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UK Green vote quadruples, Tories win with 37% in “broken” two-party system

p caroline lucasIn the United Kingdom’s May 7 2015 parliamentary election, the UK Greens quadrupled their national vote from 265,000 in 2010 to 1,140,000 (4%) in 2015.

Despite this huge increase in votes, the Greens held steady at one seat in parliament, coming in second in four other races. Former party leader Caroline Lucas not only retained her seat in Brighton Pavilion, but saw her margin of victory over Labour quadruple to 15% (42% to 27%).

Party leader Natalie Bennett told the Independent, “The fact that we have achieved over one million votes yet not been rewarded with more MPs draws into sharp focus just how unfair and outdated our winner-takes-all voting system is. The fight for a fairer, more democratic voting system – one which recognises the will of the people rather than entrenches the established order – begins today.”

From The Guardian: ‘”Lucas was swift to point to what she said were the failings of a “broken” electoral system, one that handed her party just one seat for its million votes. She said: “It is only proportional representation that will deliver a parliament that is truly legitimate, and that better reflects the people we represent.”’

The Conservative (Tory) party won 51% of seats in parliament, despite winning a weak plurality of 37% of the national vote. The election was a disaster for the UK’s other main parties, with the leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats resigning, and the UK Independence Party leader losing his seat.

Conversely, the Green Party grew from about 12,000 members to about 63,000 in the months leading up to the election, surpassing the Liberal Democrats and UKIP and signaling the party’s rise as a national force.

Highlighting the national frustration with the UK’s obsolete two-party system, dozens of world-reknowned Britons signed a letter supporting Caroline Lucas’ reelection campaign, including “Planet Earth” narrator David Attenborough, folk singer Billy Bragg, UN peace messenger Jane Goodall, actor Jeremy Irons, human rights advocate Bianca Jagger, former Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

The letter reads, in part: “Over the last five years Caroline has eloquently addressed many of today’s most pressing issues – from accelerating climate change to sustainable farming, from human rights to a just and sustainable economy. This leadership matters all the more at a time when the mainstream parties are finding it so hard to address these challenges properly.”

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UK Green leader’s election message: Create a humane society that meets everyone’s needs

Natalie Bennett writes in The Independent:

Election 2015: The Green Party can create a humane society that supports everyone’s needs

You have a chance to vote for what you believe in, rather than the old, tired approach of voting for the lesser of two evils

p natalie bennett darren hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This election offers an opportunity for you as a voter. It’s a real chance to change our politics, to support a new kind of society that works for the common good, while living within the environmental limits of our one, fragile planet.

On Wednesday night I was in Bristol West, with hundreds of enthusiastic Green supporters committed to electing Darren Hall as their first Green MP. I’ve heard lots of political correspondents scoff over recent weeks when I said we could win the seat, but they were expressing astonishment last week, when an Ashcroft poll showed we’d added 21% to our 2010 vote. The momentum is running our way, and the excitement on the streets is obvious.

And I’ve seen that excitement around the country, in the midst of a “selfie frenzy” in Sheffield Central, in queues of well-wishers in my own constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, and of course in Brighton Pavilion, where voters have seen the huge achievements of our first Green MP, Caroline Lucas.

It’s the same excitement that’s seen Green Party membership more than quadruple in the past year, making us much larger than the Lib Dems or Ukip.

This is an election like none before. It is a multiparty election in which there’s a chance to vote for what you believe in, rather than the old, tired approach of voting for the lesser of two evils.

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Watch the UK 7-way party leaders debate with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett

p Natalie BennettOn Thursday April 2nd, leaders of the United Kingdom’s largest political parties took part in a 7-way debate, including David Cameron of the Conservative Party, Ed Miliband of the Labour Party, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party, Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, Natalie Bennett of the Green Party and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru.

Watch the debate here:

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13 Reasons the UK Green Party is Surging

p Natalie BennettAhead of the upcoming UK general election, the UK Greens have been climbing in the polls and surging in members to become the UK’s 4th largest party by membership (after Labour, Conservatives, and the Scottish National Party). UK Green Party member Adam Ramsay touches on some of the reasons for the UK’s Green Surge:

After thousands of new members have joined this week, the Green Parties in Scotland and England and Wales now have more than both UKIP and the Lib Dems. Farage’s party has 41,943, the Lib Dems head of membership tells me that they now have 44,680. On Wednesday, the Greens gained 2,000 members across the UK and overtook UKIP. Today, Thursday, so far, they’ve gained more than 2,000 more. As I write, Scottish Greens + the Green Party of England and Wales are at a combined total of 44,713.

In 2003, there were around 5,000 signed up Greens across the UK. That’s about the same number as has joined this week. What’s caused this growth, which has now so dramatically accelerated?

1) the debates

There’s something strange about British politics: an obsession with process. A huge portion of people feel that the exclusion of the Greens from the election debates is unfair. For those who vote Green, or were thinking about it, being told that their chosen party isn’t significant is almost a personal affront. Hundreds of thousands signed a petition calling on the Greens to be included. Some clearly decided that they’d go one step further, and sign up. Continue Reading

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Natalie Bennett: Why the UK Green Party is growing rapidly

Natalie Bennett, leader of the UK Green Party, writes in The Independent:

#GreenSurge: Did you know that the Green Party is growing rapidly? Let me tell you why

It’s not just our environmental policies that has led to a surge in our support

p Natalie Bennett“I’m sorry.” That was a message I delivered on Sunday to the students of Lancaster University, speaking as as a representative of my generation (I’m 48). “We’ve made a right mess of things.” In Britain, and around the globe, we’ve got three crises all coming together at the same time: our economic, social, environmental systems are all failing.

It’s clear that young people are increasingly understanding this – and that this timing isn’t coincidental, but the result of the failure of decades of free-market politics and economics, which saw greed as good and the natural world as a storehouse to be plundered. The coming together of these crises makes the need for genuine change in our economy and society apparent, and that understanding was evident in Lancaster — with more than 100 students giving up their weekend to talk politics. Continue Reading

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UK Greens threaten legal action over exclusion from TV debates

p Natalie BennettFrom the Guardian:

The major TV broadcasters faced a deluge of criticism and threats of legal action on Monday when they proposed to include Ukip [UK Independence Party], but not the Green party, in the planned TV leader debates in the general election next year…

 

The Green party says it is inexplicable for Ukip to be given a platform when it is the Greens who have had an MP for four years, and polled at a higher level for many years. The broadcasters point to the consistent high poll rating of Ukip, as well as its showing in the European elections. Continue Reading

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UK Green Party gains ground in local elections across Britain

p UK Green Party logoFrom the UK Green Party:

The Green Party has gained 23 seats at the Local Elections as it continues to go from strength to strength. Greens are now installed as the official opposition in Liverpool and Solihull, Islington and Lewisham in London, and remain the official opposition in Norwich.

The 23 gains means the Green Party now have 162 councillors on 56 councils. The strong results saw Greens secure a presence on seven more councils (Epping Forest, Wirral, Worthing, Babergh, Islington, Lambeth, and Newcastle-under-Lyme).  Continue Reading

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European Green primary allows 16 year olds to vote

From the Economic Voice:

The Green Party has re-affirmed its commitment to giving the vote to anyone over the age of 16.

The Green Primary, a ground-breaking Europe-wide e-democracy project currently underway, offers anyone living in the European Union who is over the age of 16 the opportunity to vote for the two Green leading candidates for the 2014 European Elections.

The winners of the Green Primary will be in the running to become the next European Commission President. Continue Reading

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UK Green Party celebrates gains in local elections

From the UK Green Party:

p Natalie BennettTHE GREEN Party is today celebrating steady progress across the country in county and unitary elections, with the party having a new presence on six councils (Warwickshire, 2 councillors; Essex, 2; Surrey 1, Cornwall 1, Devon 1, Kent 1) and numbers doubling on Worcestershire County Council (to two) and Bristol Council (to four).

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said:  “I would like to thank all those who worked tirelessly on the campaign with huge amounts of energy and commitment. We were encouraged all through the campaign to receive such a good response. We started this campaign with the aim of spreading much more widely across the country, winning seats on councils on which we had not previously been represented, and we’ve achieved that aim.” Continue Reading