The Green Party has a list of progressive policies that have been shown to be the most popular with the electorate. Despite this they have consistently failed to perform well elections.
Here are 3 simple things The Green Party could do to increase their chance of success in the up-coming May 2014 European elections:
1) Talk about issues that important to the electorate
This doesn’t mean selling out on core principles of social justice and environmentalism but simply relating them to ordinary people’s concerns and hopes.
At the top of this list (at the moment at least) has to be the economy but issues around immigration, unemployment and the NHS should all be regular features of their messaging.
Note: The environment does not appear in the top 10.
2) Start thinking in terms of ‘voter’s feelings’ rather than policy outcomes
As I have argued elsewhere, UKIP have been soaring in the recent polls exactly because they have been able to install a general feeling amongst the electorate (despite having next to no coherent policies) about ‘standing up for Britain’.
The Green Party stands in complete contrast to UKIP in this sense – great policies but no one really knows what they stand for.
Over the coming couple of months then I hope to hear Greens talking, not about policies such ‘The Financial Transaction Tax’ or even the ‘Robin Hood Tax’, but instead about ‘principles’ such as ‘standing up for a fairer economy that puts people before big business.
3) Be bold, be seen as pro-EU
The Green Party has traditionally held quite a complex position on the EU. They opposed the UK joining the euro for example but support membership of the EU. They want an in/out referendum but are broadly an internationalist party.
In this election though The Green Party need to simplify their message to just ‘Yes to Europe, Yes to a referendum’. (this is one yes less than their current messaging). Why?
Well, for the first time in a long-time it looks like those who want to stay in the EU roughly match those who want to leave. The only difference is electorally if you pitch for the broadly pro-EU voters you only have the Lib Dems to compete against (opposed to the much better branded ‘No’ to EU UKIP).
There is a reason why the Lib Dems are branding themselves as the party of IN and that is because there are a lot of uncontested voters who strongly want the UK to stay part of the EU.
Oh and of course it doesn’t hurt to be seen to be trusting the electorate to make their own decisions (something which Labour have ruled out by all but ruling out a referendum)
Of course none of this replaces the basics in campaigning, the building up local parties, delivering leaflets etc etc. All it does is offer a few tips for what direction The Green Party need to be moving in.
8 responses to “3 simple things the Green Party can do before the next election”
I became a member a year ago and getting increasingly frustrated with the greens. They have good policy and could easily get support but they do not seem to be pushing themselves. I have asked many a time for leaflets to post in my area with no response. They should show more drive .
Hey Chris – yeah, the growth of the party locally depends on what the local party is like. Can I ask – where do you live?
Depending on your answer it might be a matter of just being in touch with the right person or it might be you becoming that right person!
I live in south Oxfordshire near Henley
I think the chap you need to be in touch with (assuming you are in the Oxford local party) is Sam Hollick – Volunteer support worker.
Mobile: 07528 813185 Email: email@example.com
Give him an email and explain that you are A) Happy to help and B) frustrated with lack of support so far!
Good luck Chris!
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The Green Party really need to jump onto some new slogans. You could be cynical and say slogans are a simple way of summing up a complex idea, but what’s the point of being a political party at all aim above people’s heads? I think developing of the the message of Citizen’s Income would be a good path to follow. There’s a phrase I heard Roberto Mangabeira Unger use recently, which was “openness, not insecurity” when he was justifying connecting with people who work in transitory/flexible occupations (the sort of zero houring that Osbornomics seems to salivate over). There are some advantages to greater flexibility: “openness” captures that essence,if a little vaguely.
Excellent post. I note that Economy + unemployment together score a massive 62 (not sure what the units are, but never mind. It is a pity that Green Wage Subsidy, which addresses unemployment directly, and improves the economy and society at the same time, was voted down at Conference. However, there is a Facebook based campaign that can still be used to put GWS forward in the Eur0Elections. http://www.facebook.comGreenWageSubsidy