Greens seek electoral breakthrough for radical alternatives

By staff writers
7 Apr 2010

As the three biggest and richest political parties seek to gobble up media attention, the Green Party of England and Wales has launched an online appeal to fund an electoral breakthrough - and they also point to powerful indicators that their support is on the rise around the country.

In 2009, the Green Party's Euro-election share of the vote increased by 44 per cent compared with the previous election, while in the county council elections, the Greens broke through onto four more councils where they were previously unrepresented.

The Green Party in Scotland, meanwhile, has been represented in the Scottish Parliament since 1999.

The party is seeking to combine attractive and practical local issues and policies with a much larger vision of re-building the economy, meeting human need and healing the planet, than the corporate parties are willing to contemplate.

The Greens will shortly launch a fully costed manifesto. A spokesperson explained: "Under the slogan ‘Fair is worth fighting for', the Green Party's manifesto is challenging the consensus among the big three parties that spending cuts are necessary. The Greens will be offering an investment package for massive job-creation to see off the recession once and for all, and we will show how to pay for it. We'll also show how to protect and improve the NHS, and how to give British pensioners the best deal on offer."

She added: "This year, for the first time ever, more than three hundred Green candidates will contest a UK general election. And for the first time ever, leading pollsters are predicting a Green Party breakthrough.

"Party leader Caroline Lucas is contesting a seat in a city where the Greens have outpolled all other parties in every city-wide election since 2005, where the Greens leapfrogged both Labour and the Conservatives in the most recent by-election to win hands-down, and in a constituency where the Greens hold more council seats than any other party."

The respected polling organisations, YouGov and ICM, together with local bookmakers, suggest that Ms Lucas has an unprecedented opportunity to become the Green Party's first MP.

"In places like Brighton, Lewisham and Norwich, voters have become used to seeing Greens elected in large numbers, so the normal squeeze of tactical voting doesn't apply," the party says.

"These are cities where members of the public have seen Green councillors in action over many years, pursuing Green Party policies that have won re-election and a steady increase in council seats. We don't underestimate the challenge, but these are places where the Greens are fighting to win."

In the 2009 Euro-elections, the Greens finished ahead of Labour in two complete regions (South East and South West) and defeated the Conservatives in a number of cities, ranging from Brighton and Hove and Oxford in the south, to Norwich in the east, and Liverpool and Manchester in the north.

After the local and London elections in 2008, the Green Party of England and Wales had more than 100 parish councillors, 125 Principal Authority councillors and two members of the London Assembly as well as MEPs.

Wales Green Party has announced that it is standing 14 candidates in the General Election. The Scottish Greens will contest 20 constituencies across Scotland for the Westminster parliament.

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Green Party of England and Wales: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/

Scottish Green Party: http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/

Wales Green Party: http://wales.greenparty.org.uk/

[Ekk/3]

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