Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Caroline for Brighton Pavillion

I reported some time ago that there was to be a contest to see who would be the Green General Election candidate for Brighton Pavilion and potentially the Green Party's very first Green MP. Indeed it would have been odd if there was no contest for such an important role. The contest was between last year's Green Principal Speakers Keith Taylor and Caroline Lucas (pictured).

Tonight the result is in and can I be among the first to congratulate Caroline on her victory. The Brighton and Hove website carries this statement from Lucas; “I am proud to have been selected by party members to contest Brighton Pavilion at the next General Election for the Green Party. Our recent local election success in the city, coupled with the unprecedented 22% share gained in the 2005 General Election, places the Green Party in pole position to secure a truly historic victory.

“I would particularly like to pay tribute to Keith Taylor, who also sought to be the candidate in Pavilion. He is an outstanding politician who has worked tirelessly for the city, and is an excellent convener of the Green Group on the Council.”

Lucas is easily one of the most recognisable figures in the Party and as a siting MEP is someone who can carry the momentum to win this seat for the Greens. Of course this is only possible because of the long, hard work of people like Keith who is not only a strong local figure, but also a very capable radical politician.

The contest was a close 55/45 which reflects the difficult decision local members had to make contrasting the Keith who has stood many times before for the seat and built up the Green presence locally, to Lucas who is seen by many as having the vote winning appeal to ensure the seat is finally won.

Hopefully Keith will continue to be a great asset to the Party, he might even possibly consider standing for the European Parliament seat that Caroline will be vacating. The party could do far worse. Although it must be difficult to lose the nomination for a seat you've previously contested so capably it must be a consolation to Keith that his place is to be taken by someone who may well be able to turn the long awaited dream of the first Green MP into a reality.


MikeS said...

This is good news. I'm sure Keith would have been a good candidate again, but Caroline is the best the GP has got at the moment. Makes sense to put your best candidate into your best chance constituency. It should also help all the other GP candidates as Caroline will generate more favourable publicity etc.

Roll on the GE!

Renegade Eye said...

It is hard for me to comment on your local Green politics.

In Minneapolis I voted for a Green candidate for attorney general named Papa John Kolstad, who is a musician in a Django Rheinhart band.

greg patton said...

A difficult but correct choice IMO. I hope Keith isn't put out by it and continues to be the huge asset to the party he is

stroppybird said...



Whats your view on this blog post ?

Will Caroline not stand if the timing is wrong? Not a good message to send out to the electorate I would have thought.

It would seem to have been a difficult choice for the Greens to make (not point scoring btw, genuinely interested.)

Jim Jay said...

Thanks for this Strop, interesting and I'm not taking it as a factional point.

Caroline is definately standing down as MEP (at least that's what I've been told) so I think the tone of the post is a bit off - as she's a committed and popular politician who has taken the decision to become the prospective candidate for Brighton Pavillion.

The idea she's going off somewhere if the "grass is greener" isn't right. It was a difficult decision she had to make to go for this and I quite admire her courage for doing it.

Keith might well be a little out of sorts at the moment - I'm certain this is an upsetting experience for him - but hopefully he'll stay on board because he has many talents and it would be a shame to lose him.

I still believe that Caroline was the right choice as it makes sense to put your best candidate in your best seat under this system (for a minor party). At the end of the day winning the seat for a down the line progressive party is more important than someone's hurt feelings - although as I say I hope he goes for a Euro role...

ps it will be interesting to see how your blog develops with an ever expanding team. Should be good.

Jim Jay said...

... or ... possibly I'm wrong about that ... oh I don't know - someone explain it to me properly