Caroline Lucas will, again, be the Green Party’s only MP in the House of Commons.
While the Greens have not had the parliamentary breakthrough they hoped for, they can take comfort from the overall increase of their national vote.
The Greens won 1,157,613 votes.
Caroline substantially increased her majority with around 8,000 more votes than the Labour candidate.
That’s a majority of 14.6%.
Nationally the Green Party increased its political and cultural profile with leader Natalie Bennett arguing on prime-time television on equal terms with other party leaders.
The party retained 123 deposits, compared with the six it saved in 2010.
It achieved second places in four constituencies.
Bristol West candidate Darren Hall received a historic upswing of 23%, taking the Greens’ vote share in the constituency to 26.8%.
The Greens also outpolled the Liberal Democrats in 135 seats.
In 2010, they beat them in just one.
Brighton Pavilion vote count: live blog by @jadewimbledon
Caroline Lucas: the Brighton Pavilion Green election campaign was a very positive one, but the UK election in general has been ‘dominated by the politics of fear.’
Definitive win for Green’s Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion
This is the speech that Caroline Lucas made when her win was announced.
She said that Brighton ‘is an incredibly special place.’
She also said Brighton made history in 2010 by electing her as their MP: ‘We made politics about giving people hope, not filling them with fear.’
Caroline Lucas didn’t just keep her seat for the Green Party, but she increased her margin significantly.
She came out almost 8,000 votes ahead of the second placed candidate, Labour’s Purna Sen.
Purna received 14,904 votes, while Caroline received 22,871.
When Caroline first won the Brighton Pavilion seat in 2010 her margin was relatively slight: she was just 1,252 votes ahead of Labour.
Here’s audio of the Returning Officer Penny Thompson making the declaration:
7.31: Brighton Pavilion results about to be announced. Atmosphere tense as the room waits to find out if Caroline Lucas has kept her seat for the Green Party.
7.29am: Labour’s Peter Kyle has been announced as the winner of the Hove seat.
He took the seat off Clarence Mitchell, a Conservative.
This is the audio of the vote results being announced. You’ll hear a massive cheer when the Labour announcement is made:
7.14am: Hove results about to be announced.
6.50am: Conservative candidate Simon Kirby keeps his Kemptown seat
The results for Brighton Kemptown have just been announced, and as expected Simon Kirby has held the seat for the Conservatives.
Labour also garnered a large number of votes.
UKIP received more votes than the Green Party.
These are the full results:
Ian Buchanan, UKIP : 4,446 votes
Paul Chandler, Liberal Democrats: 1,365 votes
Davy Jones, Green Party: 3,187 votes
Simon Kirby, Conservatives: 18,428 votes
Nancy Platts, Labour: 17,738 votes
Jacqueline Shodeke, GB Socialist Party: 73 votes
Matt Taylor, Independent: 69 votes.
6.35am: Results expected soon
Kemptown results will be declared first. Returning Officer has just asked to speak to the candidates.
One of the main stories of last night and this morning is that Labour have failed to wrestle marginal seats from the Conservatives.
As we wait for the vote results to be announced here, people are talking about how this will play out in Brighton Kemptown and Hove. These are both constituencies that were target seats for Labour, but rumours abound that they’ll be held by the Tories.
The Brighton Pavilion seat, won in 2010 by Caroline Lucas, was also a target for the Labour party. It was contested by Labour’s Purna Sen.
But journalists here aren’t expecting Labour to have success here either: most people think that Caroline will hold the seat for the Greens.
5.50am: Daylight in Brighton, but no results yet
This is the view from the press room right now. There are wrap-around windows onto the seafront, and we can see the weak sunshine of early morning and the skeleton of the derelict West Pier.
Results still not announced for the Brighton and Hove constituencies. Journalists have been watching David Cameron make his speech on winning his seat comfortably.
Some of the vote counters are looking a little harried here. There are adjudications taking place, due to ‘doubtful ballot papers’ in some wards.
5.16am: This election’s Brighton and Hove turnout higher than 2010 election
The turnout figures show that a higher proportion of people have cast their ballots in this election than in the 2010 election.
In 2010, the Brighton Pavilion turnout was 70.04%, the Kemptown turnout was 64.69%, and the Hove turnout was 69.46%.
This means that in each of the three constituencies being counted here tonight, percentage turnout has increased.
These constituencies tend to have a higher voter turnout than the national average, which was 65.1% in 2010.
5.02am: Turnout announcement:
Following a long wait, the Returning Officer has just announced the turnout for the Brighton and Hove constituencies:
- The Brighton Pavilion turnout was 71.67%
- The Brighton Kemptown turnout was 67.03%
- The Hove turnout was 71.36%
Penny Thompson also said that they will be adjudicating all doubtful ballot papers for Kemptown, as requested by the Conservative and Labour candidates.
4.46am The person in pantomime dress earlier was Dame Dixon, Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidate for Hove.
4.05am: The vote count is in full swing. I can see Caroline Lucas in the vote count room just in front of me. She’s expected to keep her Brighton Pavilion seat tonight.
3.32am: We’ve just seen some colourful characters arrive at the Brighton vote count….
3.10am: Clive Myrie, reporting for the BBC from Brighton says that the “Green wave will have to start here with Caroline Lucas…[and] polls have suggested she’s going to increase her majority”.
Waiting for the results at the Brighton #ElectionDay count. Exit polls suggesting poor night here on the coast for Labour.
— Clive Myrie (@CliveMyrieBBC) May 8, 2015
But the other big story here tonight, and one that may fit with the nationwide pattern, is that key Labour target seats Brighton Kemptown and Hove are likely to remain Conservative.
2.45am: As we wait for the votes to be counted, we have a view of the twinkling lights of Brighton pier from the press room at the Brighton Centre, which is right on the seafront.
Occasionally we can hear gulls squawking overhead.
Journalists all drinking coffee and watching the BBC coverage on TV, in particular the Scottish results coming in.
2am: Returning Officer Penny Thompson tells us that verification of the ballots is not yet complete, but the Brighton and Hove vote count will now begin.
First to be counted will be the Peacehaven North votes (Kemptown constituency).
Next to be counted will be Central Hove (Hove constituency).
Third will be Regency (Brighton Pavilion constituency).
She adds, ‘we will tell you what the turnout has been once we’ve completed the verification’.
1.21am: As a reminder, these are the candidates standing for the general election in Brighton Pavilion:
Chris Bowers (Liberal Democrat)
Nigel Carter (UKIP)
Caroline Lucas (Green)
Clarence Mitchell (GBSocialist Party)
Purna Sen (Labour)
Nick Yeomans (Independent)
You can read more about the constituency in my Brighton Pavilion profile.
Vote counting isn’t expected to begin until about 2am, with results announced around 6am.
1am: Rainbow of rosettes in the vote count room
Those working in the vote count room are still checking and verifying ballots.
From the press gallery I can also see green, red and blue rosettes as the candidates and the representatives mill around.
I’ve just spotted the Brighton Kemptown Green Party candidate Davy Jones walking through.
I’ve also just seen a purple UKIP rosette, as I queued behind local council candidate Desmond Jones in the canteen.
This is what we’ve been told to expect tonight and tomorrow at the Brighton vote count:
Counting is due to start in the main hall by 2am.
When the count finishes, the Returning Officer will share the provisional results with the candidates and agents, giving them the chance to ask for a recount.
After this the results are announced.
The local election count – which will be ‘complex because of the multi-member wards’ – starts at 9am on Saturday morning.
As well as the Brighton Pavilion seat, which was won by the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas in 2010, there are votes from two other constituencies being counted here in the Brighton Centre tonight.
Brighton Kemptown and Hove were both won by the Conservatives in 2010, but some polls have predicted that they could both fall to Labour this time.
The ballot boxes are now being brought into the counting room.
Brighton and Hove Council is one of 279 English local authorities that also held council elections today, so we’ve got both white ballot papers for the general election and yellow papers for the local elections piling up on the tables in the counting room.
10.30pm: The view from the press gallery in the Brighton Centre, as the postal votes are verified
10.20pm: Returning Officer Penny Thompson addresses the vote count room:
– Apologises to candidates and representatives for hold-ups at security, which led to delays in entering the Brighton Centre where the count is taking place.
– Verification of postal votes is currently underway.
– The last ballot box is expected to arrive at the centre around 11.30pm.
– Verification expected to be completed by around 2am.
Hello. I’m Jade Wimbledon and will be providing live minute by minute coverage of the counting in the constituency of Brighton Pavilion.
This is the only seat held in the country by the Green Party.
Caroline Lucas has made a great impression since elected in 2010 and the Greens are hoping to gain more seats and do well in other Brighton constituencies.
I’ll be reporting on those as well.