8 May 2012

A Few Spare Minutes

Our youngest boy was ill last night, so I'm home from work looking after him. I find myself with a few minutes to spare, so why not blog on the elections? Firstly, we've achieved nearly everything we set out to do in Liverpool. Sarah Jennings held our 2nd St Michaels seat with 54% of the vote compared to Labour's 34% and we saved our deposit with a respectable 5.25% in the Mayoral Election. We just fell short of beating the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool in terms of vote share in the Mayoral election but credit is due to Liam Fogerty who captured a bit of of the media spotlight in the final week and overtook the opposition party candidates in the last week. Secondly, the Green Party held all our seats in Norwich, gained one and lost one in Oxford and broke through onto Dudley, Worcester and Nuneaton councils, with gains in Kirklees and Solihull. In our region, credit must go the excellent Patrick Cleary who despite gaining 41% of the vote, missed out winning our first seat on the Wirral. Elsewhere, we managed a number of 2nd places in Carlisle, Warrington, Manchester and of course Liverpool. I'll have missed out some places (apologies in advance). We did have an awful time in Cambridge. Margaret Wright, our first ever elected councillor in Cambridge, was stepping down due to ill health. Our other councillor Adam Pognowski decided to defect to Labour on the day of the election (only a few months after this letter), in what must be the most effective way to scupper William Birkin's chances of a hold. It is not often that I would say I'm glad to see someone go, but given the timing of the defection, there is a lot of anger and disappointment nationally at his actions. In 2007 as Elections Co-ordinator for England and Wales, I paid a visit to a then struggling Cambridge party, urging them to utilise Target to Win effectively. They went on to do so well in getting established and those who have worked hard, particularly Margaret, should be remembered for their contribution. I'm sure the Greens in Cambridge will be back. Finally, our London results were also very good. We finished 3rd in both the Mayoral and Assembly poll with small improvements in our vote share in both - a real difficult task for us versus Labour in the current climate. Everyone there deserves a huge amount of praise for an excellent campaign. If you want further electoral debriefs about Liverpool, David Bartlett's blog has a couple of interesting posts up already.

1 comment:

whatisthis said...

I agree with you completely with regards Cambridge. You may remember I was there when you visited back in 2007. It took an enormously amount of work to get Margaret and subsequently Simon elected. And while I fell out with the Cambridge party over there disaterous decision to put campaigning for Tony Juniper over that of winnable local targets, not to mention his own capitalism-lite green politics! I never lost respect for the fact that Margaret did a massive amount for her constituents and for the local party over the past few decades. Not wanting to bang my own drum but I doubt either Margaret or Simon would have been elected if it wasn't for me. I left the Green Party out of principle on the cuts a few months ago but share most of the same ideas and aims as those like yourself on the left still within the party. As I tweeted on election day, "I felt betrayed by Adam having defected to a party that stood war and neo-liberalism!" I suspect he will realise eventually the error of his ways and although I do not think William Birkin would have held the seat either way, it is particularly treacherous leaving the way he did. I hope the party is more thankful to its committed activists in places like Cambridge as I felt Juniper and the like were running an earth scorching policy when they so brutally hung me out to dry.
Despite all the hatred from Cambridge I went on to spend a week in Norwich and one in Hackney campaigning in '10 and spent a week in the run-up to the locals in '11 helping my friend Phelim in Hove.