The Green Party of England and Wales is running 1,600 candidates in the local elections. This is a fantastic achievement for a party with 12,000 members. I am standing in Winkfield and Cranbourne ward and like many Greens I face just Conservative and Labour candidates, many Liberal Democrats have with drawn and the BNP is only running in a third of the seats it contested in 2010.
There will be a squeeze with Labour riding higher in the polls than they have done for five years but the Lib Dems are slumping and as I say often not contesting seats and we have been boosted by the election of our first MP, Caroline Lucas, who does a fantastic job.
I reckon Easton and Ashley wards in Bristol, I have lived in both wards in the 1980s and 90s, could go green.
Brighton will also seen Green victories, Brunswick where Phelim Mac Cafferty and Ollie Sykes are up against the Lib Dems is a real target.
Redhill, where we were just a few votes from gaining a second councillor should see victories.
Local authorities have been savagely attacked by the present government and any Greens elected will have a tough task but we can use victories to fight the cuts.
I would urge readers to go and help in key wards.
My friend Joseph Healy has an interesting account of doing just this on his ever excellent Cabbages and Kings blog:
Down to Redhill on Friday last to campaign in the local election campaign there for Phil Wilson, standing in Redhill West. We spent the morning, in blazing sunshine and the heat, going around the more leafy areas near London Road and near East Surrey College where Phil works. A mixture of responses on the doorsteps and many people out because of the weather and the Easter weekend.
Then off to a lovely old pub in Reigate for lunch with some other local campaigners and then we canvassed one of the largest council estates in the ward in the afternoon. The sight of Phil discussing AV with a voter wielding a kitchen knife at the door was somewhat concerning - but she turned out to be a Green voter. Noticed severeal Eastern European EU citizens also there and pointed out that they were entitled to vote, one was a Romanian and I pointed out my interest and connection with Romania, having spent my summer holidays there last year and my strong connections with the Romanian Green Party.
Finally off for a quick drink to the town centre, where I met sitting Green councillor, Jonathan Essex, who is campaigning in the neigbouring ward for his running mate and then it was the train back to London. I am certain that Phil will do well in Redhill - he is hardworking and committed and has signed up to the local anti-cuts campaign.