In Stroud, Green Councillor Phillip Booth kept his council seat with a whopping 68% of the vote. Sadly, this result could not be matched at the general election. Due largely to the squeeze on the Green vote due to the marginal nature of Stroud constituency, the Greens picked up about 1,500 votes (2.7%). For the full results click here.
Nationally however, the Greens picked up their first ever MP. This is a truly historic moment for the Green Party. To sum up how important this is I copy out here the transcript of Caroline’s acceptance speech (If you can’t be arsed to read it all shame on you, but watch it on you-tube here)
“The emphatic support of voters in Brighton Pavilion show that they do want to support a party whose values represent fairness, social justice and environmental well-being. They have shown that they are prepared to put their trust in the Greens, despite the overwhelming national media focus on the three largest parties and a voting system that is fundamentally undemocratic. I feel humbled by their trust in me, and I am excited by this vote of confidence and I’m looking forward to the challenging task of fully representing the voters of Brighton.
“This victory is no accident: it is the result of the hard work and commitment of thousands of Green Party members and supporters not only in Brighton but from right across the country over the past months and years. It is their work and support that has helped deliver this win, and the victory is as much theirs as it is mine.
“Thanks to the confidence that the voters of Brighton Pavilion have shown, Green principles and policies will now have a voice in Parliament. Policies such as responding to climate change with a million new ‘green’ jobs in low-carbon industries, fair pensions and care for older people, and stronger regulation of the banks will be heard in the House of Commons. I will also use my influence as an MP in the city of Brighton & Hove to push for affordable housing for the city, a new secondary school for the city, and greater backing for the city’s creative industries.
“Finally, as this election shows, the first-past-the post voting system used for general elections is utterly discredited. I will be strongly backing calls for a referendum to replace it with a form of proportional representation that properly reflects the needs and views of 21st century voters. If a form of proportional representation is introduced, the Green Party is confident that its true level of support nationally can be represented properly.”
This election will go down in history as the moment when the Greens broke through to the UK parliament!
One response to “A Green reflection on the General Election”
I quite agree on the undemocratic nature of our first past the post system. Personally we voted green as our candidate was the only one we felt had much integrity, and we wanted to send a message to the Greens that they were supported. The result of our constituency was already assured so no loss of vote really! I have, since then, over heard more than one person saying that they “would have voted Green if we felt it would have made a difference.” Our system actually then, encourages people not to follow their conscience. Not a good thing! We need change!