14 April 2015

Where There is No Green Candidate...

It is true that we are standing more candidates than ever before in this election, but there are going to be places that won't have the opportunity to vote Green in 2015. Now there has been a lot of hot air from the Tories about Bolton West and the fact that the local party isn't standing in one of the seats the Tories would need to take from Labour if they needed to form a majority government.

Looking at Labour’s top 50 targets, 41 are Tory seats. If Labour were to win these seats from the Tories, combined with the ones it should take from the Liberal Democrats, it would ensure they are the largest party, even if they lose every seat they currently hold in Scotland to the SNP. In just 5 of these marginals, there will be no Green candidate. They are:

City of Chester
Crewe & Nantwich
Wirral West

If we look at Wirral West as an example, I know there are one or two members who were deeply disappointed not to stand. One of the risks of not having a Green candidate is that Green voters may not turn out in large numbers. However, where there are local elections on the same day (most metropolitan councils) they will still have a local Green candidate. I therefore think the majority of our supporters will still cast their votes. Out of the two candidates contesting a marginal seat, they are likely to go for the one who opposes fracking and is against the renewal of Trident. That will likely result in helping the Labour candidate Margaret Greenwood to gain the seat.

What we have to make clear is that there has been no national strategy on the marginal seats. Decisions to stand have been taken locally and in most constituencies, the Greens have a candidate. Should Labour win the five seats listed and hold Bolton West, we shouldn't expect any thanks from them. The First Past the Post system is broken and should Labour form the largest party, they will do well to bear in mind that at the next election, be it in October or in 2020, the Greens will be everywhere. It is time for electoral reform and if Ed Miliband becomes Prime Minister in May he would do well to move things along before the next election, as the Greens are on the rise and there will be no seat uncontested next time.

1 comment:

Nick Wall said...

Labour did well in some of these places, taking Wirral West and Chester with wafer-thin majorities. Which supports the notion that where the Greens are gaining ground, it's likely to be at Labour's expense.