There were close calls in several Worthing wards in 2016 too, which I found surprising at the time.
I hadn't noticed this before. Yes a big increase throughout the South Eastern third of the town and particularly in these Central areas which make up this division. I don't remember when Labour last won a seat in Worthing but it looks like its only a matter of time
You have to go back to the inaugural DC elections in 1973 I think?
"The New Labour 'project' was finished by the 2005 election: its creative energies were exhausted and its failures increasingly apparent"
Yes Pier ward has become much more student in recent years which should really should have benefitted the Greens , I live just outside that ward in Worthing West ward .
Are these Uni of Sussex and Brighton students? The fact that student votes are benefitting Labour rather than the |Greens is somewhat consistent with the results in Bristol, Oxford and Norwich. One might almost be tempted to salivate at the prospect of Caroline Lucas losing out as a result though I think the prospects of that are vanishingly small
Some will commute to Brighton but mostly the local Northbrook College . Of course as with most students those voting now will not be voting here in 3 years time .
I noticed that Labour almost won the Worthing Pier division which James Doyle was fighting. Whither the 'progressive alliance' there? LAbour won about 12% in that division last time - I guess there is some kind of Brightonification type thing going on there ?
Labour were even closer to winning Worthing East (28 votes behind) than they were to winning Worthing Pier (197 votes behind) and also relatively close to winning Broadwater (265 votes behind). It does appear that the central parts of Worthing are gradually drifting Labour (the more suburban bits don't though) perhaps due to proximity to Brighton, and they should have a reasonable chance of winning the three divisions mentioned above if 2021 is a good year for them. Interestingly in earlier elections there had been some signs that the Adur district (which is even closer to Brighton) was also trending Labour though that didn't materialise this time and Labour was well behind in all of the divisions.
Though we seem to have had a reasonably good year in Adur in 2016, with a few wins and up a consistent 5-6% almost everywhere, which isn't exactly consistent with national changes. That consistency more or less rules out targeting, so it does seem like there's something unusual in voting behaviour on that bit of the Sussex coast.