Tag Archives: Caroline Lucas

Green Party to hold Brighton Pavilion in 2015 General Election

Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas

Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas

According to the latest Lord Ashcroft polling of marginal constituencies across the UK, the Green Party are set to hold onto their only current seat, Brighton Pavilion.

The polling puts the Green Party ten points ahead of Labour (38 to Labour’s 28%).

Both parties see the Brighton Pavilion seat as their number one target for the South East of England.

Significantly the polling finds the Green Party picking up a huge 44% of 2010 Lib Dem voters. Labour in contrast picks up just 21% (with the Lib Dems picking up just 13%). This is opposite of the national picture which sees Labour picking up roughly double the Green Party of former Lib Dem voters.

Equally, the polling suggests Labour have been unable to plug the hole that saw so many former Labour voters turn to the Green Party in Brighton. The polling found that 27% of 2010 Labour voters were planning on backing the Greens. This is compared to about 4% nationally suggesting that either the Greens/Labour are doing something locally that is swaying voters and/or that Labour voters do switch to the Greens when they think the Greens have a chance of winning.

Labour however, to their credit, do appear to be matching the Greens in their campaigning efforts with about 1 in 4 of those polled saying that had heard from Greens and/or Labour in recent weeks.

It will be a bitterly battled fight but at the moment it looks like the Greens are on course to return their only MP, Caroline Lucas.

Read more on the marginal polling here.

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First tweets from The Green Party and their elected officials…

twitter
To celebrate 8 years, twitter has released this cool little website, www.first-tweets.com. The website allows you to look up the very first tweet from any twitter account.

One wonders why it has taken 8 years for this be released.

Anyway, I thought I would take a look back The Green Party and their elected official’s first tweets:

The official Green Party account was the first to join on the 22nd July 2008 with this touch of inspirational political rhetoric:

Soon after, the leader of Brighton and Hove Council, Jason Kitcat, joined on the 4th August 2008:

Hot on his heels, the now elected leader of The Green Party, Natalie Bennett, joined on the 4th October 2008 with this bit of inner reflection:

Next up comes London Assembly Member (AM), Darren Johnson who joined at 7:45 am on the 30th September 2009. Darren’s first tweet just oozes with enthusiasm:

Just 5 minutes later, Jenny Jones (aka Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb) also an AM, joined with a rare example of supporting Boris Johnson:

Caroline Lucas, The Green Party’s only MP and then leader, joined on the 9th November 2009 with this critic of nuclear power…good to see she started as she intended to go on!

The Green Party MEP for South East England, Mr Keith Taylor, joined twitter on the 9th July 2011 highlighting some of the issues he was working on in the EU:

Keith’s partner in crime, Green MEP for London Jean Lambert, then joined twitter on the 30th September 2011 with this ever practical commitment to get out in her constituency:

How things have moved on in just a few years…Caroline Lucas is now one of the most followed MPs on twitter with nearly 75,000 followers.

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MP arrested after protesting against fracking

In a refreshing break from the usual “all talk no action” criticism of Westminster, Caroline Lucas, the only Green MP, has today been arrested for taking part in an anti-fracking protest.

As a rule of thumb I don’t support illegality, but as Caroline has already explained to BBC News, there are times when non-violent direct action is justified.

I for am proud of Caroline for putting her liberty on the line in defence of her views (supported by well established science).

Commenting on her arrest Caroline said:

“Along with everyone else who took action today, I’m trying to stop a process which could cause enormous damage for decades to come. The evidence is clear that fracking undermines efforts to tackle the climate crisis and poses potential risks to the local environment.

 “People today, myself included, took peaceful non-violent direct action only after exhausting every other means of protest available to us.  I’m in the privileged position of being able to put questions to the Government directly and arrange debates in Parliament, but still ministers have refused to listen.

“Despite the opposition to fracking being abundantly clear, the Government has completely ignored the views of those they are supposed to represent.  When the democratic deficit is so enormous, people are left with very little option but to take peaceful, non-violent direct action.”

I am pleased to see that at least one MP understands the severity of what’s at stake.

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A Green reflection on the General Election

Anya Whiteside, celebrating Caroline Lucas' victory

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!

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Vote for what you believe in

Caroline Lucas, the Odds on favourite to be elected at the General Election

I have just filled out the survey on the “vote for policies” web site.  It said I should vote Green.  I could have told it that before I started.  What is amazing though, is that it is telling 30% of the other 11,000 users to vote Green.  It breaks down the common misconception that the Greens are just about the environment.

Over and over again, I hear people who will talk about politics and agree with what the Green Party stand for.  They agree with us when we say we must raise the state pension to £170, they agree with us when we say we must scrap Trident, and they agree with us when we say we must raise the minimum wage and invest heavily in job creation schemes.  Yet, at the last General Election in 2005 the Greens averaged about 1% of the vote across the country.  Why?

In Brighton in 2005 22% of the electorate voted green.  They came third. Yet, at this election, all the pollsters are putting Caroline Lucas and the Greens as odds on favourites to win.  Why? The pollsters know, that most people agree with Green Party policies, all they need is to have a circumstance where they do not feel as though they are “wasting” their vote (this would have happened if New Labour had lived up to its promise of electoral reform in 97).  This is why we can see at European and local elections, Greens consistently do well, thanks to the PR voting system.  If at this 2010 election, the Greens pick up one, two or possibly three MP’s, it will spread hope and belief into constituencies around the country. 

At this election, if you vote in Brighton, Norwich or Lewisham, vote Green and you might well end up with a Green MP.  If you live elsewhere, you can vote to build for the future.  You can vote to give others the confidence to vote Green in the future. More to the point, you can vote for what you believe in. You do not have to back the other grey parties.

If you do not vote Green, you will tacitly be giving your support to the politics of the status quo.  You will be saying that you are happy to keep thing as they are.  If you do not vote, do you honestly belive things will change? The Greens represent the change that this country so badly needs.  It represents the future. If you do not believe that change is possible, we are in a pretty bleak situation. You have to believe that change is possible.

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