Boundary review – Greens do pretty well
Boundary reviews are always a frighting time for MPs. You can fight for years to win a constituency, then have it dissolved in the blink of a commission. For the Green Party, whose work to win Brighton Pavilion has gone on for years, it was a potentially terrifying time.
But today’s results of the first commission show that we have little to fear in Brighton. Whilst there are significant changes to Caroline Lucas’ constituency, the proposed replacement is a seat we shouldn’t struggle to win. In the suggested new constituency of Brighton Pavilion and Hove, we won all but one of the council seats in this year’s local elections (an errant Tory who won the second seat in the ward – the Greens still picked up the first seat, and most votes). It will be interesting to see what local Greens think this does to the chances of winning a second seat in the city, but we certainly shouldn’t fear losing our one as a result of these changes.
Norwich South – the Greens second best seat – barely changes. All of the party’s strongest wards remain in the seat, and the small changes around the edges probably slightly favour the party (though I’m happy to be corrected by a local).
There was potentially a case for playing a defensive game in the next election: losing our one MP would be a disaster, and had the boundary review effectively de-selected Caroline, as it could have done, then we would need to prioritise fighting to win her the replacement seat. But if the boundaries stay roughly as they are proposed, then we should have nothing to fear from this. Which means there is space for focussed but ambitious expansion. I won’t go through the boundaries of other strong Green areas (because I don’t have time to dig through them all), but there are plenty of seats we could be focussing on next time around.