25 May 2014

Will European Election count deliver success for the Greens?

So as Green Party of England and Wales International Coordinator and a European election candidate, I have been working hard over recent months.

We worked to get a European Green Party manifesto we were happy with and a strong anti-TTIP policy from the EGP.

I also supported the always impressive Adam Ramsay in writing a first draft of our own manifesto and had a sneak preview of the ground breaking 'spot the badger' political broadcast.

So what constitutes a good result for Natalie Bennett and the rest of us Greens when the dust has settled and the counts are over.

For the BBC, however many MEPs we elect, we will for them, have largely failed, UKIP are their focus.

For us, I think we can say in contrast we have already succeeded.

Membership is growing at 50 a day, we made gains in the local elections and our perspectives especially on diversity, austerity and climate change have been advanced.

The Common Good contrasts with the neo-liberal, everything for the billionaires, gravy trickling down from the chins of the super rich vision of Conservatives and Labour.  We are, in the difficult climate of UK politics, moving forward. Above all, we provide a broad ideological alternative, a narrative, if you like.  I think it is fair to say that this is gaining traction.

I think we will easily retain our present two MEPs in the South East and London.

We won't win in the East Midlands constituency or in the North East, with just three seats it is clearly our of reach for the moment.

Our sister Party in Northern Ireland who have made local elections gains this weekend but will not win a seat, I also feel it is unlikely we will win in Wales, although Pippa Bartoletti will poll very strongly.  Personally I would argue that it would be good for Plaid and Greens to talk, given that Plaid are in the Green group in the European Parliament.  However this is a matter for Welsh party members not for me and eve of poll urging of Greens to vote for Plaid seem mistimed. 

The likely success or other wise of Plaid is not significantly a function of Green performance in Wales, to my mind.

In all the other euro constituencies we could make gains. In the North West Peter Cranie was narrowly beaten by Nick Griffin of the BNP in 2009, with Greens doing well in Liverpool and coming second in the vote in Manchester, I think he will probably win this time around.

The South West, Eastern and Yorkshire and Humberside are all regions where we have polled very strongly in the past and may will make gains.  Molly Scott Cato, Rupert Read and Andrew Cooper have engaged in very energetic campaigns.

It is possible that Alex Phillips could join Keith Taylor as MEPs for the South East constituency.

It is also possible that Will Duckworth in the West Midland and Maggie Chapman from our sister party, could win in Scotland.

Its very difficult to call.

The D'Hondt system of counting where the largest party wins an MEP, their percentage is then halved and is any party has more votes than the half it is elected, and so on produces unpredicatable results.

If we can beat the Lib Democrats that means D'Hondt makes it much more likely we will new MEPs, the same percentage vote but behind the Lib Dems will be less likely to deliver MEPs.

The 13% vote share for the Lib Dems in the local elections looks a little out of reach for us, however we tend to poll better in European Elections which are proportional representation.

We have won big on social media among young voters but they are less likely to vote than older voters.

It is also interesting to speculate whether Mike Nattrass's An Independence from Europe Party will confuse UKIP voters, it may take a few percent and take the edge from UKIP.  They are the first party on the ballot paper and UKIP are the last, so could cause confusion.

So difficult to call, in short, we could beat the Lib Dems and elect as many as 8 MEPs or stick with our present 2, it will be interesting to see.

24 May 2014

Greens celebrate local elections success in Liverpool, Wirral, Lancaster...Peter Cranie on course for victory!

Via Alice Taylor.

The North West Green Party is celebrating after winning all of its target seats in Thursday's local elections. The regional party gained council seats in Liverpool, Wirral and Lancaster.
In Liverpool the Greens doubled their councillor numbers to four and are now the official opposition on Liverpool City Council. In Wirral, Pat Cleary gained the party's first council seat, in Birkenhead and Tranmere, with 48% of the vote. In Lancaster the Green Party gained two city council seats. New councillors, Abi Mills and Jack Filmore, bring their total to 10 of the council's 60 seats.
In Liverpool, St Michael's ward is now represented by three Green councillors. New councillor for St Michael's, Tom Crone, won with a majority of 1052 votes. In Liverpool's Greenbank ward the Greens gained their first seat with Lawrence Brown winning a majority of 367.
In Manchester the Green Party gained the second highest city-wide vote share, making them the most popular opposition party. Green Party candidates came second in many wards. In Salford the Green Party vote doubled.
Kendal Green Party, which has only been active for a few months, gained a 20% share of the vote in its target ward of Kendal Fell. The Party came second in three of the Kendal wards in South Lakeland District Council.
North West Green Party's Regional Co-ordinator, Emily Heath, said: "We're delighted that we won all of our targets in the North West. It shows that when we target our resources, and engage with people in those communities, they put their trust in us to represent them.
"In Liverpool we have doubled our councillor numbers, with large vote shares, and will now be the official opposition on the council. We've been very close to winning in Birkenhead at previous elections and it's fantastic that we made the breakthrough this time. Across the region we've seen an increased level of support for the Green Party."
The votes for the European election are being counted on Sunday evening. The North West Green Party's Peter Cranie is hoping to become the region's first Green MEP.

8 May 2014

Record 1,855 Green Party council candidates

Just had this from our National Agent, and remember this just covers England and Wales, seperate Green Parties for Scotland and covering North Ireland.
1,855 Green candidates are standing for 44.5% of the 4,210 seats up for election

The previous highest total was 1,624 in 2010, the last time London Boroughs had scheduled elections.

Eastern: Colchester 20, North Hertfordshire 17, Norwich 14, (Cambridge 13 of 15, St. Albans 16 of 22)

North West: South Lakeland 17, Tameside 19, Trafford 22, (Carlisle 13 of 17, Bolton 16 of 20, Bury 15 of 17, Manchester 32 of 33,  Liverpool 29 of 30, St. Helens 14 of 16, Sefton 15 of 22, Wirral 22 of 23)

South East: Reading 16, Oxford 25, Worthing 13, (Maidstone 15 of 18,  Cherwell 13 of 17)

South West: Stroud 18, (Bristol 23 of 24, Exeter 12 of 13)

West Midlands: Rugby 14, Coventry 19, Dudley 24, Redditch 10, Worcester 12 (Birmingham 21 – but of 40, Solihull 15 of 17)

Yorkshire and Humberside:  Sheffield 29, Leeds 33 – our first ever full-slate here (Kirklees 22 of 23)

London: Camden 54, Croydon 70, Hackney 57, Haringey 57, Islington 48, Lewisham 54  (Barnet* 42 of 63, Brent* 22 of 63, Bromley* 22 of 60, City of Westminster* 20 of 54, Enfield* 26 of 63, Greenwich* 19 of 51, Hillingdon 22 of 65, Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames 22 of 48, Lambeth* 62 of 63, Richmond-on-Thames* 22 of 54, Southwark* 50 of 63, Wandsworth* 25 of 60)
[* at least one candidate in every Ward]

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