General Election Predictions

General Election Predictions 10: East Sussex

28 Dec 2014 at 09:00

This is the tenth in a series of blogposts (scroll to the bottom of the article for the others) which will seek to predict the outcome of every seat in the run-up to the next general election. The notion of a universal swing in May 2015 can be totally discounted. Each seat has to be treated on its merits. I’m starting off by trying to analyse the counties I know best, but eventually will turn to ones I know very little about at all. Feel free to add your comments and tell me where you think I have got things wrong. I will return to update each county analysis when and if I get new information.

Seats: 8
Current Political Makeup: Con 5, LibDem 2, Green 1
Predicted Political Makeup after May 7: Con 3, Lab 3, LibDem 1, Green 1

1. Bexhill & Battle

2010 Result:
Conservative: 28147 (51.6%)
Labour: 6524 (12%)
Lib Dem: 15267 (28%)
BNP: 1950 (3.6%)
Others: 2699 (4.9%)
MAJORITY: 12880 (23.6%)

Sitting MP: Greg Barker (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

Safe as houses, and with the LibDem vote crumbling to Labour, the Tory majority should increase here.

2. Brighton Kemptown

2010 Result:
Conservative: 16217 (38%)
Labour: 14889 (34.9%)
Lib Dem: 7691 (18%)
Green: 2330 (5.5%)
UKIP: 1384 (3.2%)
TUSC: 194 (0.5%)
MAJORITY: 1328 (3.1%)

Sitting MP: Simon Kirby (Con)
Prediction: Probable Labour gain

Simon Kirby defied predictions and took this seat in 2010. He’s unlikely to hold it despite performing well as a constituency MP. The Green council’s record may well mean some of the Green vote goes to Labour and at least a good proportion of the LibDem vote is likely head in the same direction. If Labour don’t win this seat, it will be symptomatic that they are in for a terrible evening. A good majority, on the other hand will be an indication that Ed Miliband is heading for Downing Street.

3. Brighton Pavilion

2010 Result:
Conservative: 12275 (23.7%)
Labour: 14986 (28.9%)
Lib Dem: 7159 (13.8%)
Green: 16238 (31.3%)
UKIP: 948 (1.8%)
Others: 228 (0.4%)
MAJORITY: 1252 (2.4%)

Sitting MP: Caroline Lucas (Green)
Prediction: Narrow Green hold

They don’t come much more hardworking than Caroline Lucas, and if work rate counted for anything she’d waltz home in 2015. However, the disastrous record of the Green controlled council in Brighton may scupper her chances of holding the seat. This is an incredibly difficult seat to call. Opinion is split on whether Lucas will not only hold the seat but increase her majority or whether Labour could squeak it. There’s a LibDem vote to squeeze and the Greens may be able to do this more easily than Labour, and there are also several areas of the constituency where UKIP are said to making inroads into the Labour vote. I’ve called this for Labour, but it’s not a prediction I’d bet any money on. UPDATE 15/1/14 I’ve changed my mind on this bearing in mind the Green surge. However, it really is still too close to make a confident prediction.

4. Eastbourne

2010 Result:
Conservative: 21223 (40.7%)
Labour: 2497 (4.8%)
Lib Dem: 24658 (47.3%)
BNP: 939 (1.8%)
UKIP: 1305 (2.5%)
Independent: 1327 (2.5%)
Others: 175 (0.3%)
MAJORITY: 3435 (6.6%)

Sitting MP: Stephen Lloyd (LibDem)
Prediction: Probable Conservative gain

Won in 2010 from Nigel Waterson, Stephen Lloyd may hang on, but Iโ€™d expect the Labour vote to at least double at the expense of the LibDems, so yet again, a lot depends on how many votes the Tories lose to UKIP. Lloyd has been a hardworking MP but rather preposterously resigned as a government PPS as his constituency didn’t get enough ‘pork’ in the autumn statement.

5. Hastings & Rye

2010 Result:
Conservative: 20468 (41.1%)
Labour: 18475 (37.1%)
Lib Dem: 7825 (15.7%)
BNP: 1310 (2.6%)
UKIP: 1397 (2.8%)
English Dem: 339 (0.7%)
MAJORITY: 1993 (4%)

Sitting MP: Amber Rudd (Con)
Prediction: Labour gain

Amber Rudd has been a vocal MP and is now a DECC minister. This was a Labour seat under Blair and Brown and it would be a brave punter who bet any money against it returning to the Labour fold. If it doesn’t, Labour needs to prepare for a very dark election night indeed.

6. Hove

2010 Result:
Conservative: 18294 (36.7%)
Labour: 16426 (33%)
Lib Dem: 11240 (22.6%)
Green: 2568 (5.2%)
UKIP: 1206 (2.4%)
Independent: 85 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 1868 (3.7%)

Sitting MP: Mike Weatherley (Con)
Prediction: Labour gain

The Tories’ best hope of retaining this seat was if Mike Weatherley re-fought it but he’s decided to retire after only one term. The reason I expect Labour to gain it is because I think they will sweep up a good proportion of the existing LibDem vote.

7. Lewes

2010 Result:
Conservative: 18401 (36.7%)
Labour: 2508 (5%)
Lib Dem: 26048 (52%)
BNP: 594 (1.2%)
Green: 729 (1.5%)
UKIP: 1728 (3.4%)
Independent: 80 (0.2%)
MAJORITY: 7647 (15.3%)

Sitting MP: Norman Baker (LibDem)
Prediction: Narrow LibDem hold

2010 was a high watermark for the LibDems in this once very safe Tory seat. The Tories are putting a lot of effort into unseating Norman Baker but it’s rather out of control. It all depends on how much of his vote seeps to Labour. Like Stephen Lloyd in Eastbourne and Norman Lamb in North Norfolk, Norman Baker has squeezed the Labour vote to virtually nothing. His continued success depends almost entirely whether he can supress it enough on 7 May to pull through.

8. Wealden

2010 Result:
Conservative: 31090 (56.6%)
Labour: 5266 (9.6%)
Lib Dem: 13911 (25.3%)
Green: 1383 (2.5%)
UKIP: 3319 (6%)
MAJORITY: 17179 (31.3%)

Sitting MP: Charles Hendry (Con)
Prediction: Increased Conservative majority

The decline in the LibDem vote should mean an increased majority for Nusrat Ghani, the new Tory candidate chosen to succeed Charles Hendry.

Coming next: West Sussex

To see the complete list of predictions click HERE

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