ICM poll puts Greens ahead in target Westminster seat - Greens best placed to stop Tories in Brighton Pavilion constituency

29 December 2009

ballot boxGreens take a 10 point lead over Labour and an 8 point lead over the Conservatives in their target constituency of Brighton Pavilion - ICM Research telephone opinion poll.*

Headline results

1. The Greens have the greatest support with 35% of the constituency's voters followed by the Conservatives on 27%, Labour on 25% and LibDems on 11%.1

2. Almost two thirds (63%) of Labour and Lib Dem voters in the sample said that they would be likely to switch their vote to the Greens if that party was best placed to stop a Conservative win. 37% said they were very likely and 26% said they were quite likely to switch their vote in that situation.2

Green candidate Caroline Lucas has a significant lead over the other parties' candidates in Brighton Pavilion constituency, according to the first publicly released standard-size constituency opinion poll of local voters.

If repeated at the general election with a similar turn out, the result would see the Greens winning their first parliamentary seat, taking the constituency from Labour with a majority of almost 3,500 over the Conservatives.3

The telephone poll of 533 voters adjusted to match the local electorate's profile and undertaken by ICM Research's Government and Social Unit between 16 - 21 December 2009, suggests the Greens enjoy a 10 point lead over Labour and an 8 point lead over the Conservatives in the constituency.1

Paul Steedman, National General Election Campaign Director for the Green Party, said, "Besides pointing to the prospect of electing the country's first Green Party MP, this opinion poll supports what we have been hearing from voters when we've talked to them on the door steps.

"We only need a 7% swing from Labour to Greens to win the seat. This opinion poll suggests we are on target to achieve this.

"It gives tactical voters a clear message - only a vote for the Green Party can stop the Conservatives in Brighton Pavilion.

"The ICM poll shows that Labour are trailing in third place - behind the Greens by 10 points and the Conservatives by 2 points. The Tories are still behind the Greens by 8 points.

"Remember, this was a Labour seat in 2005. The significant shift demonstrates that where voters have the chance to see Greens in action, where they get elected and as local councillors and work hard for residents, as we do here in Brighton or in other parts of the country such as Lewisham and Norwich, they like what they get.

"The poll also suggests that almost two thirds of Labour and Lib Dem voters would be likely to back the Greens if we were in a position to stop a Tory win in this constituency. This isn't surprising news to us either - we know the voters of Brighton to be as savvy as you'll find anywhere in the country.

"Caroline has already shown her dedication to the people of Brighton as their representative in the European Parliament for over ten years. She will bring all her experience to stand up for them in Westminster."

Candidate Caroline Lucas said, "Brighton is a special place and its voters are impatient for a fresh, independent voice to represent them in Westminster.

"I believe I am offering them that.

"Taken with the other indicators such as the bookies making the Greens favourites, this poll should help to reassure wavering Labour and Lib Dem supporters that a Green vote in Brighton Pavilion is the best way to stop the Tories.

"If elected, I promise to honour the trust that voters have placed in me and provide Brighton with the fresh, independent voice its people want and deserve."


*ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 533 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 16-21st December 2009. Interviews were conducted across the political constituency of Brighton Pavilion and the results have been weighted to the profile of all Brighton Pavilion adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Electoral background
The Green vote has increased at every election since 1997. In 2001 candidate Keith Taylor won 9.3% of the vote. Then in 2005 he more than doubled the vote to 22% putting the party within a whisker of second place and in pole position for a 2010 win. Full 2005 results are below. Since then the Greens have out-polled all the other parties in Brighton pavilion constituency - including in the May 2007 local elections and beating all the other parties city-wide in the euro-elections in June 2009.

(1). Q. Labour, the Conservatives, the Green Party, the Liberal Democrats and other parties will fight a new election in 2010 in your area. If there were a general election tomorrow which party do you think you would vote for?

Green Party 35 (+13)
Conservative 27 (+3)
Labour 25 (-10)
Liberal Democrat/Liberal 11 (-6)
UK Independence Party (UKIP) 1
Other 1

(2) Tactical voting propensity among Labour and LibDem voters
Q. If it seemed that the Green Party were best placed to stop a Conservative win in the local area, how likely would you be to switch your vote to the Green Party?
Base: All respondents likely to vote Labour or Liberal Democrat

I would be very likely to switch my vote 37
I would be quite likely to switch my vote 26
I would not be very likely to switch my vote 17
I would not be at all likely to switch my vote 16
Don't know 4

(3) Based on the 2005 results, the Greens only need a 7% swing from Labour to win the seat. Full 2005 results at the end of this release.
Factoring the same 64% turnout in Brighton Pavilion as the 2005 general election - electorate in 2005 Electorate: 68,182
Brighton Pavilion Constituency 2005 Result General Election
David Lepper Labour 15,427 35.4 -13.3
Mike Weatherley Conservative 10,397 23.9 -1.2
Keith Taylor Green 9,571 22.0 +12.7
Hazel Thorpe Liberal Democrat 7,171 16.5 +3.4
Kimberley Crisp-Comotto UK Independence Party 508 1.2 +0.3
Tony Greenstein Alliance for Green Socialism 188 0.4 +0.4
Ian Fyvie Socialist Labour Party 152 0.3 -1.1
Christopher Rooke Independent 122 0.3 +0.3
Keith Jago Independent 42 0.1 +0.1
Majority 5,030 11.5
Turnout 43,578 64.0 +5.5

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