The Weald.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 8:14pm Paul Newman wrote:
I am confused , the Times has Norm in competition with Charles Hendry the Wealden MP who has a huge majority. The Kemptown MP is Simon Kirby who has a fairly narrow majority.The Greens are irrelevant and in that both neighbouring seats are Conservative this must benefit the blues but by how much ?
Mercian - Balls - Most newcomers are family home owners in the private sector They want work rewarded not punished . I am one I know .
On 13 Sep 2011 at 8:20pm Mercian wrote:
I'm a family homeowner working in the private sector, young family. I know lots like me in Lewes. We/they are all left of centre and would not consider voting Tory. I know loads of young families who have recently relocated to Lewes (being in same cateogry myself) - and I mean estates like Nevill and Malling, not the centre of town - and I don't know a single one who isn't vaguely Guardianista in their politics.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 8:42pm Southover Queen wrote:
I agree with ACT: there are an awful lot of Labour voters in Lewes who have been voting LibDem because going with your heart lets the appalling Tory in. I know I did last time round but I won't do it again. The sight of the LibDems ditching every belief in the pursuit of a slippery grasp of power has been pretty unedifying. So I wouldn't be too certain about the colour of a Lewes/Brighton East constituency.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 8:53pm Paul Newman wrote:
You do now !
On 13 Sep 2011 at 9:09pm Paul Newman wrote:
Looking at the new boundaries Lewes will be included in a new Constituency formed of 29.47% the existing constituency and 70.53% Kemptown
If you take the split as homogenously spread the results at the last election would have been
Conservative 30.95%
Liberal 24.86%
Labour 19.96%
Others 6.62%
On 13 Sep 2011 at 9:10pm Paul Newman wrote:
But more of Norman`s existing Constituency will actually go elsewhere than remains in the ??Lewes ?? Constituency .The Times has him up against the Weald MP not the Kemptown MP. Is he off ?
I think he will stay in the new constituency because the real votes are not homogenously spread and Lewes Town represents a large block of dippy Liberals.
I guess we will see Norm up against the Charismatic Simon Kirby .
With the all, things to all people spell well and truly broken the Liberaks will be down a fair bit . This can only mean a Conservative win. Labour are far too far behind and they have the wrong leader to compete in the South.
Goody goody gum drops
On 13 Sep 2011 at 9:26pm Dejected of Lewes wrote:
"The Greens have made a prsurprisingly good job of running Brighton, and have the huge advantage of not being Tories, Labour or LibDems. How hard would it be to choose between Caroline Lucas and Cameron, Miliband and Clegg?"
It would be nice if the Greens were in the running, but they're not. They did excellently well to win the the city Council and won in areas that surprised many, but not in Bevendean or Moulescoomb, which still stayed solidly Labour. It's these areas that are going to make the baulk of the seat from Brighton to make the new Lewes and Brighton East constituency.
It seems we're in between the unthinking and uncritical Labour voters of East Brighton and the unthinking and uncritical Tory voters of Peacehaven and the villages it will be a Tory/Labour marginal and at a very long shot a threeway marginal (Lib Dems included).
The Greens have been majorly shafted as have the Lib Dems who's support of the coalition must now becoming increasingly untenable.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 9:59pm giveitarest wrote:
If you add up the electorate in the two 'red' Brighton wards: East Brighton and Moulsecoomb & Bevendean, and the three central Lewes wards, you get to just shy of 50% of the constituency electorate. If, say, 50% of Lewes liberal voters have been voting tactically anti-Tory, it ain't nearly as cut and dried as Mr Newman would like to believe.
On 13 Sep 2011 at 11:03pm Mercian wrote:
Some interesting analysis on here;

Check it out here »
On 14 Sep 2011 at 12:09am Realist wrote:
Who cares? It's almost four years away...
On 14 Sep 2011 at 12:48am Fairmeadow wrote:
Question is, why on earth does Peacehaven vote in Tory councillors?
The county public health maps show it with pretty much the same level of deprivation as Newhaven, where Tories are few and far between. Peacehaven is miles less prosperous than Lewes, where (with the honourable exception of PN) Tories are as rare as hens' teeth, or at least keep their heads very far below the parapet.
Kemp Town has always been a bellwether constituency - almost always goes to the national winners. Adding Lewes will do nothing to help the Tories.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 6:44am Paul Newman wrote:
I love Liberals on the subject of Peacehaven it goes something like " Why don`t those white trash ill educated scum of the earth little Englander cretins like us ? I just don`t get it ....".. and they never will.
I take your point of course Giveitarest I `d say it was pretty even at a guess but you will have a sitting Conservative MP of real quality which will energise Conservatives. The Liberal vote has to fall from its Telly selly spike and I cannot see Labour as in the right place for the next election.They are drifting left overall with Balls ( Mr. Deficit) nice and visible.Even now, they are nowhere, and all they talk about is spending. Goes down well in Lewes but most folk know better.
Could be we have a marginal . Excellent
On 14 Sep 2011 at 7:59am DFL wrote:
Yes marginals are great, make those MPs work for a change....
On 14 Sep 2011 at 8:19am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Paul, I don't think you can assume anything like homogeneity when you analyse results in an area which is effectively a 3-way marginal. We have no idea what proportion of the Lib Dem vote was actually Labour voters voting tactically. If it was as low as 10% and they reverted to Labour, that would have Lib and Lab neck and neck.
The breakdown of the vote will vary significantly from ward to ward, and in some ways analysis of council election results might be more informative.
Next time round, I suspect there will be a small but significant proportion of LD voters who regard them as careerist traitors for not making more of an effort to block the Tories on some of their more extreme policies, and it's hard to say whether they will vote Green or red next time round.
Fairmeadow, I've always been mystified by the Peacehaven Tory vote too. I suspect it may be that Peacehaven has a higher proportion of elderely residents who are more inclined to vote Conservative, and that the voters in general don't like to accept that they live in a deprived area. In fact, they may well be more Tory in future, given that the government's proposed relaxation of planning controls will make more Peacehavens possible!
On 14 Sep 2011 at 8:40am 'ere be monsters wrote:
It doesn't matter what happens, same sh*t whatever colour.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 9:52am Mercian wrote:
Actually, ACT, I was wondering about the planning reforms. Let's imagine a situation in which Lewes DC's plan is deemed inadmissable because it doesn't have sufficient evidence. A planning consent for a large development of Barratt boxes goes through on appeal ("presumption in favour of sustainable development") just outside hte national park in, say, Plumpton. What happens to the Conservative vote in the villages then?
On 14 Sep 2011 at 9:54am Mercian wrote:
Re: Peacehaven, PN, your lot have just as many problems working out why middle-class professionals in Hornsey & Wood Green, Hampstead & Highgate or Birmngham Edgbaston vote Labour.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 10:15am Fairmeadow wrote:
You are quite right Mercian, and it applies more locally too.
Lewes was a very safe Tory seat for the first century of its existence, and Lewes town still has a Middle England social profile entirely compatible with this. Yet Tories on Lewes Town Council or representing Lewes on the District or County councils are fast slipping beyond living memory. I'm sure there must be the odd Tory activist in Lewes today, but I can't for the life of me bring any names to mind, and they only put up the odd token candidate in May's elections. It just isn't respectable or indeed 'nice' to be a Tory here. I somehow can't see that changing much under the current government.
Sorry, PN, value your contributions here, but probably best if you stay under a pseudonym.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 10:22am Paul Newman wrote:
I used to live in Hornsey which is part of the Borough of Islington previously the original loony left council under Enver Hodge. In that borough over half the households are social housing of which 75% are on benefits.
The problem you have is not wasting time on the doorstep with a few meeja pepes and their floppy fringed pretensions. Its telling people on welfare they would be better off with less. Tough sell that Mercian and if you think the psychology of luxury voting is a mystery, not to me it aint. Its saying, I`m not only richer than you,I `m better than you.Simples.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 10:32am Paul Newman wrote:
Lewes went left when public sector employment and educational employmnent especially , became its staple ( or was it an outbreak of nicenes ...arf arf)
On 14 Sep 2011 at 10:39am Mercian wrote:
Fairmeadow - Lewes was, before the 20th century, a Liberal stronghold. The town was unusual in the south of England for being strongly nonconformist, with a high number of chapels. One local history book I have describes the town as an island of nonconformity in a sea of anglicanism. The roots of LEwes' exeptionalism go deep and it is not just down to a few DFLs, whatever some locals might think.
Paul - I thought you were quite well-informed but you've just completely lost me. Hornsey and Wood Green isn't in Islington. It contains Muswell Hill, Crouch End and most of Highgate, there isn't very much social housing (apart from around Wood Green). It's one of the richest areas of suburban London - Muswell Hill is stufffed full of rich lawyers, doctors, bankers etc. It was safe Tory territory until the 1990s.
It's just an example - there are many - of how the Conservatives have completely lost the middle-class urban vote. Look at Solihull in the West Midlands - used to be as Tory as the come, real gin-and-jag - now pretty much Lib Dem central.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 11:36am Paul Newman wrote:
Mercian -The Liberalism of the time was Gladstonian Laissez Faire Economics and small government a type of thinking abandoned by the Liberal Party during the 20th century notwithstanding recent orange book posturing , as we see, replaced with hand wringing and collectivism
On Hornsey I lived just off the Hornsey Road which was in Islington, I assumed it was in Hornsey which , I take it only starts further North. My brother lives in Highgate by suicide bridge , if you know the area and Islington goes right up to the roads immediately behind that boundary. Crouch End is down the hill.
I understand what you are saying, these are people whose views are slow moving with an unconscious need to conform . They see this as expressed by the BBC / baby boomer Guardian style signals asserting class identity and excluding the dreaded "Lower middle class " who might read ( eeek) The Mail. Despising the Mail is especially important .
The new intellectual climate will eventually filter through just as they eventually get Sky .
Its a little eddy in the river .No more
On 14 Sep 2011 at 12:24pm Vulture wrote:
Fairmeadow says it just isn't nice or respectable to be a Tory 'here' - ie in Lewes.

But if you look at the electoral map of the rest of the South-east, even brighton, its a sea of deep blue.
So what's it with Lewes? Why so out of step with the rest of the region?
Could it be that the DFLs left their brains behind when they moved here?

I mean do we really want the party of war criminal Blair and gibbering maniac brown back in power after the mess they made last time.
is the Adenoid Kid who addresses the nation through a yard of Snot, and his less-than-lovely would-be supplanter Ed Balls credible as leaders.

Just think about it. WTF would you want to vote Labour?
On 14 Sep 2011 at 1:15pm Mercian wrote:
I'm not massively keen on Labour, to be honest. But I prefer them to the Tories, who have never done anything but help their rich friends, blame the poor for all their problems and destroy this country's industrial base.
Incidentally, the real trend is that Conservative voters are becoming more concentrated in some parts of the country. THe point about the SOuth East is that it is mostly rural or small towns (which attract Tories). Where there are cities - SOuthampton, Portsmouth, Brighton - the anti-Tory vote is higher. Lewes is increasingly plugged into Brighton and London rather than the Shires around it.
Mind you, back in the 1950s whole swathes of NOrth Kent and North NOrfolk used to vote Labour, and there were Conservative seats all over the big northern and midland cities.

Check it out here »
On 14 Sep 2011 at 2:31pm Paul Newman wrote:
Yes if only we`d had a few more years of Callaghan we'd be living in industrial utopia natch. New Labour have only 12 seats in the entire South outside London and the significant and long term loss has been of working class home owning self employed or SME employed types who used go vote Labour. If you look at David Milliband`s pitch this was his subject and it has been extensively agonised over in the Southern Discomfort paper/s.
It is truer to say that Labour have become more concentrated in inner cities which have emptied into the shires ( so called white flight) leading to inner city votes becoming seriously over counted
Hence the constituency re -jig which brings us full circle.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 2:33pm Paul Newman wrote:
On the unfashionableness of Conservatism this was the basis of Cameron`s detoxification agenda based on Ashcroft`s research showing people like centre right policies but not when attached to the word Conservative . It was later revealed that this effect was no more true of Conservative, the brand , than Labour and reflected a drift from mainstream Party politics.
The beneficiaries of this were the Liberal Party but now "I agree with Nick" is " I vomit on Nick" I think we can say the honeymoon is over which is why they will go backwards from the high point of the last GE.
On 14 Sep 2011 at 2:50pm Mercian wrote:
Wasn't immigration the big issue though? How does that square with your libertarian politics?
I do have a bit of time for the one nation types. Too many young Conservatives, though, seem to have over-read Ayn Rand and Hayek - they're rich anarchists who want police protection for their money and their slaves.

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