Greens in Brighton and Hove are jubilant at winning the strategically important Goldsmid by-election in Hove, taking the seat from the Tories.
The result sees the election of the first Green councillor, Alex Phillips, from Hove, to Brighton and Hove City Council. It also deprives the Tories of their majority on the council. Labour and the Greens are now tied for being the 2nd largest group.
Caroline Lucas, national Green Party leader, and parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion, said, "This is a spectacular win. It signals an unstoppable surge to elect the first Green MP at Westminster, whenever Gordon decides to go to the country. With this result, we're on the threshold of taking Green politics to the heart of Westminster."
Alex Phillips said, "Thank you to all the voters who put their faith in me. It's a ringing endorsement of Green policies and the work of Green councillors locally. I will be hard working and unswerving in my task of representing local people and delivering positive Green change."
Councillor Bill Randall, convenor of the Green councillors on the city council, said, "With my council colleagues, we'll be reviewing the options and consulting our membership to ensure that we get the best and greenest deal for local residents. Between us, we will do what is right in these very difficult times."
Alex won 38.5% of the votes - an increase of 17% over the last time the seat was contested with a swing of more than 12% from Labour to Green.
GRN 1,456 - 38.5% (+17.6%) GRN GAIN FROM CON
CON 1,104 - 29.2% (-0.9%)
LAB 816 - 21.5% (-6.8%)
LD 280 - 7.4% (-7.32%)
UKIP 129 - 3.4% N/A (others 6% last time)
Notes to Editors
- Alex Phillips, a modern languages graduate, has worked for the Green Party in the European Parliament and in Brighton and Hove and an international charity in Brussels. She is originally from Liverpool, and is a former student at the University of Paris. She is also a trustee of Latitude Safe Space, a new charity for single homeless women in the city.
- At 24 years old, Alex will be the 2nd youngest on the council (to Victoria Wakefield-Jarrett, also a Green).