A politics lecturer has sought to shed light on some of the reasons behind the Green Party’s monumental election defeat in the city’s local election.

Dr Sam Power from Sussex University has tried to explain some of the factors behind the party’s loss of more than a dozen council seats in Brighton and Hove last week, while the Green Party made gains elsewhere.

The party suffered its worst result since 2003 as Labour gained 18 council seats compared to the last election, securing their first majority council in the city for two decades.

Dr Power said a “combination of certain hyper-local factors, the national picture and the Greens being the victims of their own success” had been at play in delivering the party’s “most disastrous result in their own backyard”.

In particular, he highlighted plans for a “liveable neighbourhood” in Hanover and Tarner as one example of an issue that played badly with voters.


He said: “I live in Hanover and Elm Grove and I have a dog that I walk in Queen’s Park. The talk of the park for the last nine months was the proposed low traffic neighbourhood (LTN).

“There was genuine bad blood and you don’t have to be Mystic Meg to know that it was likely going to affect the election. Lo and behold, Labour won all three seats in the ward.

“Labour improved on their 2019 showing on average by about 500 votes, but the Greens lost, on average, over 1,000 votes - that is enough to suggest that the LTN was a deciding factor here.”

Dr Power also highlighted several other city-wide issues, including concern over the closure of public toilets, traffic along the seafront and a bin strike.

The Argus: Dr Power said a bin strike during the Green administration impacted on the party's chances at the local election last weekDr Power said a bin strike during the Green administration impacted on the party's chances at the local election last week (Image: The Argus)

He said the Green Party had been “victims of their own success in Brighton” and said taking control of the council in 2020 “did them no favours”.

“It meant that Labour could pin a whole litany of council failings, fairly or unfairly, on the Greens,” Dr Power said.

The Green Party was reduced to just seven seats at the local election, being wiped out by Labour in Hollingdean and Fiveways, Goldsmid and Brunswick and Adelaide, with the party’s council leader and deputy leaders all losing their seats.

The Greens also lost a councillor in Regency ward by just one vote to Labour.

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However, looking ahead to the next general election and the city’s next local election in 2027, he said that the Greens should not be too downhearted.

He said: “The Greens often perform best, electorally, when they are the party of the insurgency, not the party of the establishment. I would expect them to fare considerably better in the 2027 local election.

“If I were Caroline Lucas, I would also be confident of retaining my seat at the next general election; the Greens may well be down, but they aren’t out.”

The general election is expected to be held in the autumn of next year.