The great news is that the Greens fielded candidates in 83 out of 84 of the constituencies in the South East (and the 84th – Basingstoke – is the subject of a legal challenge about job sharing), enabling over a quarter of a million people to vote Green.
Our big goal was to keep Caroline Lucas as a Brighton Pavilion MP and you’ll have heard that she kept her seat with 41.8% share of the vote, a 10.5% increase. What a great result.
The share of the vote across the South East was 5.2%. Last time it was 1.8% (although candidates only stood in 62% of seats in 2010). Last time 3 candidates saved their deposit. This time it was 30.
Some of the other highlights: Vix Lowthion in the Isle of Wight received 13.4% share of the vote, one of the highest in the country, and Ann Duncan in Oxford East (11.6%).
Vix Lowthion said: “The success of our Green campaign on the IW has caught the party somewhat by surprise – as we went from 900 votes in 2010 to 9,000 votes in 2015. We achieved this through holding public meetings, social events, getting in the local paper and radio, and street campaigns. All these events gathered more supporters to fight for us along the journey, and resulted in 200 new members and supporters joining our local party. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience!”
Ann Duncan said: “We’re very pleased that our campaign led to a five-fold increase compared to 2010. The Green increase (9.2%) was the highest of any party. It reflects clear support for the Green’s agenda in Oxford, and shows that voters who support the party at local elections are increasingly prepared to support it in national polls.”
Alan Francis in Buckingham also received a large share of the vote (13.8%) because he stood in the speaker’s seat, where convention has it that the main parties don’t stand. He’s using the local protests there at lack of democracy to lend support to the national campaign for proportional representation.
In the local elections the Greens provided a positive option for change in over 700 seats across the South East, compared with 258 in 2011 (this means 50% of wards have a Green who stood in them). In Surrey the Greens’ vote share went up over 10% but this didn’t translate into as many seats as hoped. The Greens gained three seats on Lewes District Council for the first time and gained effective control of the Town Council. In Brighton 11 Greens kept their seats, but the Greens lost minority control of the Council.
If you’ve got any feedback for us about the campaign then please get in touch. It’s never too soon to start planning the next one! Please send over your great ideas about:
- How we can keep the Green Surge new members (membership in the South East has gone up to over 10,000)
- What you can do in your local party to build support for the next election campaign in 2016
- How we can focus our efforts on the developing campaigns: proportional representation, fracking, TTIP, scrapping of the Human Rights Act and the EU referendum in 2017.
Vicki Elcoate and Emma Leigh
South East Regional Co-ordinators for the Green Partyby