THE country will go to the polls today for the first Christmas-time election since 1923.

Normally, Britons are asked every five years to choose their representatives to run the country but this will be the third poll since 2015.

With the starting pistol fired on the General Election, candidates across Brighton and Hove will be donning their rosettes and knocking on doors in a rush to secure votes.

Brighton and Hove area is split into constituencies – Hove and Portslade, Brighton Pavilion and Brighton Kemptown.


The Argus:

The current Labour incumbent Lloyd Russell-Moyle was elected in 2017, unseating Conservative Simon Kirby.

He was elected with a majority of nearly 10,000 votes.

But unlike in 2017, Mr Russell-Moyle will now have to face a Green Party candidate.

Davy Jones, the would-be Green candidate in the 2017 election was stood down by the party in a “progressive alliance” pact to unseat Mr Kirby.

Mr Russell-Moyle said: “Two years ago, I promised you that the voice of Brighton Kemptown, which voted decisively to remain, would be heard.

“Since then, I have honoured that pledge because I do not want to see the UK lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and the economy go into decline.

“At every stage I have fought for a public vote on any deal to leave the European Union. “Although this Parliament has been dominated by Brexit, I have continued to raise the underlying issues that matter in people’s lives and caused the Brexit vote.

“I have introduced legislation to make rental system fairer against greedy landlords, restoring legal aid that the Tories cut.

“I led an inquiry into youth services revealing an over £1 billion cut to the sector and championed a Green New Deal inside and outside Parliament.

“Locally, I’ve dealt with over 2,313 individual pieces of casework on everything from housing, potholes to special needs education.

“Our country is at a crossroads. As your MP, I will continue to be your voice as we navigate these choppy waters.

“Your choice in this election is between a nationalist English Conservative Party, or a Labour Party that is for the many and not the few.

“I will do everything in my power to bring us back from the brink, deliver a final say referendum and get on with fighting for the things that matter— our schools, our economy, our NHS and our environment.”


The Argus:

Trainee barrister Joe Miller became Brighton Kemptown Conservatives’ youngest ever Parliamentary candidate when he was chosen earlier this month.

No stranger to firsts, the former Cardinal Newman pupil became the youngest Brighton and Hove city councillor when he was elected at just 20. He is now 25.

He has previously been deputy leader of Lewes District Council and chaired the Audit and Standards Committee.

He said: “I was born in the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and I am proud that over £500 million has been invested by the Conservatives in new buildings, which will bring down waiting times and provide state-of- the-art facilities.

“I fully support the NHS’s £35 million research programme which will give more help to teenagers battling with mental health issues including depression, anxiety, self-harm, and eating disorders. I will continue to campaign for suicide prevention, and mental health awareness.

“I am a governor of Longhill School, which has gone from being rated ‘requiring improvement’ to ‘good’ by Ofsted.

“Conservatives are putting an extra £14 billion into properly funding our primary and secondary schools, so that every child gets more guaranteed minimum funding, regardless of where they live.

“I can deliver the change people want, giving every child the world-class education and start in life they deserve, no matter what their background.

“I am delighted that Sussex Police will get 129 more police officers in first phase of the Conservative Government’s uplift.

“This is on top of the 250 extra police officers that Sussex Police have already started recruiting over the next four years.

“It is great news and means that Sussex Police numbers will have risen by 379. There’s more to be done and I will work tirelessly to ensure the police have the funding and resources to keep our streets.”


The Argus:

Not to be confused with the Brexit Party’s Alexandra Phillips, who is also an MEP, the Green Party candidate has been a Brighton and Hove city councillor since 2009 – and is our current mayor.

When her party last stood in 2015, they received 3,187 votes - or 7 per cent of the overall vote.

But, with the Greens proving themselves more popular with voters nationally and the party’s success at the local elections earlier this year, the “scouser, socialist and mushy pea lover” and her supporters believe she has a chance to unseat Mr Russell-Moyle.

She said: “As Green MEP for the South East, I’ve been speaking out in Europe about the biggest crises of our time: the climate emergency and Brexit.

"I’m calling for a radical plan to create jobs, address inequality and heal our communities. And I want everyone, whether they voted Remain or Leave, to have a say on any final Brexit deal.

"As councillor in our city for ten years, I know local people want affordable housing, new jobs, good quality schools and to keep our NHS in public and hands. Electing more Green MPs to work alongside Caroline Lucas in parliament is the only way to drive this radical change in our city.”


The Argus:

Ben Thomas, an ex-Varndean student, helped establish Sussex’s first indoor trampoline park.

He has now moved into the licensed trade and is working on a new pub project in Kemp Town.

He said: “After the referendum result in 2016, I decided that I will never again sit idly by whilst watching my country be pulled between two extremes.

"Our country deserves and should demand so much better. I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to represent the city that I love, making the unequivocal case for stopping the madness that is Brexit and getting us back to the issues that really matter.

"I am a pub manager and have worked in various jobs across Brighton and in Peacehaven. I know all too well the living costs of being a single working professional in the city, just getting by month to month.

"Rents are astronomical, transport costs constantly rising, wages not keeping pace, our mental health services stretched and underfunded, our high streets crippled by punitive business rates… none of which are being addressed whilst Brexit sucks the life out of our Parliament and civil service.

"Unlike the Conservatives or Labour whom want to plough on with their different versions of Brexit for the months and years ahead, I want to call time. Enough is enough. How about we divert our energy, money and time into making our NHS fit for the future.”


The Argus:

Last weekend the party announced it is to contest all three seats in Brighton and Hove, following speculation from media.

The former solider said: “The Brexit Party plans to ensure that democracy is enacted. In 2016 The Government put a question to the people. That question was answered.

"Yet Parliament, including the Brighton MPs, contemptuously rejected our answer. Labour and The Greens are Remainers. The Liberal Democrats actively defy democracy. Boris Johnson’s Tories plan to keep us in the EU while pretending otherwise.

"That isn’t good enough. Power should reside with the people, not Parliament. If we let them get away with it this time, our democracy is meaningless.

"The Brexit Party is the only party that pledges to leave the EU for real and return democracy to the people.

“Our other core message is to Change Politics for Good. We are business people, not irresponsible politicians.”


The Argus:

Bridget Fishleigh, one of the founders of The Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company, was elected to the council in May.

She said: “As the only elected independent on Brighton and Hove City Council, I have seen first hand how tribal party politics work. It really is time for a change and for strong independents to come into national, as well as local, politics.

"We need MPs who are representatives of local people and free from party political dogma. We need MPs who are able to dedicate their time to problems that need solving – and not on exhaustive internal party affairs.

“We need MPs who can take a pragmatic approach and do what’s right for residents rather than having to toe the party line.

“My victory in May showed that people are ready and willing to support an independent who is committed to our community and has already made a difference with a long and successful local track record.

"I am stepping up as a mature, experienced person and businesswoman who is able to bang the drum for Brighton, Telscombe and Peacehaven unencumbered by party politics. I am committed to driving through initiatives and policies that will make all of our lives better."


The Argus:

The current Green incumbent, Caroline Lucas will be defending her 15,000 vote majority at the election.

After winning the seat in the 2010 election, the country’s only Green MP has increased her vote share at each poll since.

The only party who have, so far, announced a candidate to contest her seat is the Lib Dems, who have chosen Paul Chandler.

Caroline Lucas said: “This is being framed as Brexit election, but it’s actually the climate election. The next Parliament will be decisive in determining whether we can put our country on a path away from climate catastrophe – and the next few years will be critical to ensuring we act with the speed and scope that the science demands.

“The Tories have failed to deliver 24 out of 25 critical climate policies and have no vision for a sustainable, just and fair future.

“The Green Party does with our Green New Deal, a plan which I have been working on for more than a decade and which also tackles pressing social problems.

“I will campaign to keep the climate emergency at the top of the political agenda.

“But we cannot avoid Brexit and the disaster that Boris Johnson’s hard-right Brexit will mean for our city and our country, in economic terms, what it means for our shared values and with its trashing of workers’ and environmental protections.

“As one of the co-founders of the People’s Vote campaign, I will continue to fight for our broken democracy to be fixed, starting with a people’s vote on any Brexit deal, and campaigning passionately to remain.

“The housing crisis in Brighton is a scar on our city. A safe secure home is out of reach for too many people, with the huge shortage of social housing, unaffordable private rents and inadequate provision for the homeless.

“The people of Brighton cannot afford another five years of this. People are literally dying on the streets.

“I will continue to campaign for a system that lifts everyone up – more and better social housing and year-round night shelters so people don’t have to sleep rough on our streets, speaking up for those systematically excluded from our society, and fighting for a more humane welfare system.”


The Argus:

The only party who have, so far, announced a candidate to contest Caroline Lucas’s seat is the Lib Dems, who have chosen Paul Chandler.

Mr Chandler, who is a former party chairman, describes himself as an “ex-travel agent, keen sailor and cruciverbalist”.

He said: “In 2017 we didn’t stand against Caroline Lucas, believing her commitment to reversing Brexit was equal to our own. In the same elections the Greens stood down in Kemptown.

"While our gesture certainly helped Caroline to consolidate her position, it was not without considerable cost to Liberal Democrats in the constituency. I know that the Greens felt similarly about their own gesture and they are standing against Lloyd Russell-Moyle on December 12.

“Liberal Democrats have pledged (if elected as majority government) to kill Brexit stone dead by revoking Article 50. Caroline Lucas has forcefully rejected that approach. Of course, if we are not in a majority, we will support a confirmatory referendum if it is proposed by whichever party or coalition is in power.

“A second referendum was always our favoured solution to the mess that is Brexit. But there was never a majority for that in the current Parliament. We proposed it and voted for it on several occasions but it never passed.

“Additionally Lib Dems across the country will be campaigning on the other great threats that face us. “The climate emergency, the housing crisis (especially acute in Brighton and Hove), the threats to our NHS and the funding crisis in schools. I am an experienced campaigner and I would love the opportunity to serve the people of Brighton.”


The Argus:

Incumbent MP Peter Kyle, who won the seat in 2015 from the Conservatives, will not face challenges from within his own party before he defends his 18,000 majority.

Mr Kyle won 64 per cent of the overall vote in the last election, but was facing a battle to stand as the party’s candidate at a series of reselection ballots.

These were called off when the General Election was called.

He said: “In this election voters have a big choice to make – over jobs, our NHS, education, how we ensure everyone has a decent home, the environment and how we look after our elderly. “And of course Brexit.

“It’s incredibly important that the public have the opportunity to say whether the Brexit deal negotiated is what they voted for in the referendum.

“I proposed the confirmatory ballot on Brexit which would allow the public to look at Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal and then vote for or against it.

“It was my amendment in Parliament which was only 12 votes short of this happening – which is why I will continue to campaign for this to happen. Give the people a say on the final deal.

“I hope I’ve shown over the last four years as the MP for Hove and Portslade that I’ve been good for our area. I have always sought to put my heart and soul into campaigning and in being a strong national voice.

“No matter who is in government, Tory or Labour, I will always put the important issues we face in Hove and Portslade first.

“This means I want to stop the £15.6 million cuts to schools this year, I want action on the climate emergency, I want to help the council build more affordable housing, and I want to support the small businesses and self employed who are the engine of our local economy.

“As we face winter I also want to ensure our NHS is properly funded and kept out the hands of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage.

“And let’s not forget the everyday things which need to run well, so that we can love where we live – and that includes services for the homeless, rubbish and recycling collections, roads and our seafront heritage.”


The Argus:

The Conservative candidate, Robert Nemeth, currently represents the Wish Ward, part of the constituency at Brighton and Hove City Council.

It is the first time the beekeeper from Hove has stood as an MP but he did previously run the office of former Tory representative Mike Weatherly who stood and won in the constituency in 2010.

He said: “I’m standing for Parliament to represent the area which I love through a heartfelt desire to improve the lives of all and a straightforward sense of duty.

“As the elected representative of the good people of Wish Ward, I have fought for the interests of this warm community and chalked up a number of victories – not least in stopping Labour from selling Hove Library.

“I have scrutinised the administration’s many failings on the King Alfred project and exposed dubious rough-sleeping statistics. “I get a huge kick out of helping others.

“My life, and that of my young family, is totally immersed in the local community.

“I’m particularly passionate about the seafront and founded both the Friends of Hove Lagoon and Hove Beach Hut Association.”


The Argus:

Ollie Sykes, the Green candidate for Hove, is a senior project manager for the Environment Agency and was a Green councillor representing Brunswick and Adelaide ward for eight years.

He said: “With only ten years left to avert catastrophic climate change, this election is the most important in our history.

“Working for the Environment Agency on flood defences, I see the impact of the climate change first hand. “Greens are the only party offering the truly radical action on the climate crisis.

“With my fellow Green councillors, I led our council to become the first in England to declare both a climate and biodiversity emergency. I also led our work on Brexit, so that our council was the first to call for a People’s Vote.

“I’ve lived in Hove for over 20 years and I love it here. Hove has such a strong sense of community. I’m proud that as a councillor I helped save Hove Library from being flogged off by Labour and saved over £700,000 for public services.”


The Argus:
Local campaigner Beatrice Bass will contest Hove and Portslade for the Liberal Democrats.
If elected, Ms Bass, who has lived in the city for 18 years, will be the first Swiss national in the UK Parliament. 

She said: “Boris Johnson’s Brexit would be a disaster for Hove and Portslade. It will result in further staffing shortages for our NHS and our vibrant hospitality sector, and have major implications for businesses who would no longer be able to provide their services, or exchange data in the EU without access restrictions – a huge blow for our IT and financial sector, research and the creative industries.   

“Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour cannot be trusted on Brexit. They now say that they want to negotiate their own Brexit deal, causing further delays and uncertainty. The Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to revoke Article 50 and stop Brexit. 

“This is your chance to make this mess end and allow politicians to move on and focus on our environment, jobs and the NHS – if you want to keep the advantages we already have as an EU member and stop Brexit, give me and the Liberal Democrats your vote.

“I have been campaigning for months and have spoken to many voters on the doorstep. Many residents are not happy with Boris Johnson’s or Jeremy Corbyn’s approach. Many of them voted for the Liberal Democrats in the EU Parliament elections earlier this year, increasing our number of MEPs in the South East from one to ten, and I am pleased that they are now considering voting for me and the Liberal Democrats again in the coming General Election.”


The Argus:

Andy Wood, who ran a consultancy firm in London, will contest the seat for the Brexit Party. He said:

“This Brexit election is the battle of our lives. It is being fought on the themes of democracy, the economy and our hardwon freedoms.

"In 2016, 17.4 million people across the UK voted to leave the EU, the biggest single vote in our history. In 2017 the Conservatives and Labour promised they would respect the vote but Parliament has consistently blocked Brexit.

"Theresa May’s surrender treaty was described by Boris as putting us in slavery. Now Boris Johnson has reheated that treaty with a slightly new topping and is pretending it is a great deal. Labour and Lib Dems are now openly remain parties.

“It is a terrible deal for these reasons: we pay at least £39 billion to the EU for nothing,