By William Mills
Thursday 4th August is voting day in the Brighton and Hove City Council by election for East Brighton ward.
As this is normally one of Labour’s safest wards one wonders if there is any likelihood of an upset?
East Brighton ward returns three city councillors, two of whom are Council Leader Warren Morgan and Deputy Leader Gill Mitchell, so it should be safe Labour as safe as it can get.
However there are two clouds on the horizon and when we asked Cllr Morgan’s office for a quote we were told he was unable to comment.
Firstly a councillor only elected last year in May 2015 resigning because she has other things to do elsewhere is unlikely to endear her party to the electorate for selecting her in the first place.
Secondly Labour’s leadership battles and the suspension of the BH District Labour Party by their national executive can have hardly impressed the voters.
Yet, it is only just a year after the last general election, and Labour, as the losing party, would be expected to have a leadership rumpus with the next election so far away. So perhaps Fleet Street is making too much out of it.
A political party ultimately has its voters. Does the local party connect with them and accurately express their views?
If it truly does then the Labour Party’s MPs are out of step and need replacing. If not, the voters will vote in somebody else.
The only possible challenge to Labour tomorrow comes from UKIP’s candidate, Ex Labour councillor Leigh Farrow.
Leigh Farrow said;
When out canvassing UKIP has been getting a very positive response.
There seems to be a great deal of concern by traditional Labour supporters as they are not sure who to vote for as there seems to be two Labour parties and only one Labour candidate.
Older residents have been particularly friendly and UKIP may achieve a strong second ahead of the Conservatives.
However, the Labour candidate, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who lives in the ward and was a parliamentary candidate last year, seems the likely winner.