A politics researcher has forecast where tomorrow’s city-wide local election will be won or lost and predicted how the city might vote.

James Prentice, who has just completed a PhD at the University of Sussex specialising in researching elections, analysed the race to win control of Brighton and Hove City Council as voters prepare to go to the polls.

Mr Prentice, from Hastings, highlighted several key battleground wards for the upcoming election in the city.


He said the Green Party would be looking to make gains from Labour in Central Hove, Goldsmid and Queen’s Park while defending seats from the party in Hanover and Elm Grove.

Following on from by-election victories in Wish and the former Rottingdean Coastal ward, Labour will be looking to gain seats from the Conservatives in Hangleton and Knoll, Wish and Woodingdean.

However, Mr Prentice said the Conservatives will be forced on to the defensive as “other seats they could target have large majorities and with them performing poorly in the national polls it will be difficult to make significant gains”.

The Argus: James Prentice has forecast the key battleground wards for the city's local election and who is likely to win tomorrowJames Prentice has forecast the key battleground wards for the city's local election and who is likely to win tomorrow (Image: James Prentice)

He said the number of independents and smaller parties running in the election could affect the result in “unpredictable ways”.

He said: “Previous Labour councillors standing now as independents might be able to gain traction from problems Labour experienced with its internal politics after the May 2019 election. If this occurs, then this may limit Labour’s ability to make gains and could even help force the council into no overall control status.”

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Mr Prentice said tomorrow’s election “looks to favour Labour” and said the party could be on track to win a small majority on the council, becoming the first majority council in the city for two decades.

The Argus:

He said: “This is based on national trends meaning they should pick up a few seats from the Conservatives and the local problems the Greens have faced which should cause them to lose a couple of marginal seats to Labour."

He said if Labour falls short of winning overall control it is “highly likely Labour will be the largest party” on the council after tomorrow’s election.

Polling stations are open from 7am tomorrow and close at 10pm.