Brighton Kemptown is a constituency created in 1950[n 1] in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament covering the eastern portion of the city of Brighton and Hove including Kemptown and part of the Lewes District.[n 2]
Since 2017, the constituency has been represented by Lloyd Russell-Moyle of the Labour Party. Save for two elections in 1974 when the seat leant to the right bucking the national result, the affiliation of the winning candidate was that of the winning party nationally for the years 1951-2015 – a bellwether. Brighton Kemptown is one of two seats won (held or gained) by a Labour candidate in 2017 from a total of eight covering its county. Russell-Moyle's 2017 win was one of 30 net gains of the Labour Party.
1950-1983: The County Borough of Brighton wards of Elm Grove, Hanover, King's Cliff, Lewes Road, Moulsecoomb, Pier, Queen's Park, Rottingdean, and St John's.
1983-1997: The Borough of Brighton wards of Hanover, King's Cliff, Marine, Moulsecoomb, Queen's Park, Rottingdean, Tenantry, and Woodingdean.
1997-2010: The Borough of Brighton wards of King's Cliff, Marine, Moulsecoomb, Queen's Park, Rottingdean, Tenantry, and Woodingdean, and the District of Lewes wards of East Saltdean, Peacehaven East, Peacehaven North, Peacehaven West, and Telscombe Cliffs.
2010–present: The City of Brighton and Hove wards of East Brighton, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, Queen's Park, Rottingdean Coastal, and Woodingdean, and the District of Lewes wards of East Saltdean and Telscombe Cliffs, Peacehaven East, Peacehaven North, and Peacehaven West.
The constituency takes in the eastern part of Brighton and semi-rural suburbs and villages stretching out to the east. From west to east it includes Queen's Park; Kemptown, the centre of Brighton's vibrant gay community; the council estates of Whitehawk and Moulsecoomb; and beyond the racecourse affluent and genteel coastal villages like Woodingdean, Saltdean and the town of Peacehaven.
Boundary changes for the 1997 general election moved Peacehaven, a semi-rural area, into the constituency. This added a ward where the Conservatives had been favoured, but Labour gained the seat at its landslide victory. Des Turner held it until 2010, when Simon Kirby of the Conservative Party won it.
For a total of 48 years since the seat's creation, it has been Conservative-controlled (1950–1964; 1970–1997; 2010–2017). The only other party to hold the seat since its creation has been the Labour Party.
Labour first won Kemptown in 1964, with a narrow majority of just seven votes[n 3]. Dennis Hobden, the first Labour MP to ever be elected in Sussex, increased his majority in 1966, but lost the seat in 1970, and another Labour MP was not returned until 1997. The seat was a national bellwether constituency from 1979-2015, but in 2017 elected a Labour MP when the country as a whole returned a hung parliament with the Conservatives being the largest party by a margin of 56 MPs.
Liberal Democrats and their two predecessor parties following national trends formed the third-largest party in the constituency, 1950–2010 inclusive. The 2010 general election result for the party can be seen as 0.6% behind "its" highest, at 18.6%, if including its SDP forerunner. The Liberal Democrat vote share collapsed to 3% in 2015 (behind UKIP and Green Party candidates) and remained at the 3% level in 2017 despite the absence of UKIP and Green candidates for the seat at that election.
The Green Party candidate finished in fourth place at the 2005, 2010 and 2015 elections, retaining their deposit each time, with vote shares ranging from 5.5% to 7.0%. The Greens did not field a candidate in 2017 in a tactical effort to assist the Labour Party unseat the sitting Conservative MP, Simon Kirby, who had held the seat for Conservatives in 2015 on a reduced majority; this worked, as Labour's Lloyd Russell-Moyle won the seat with a majority of 9,868 votes (20.0%), the largest Labour has ever held in Brighton Kemptown.
|2017||Lloyd Russell-Moyle||Labour Co-op|
|Liberal Democrat||Emily Tester||1,457||3.0||±0.0|
|Independent||Doktor Haze ||212||0.4||+0.4|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||+10.8|
|Conservative||Simon Kirby ||18,428||40.7||+2.7|
|Green||Davy Jones ||3,187||7.0||+1.6|
|Liberal Democrat||Paul Chandler||1,365||3.0||−15.0|
|Socialist (GB)||Jacqueline Shodeke ||73||0.2||N/A|
|Independent||Matthew Taylor ||69||0.2||N/A|
|Labour Co-op||Simon Burgess||14,889||34.9||−5.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Juliet Williams||7,691||18.0||+1.5|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing||+5.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Marina Pepper||6,560||16.5||+6.1|
|Socialist Labour||John McLeod||163||0.4||−0.5|
|Socialist Alternative||Phil Clarke||113||0.3||+0.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Janet Marshall||4,064||10.4||+0.7|
|Socialist Labour||John McLeod||364||0.9||+0.2|
|Free Party||Dave Dobbs||227||0.6||N/A|
|ProLife Alliance||Elaine Cooke||147||0.4||N/A|
|Liberal Democrat||Clive Gray||4,478||9.7||−4.2|
|Socialist Labour||Hannah Williams||316||0.7||N/A|
|Natural Law||Jeremy Bowler||172||0.4||−0.1|
|Monster Raving Loony||Lorrie Newman||123||0.3||N/A|
|Rainbow Dream Ticket||Richard Darlow||93||0.2||N/A|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing||14.0|
|Labour||Gill O. Haynes||18,073||41.2||+8.3|
|Liberal Democrat||Paul D. Scott||4,461||10.2||−3.4|
|Natural Law||Elizabeth J. Overall||230||0.5||N/A|
|Social Democratic||D. T. Burke||8,098||18.6|
|National Front||Ted Budden||290||0.7|
|National Front||Valerie Tyndall||404||0.8|
|English National||Harvey Holford||155||0.3|
|Marxist-Leninist (England)||J. Buckle||125||0.3|
|Marxist-Leninist (England)||J. Buckle||170||0.3|
|Conservative gain from Labour||Swing|
|Labour gain from Conservative||Swing|
|Labour||J. T. Huddart||19,430||42.3||N/A|
|Liberal||Robert Michael Buckley||4,073||8.9||N/A|