Friday, May 04, 2012

Green Party celebrates election wins: England's fourth favourite

The Green Party is celebrating having cemented their position as the fourth most popular party in England after yesterday's elections.

At the time of writing, with results in from more than half of England's councils, and against a strong popular swing towards Labour, they have increased their total number of councillors by four, and their average share of the vote by one point to 9%.

The party contested 943 seats in 119 councils and was defending 22 seats it already held.

Its candidate for the London Assembly for Lambeth and Southwark, Jonathan Bartley, claimed that the results showed his party was gaining wide appeal. “This is clearly not a single issue party any longer,” he said.

Nuneaton gained its first Green councillor in the person of Keith Kondakor, and so did Dudley where Dr Will Duckworth gained a seat.

Three seats taken in the West Midlands from the Conservatives were done so with large swings.

In Norwich, the party held all six seats with increased percentage counts, keeping its record of never losing a single seat at the ballot box.

A Labour majority in Sewell Ward was reduced by 290 votes by the Green Party candidate Howard Jago.

In Bradford, where the Respect Party took the Leader's seat, the Green Party retained the three seats it already had, but increased its support in the Shipley ward where Martin Love obtained a majority of 1,461, the highest ever Green majority in a ward.

However, they lost their only seat on Cambridge Council after their candidate Adam Pogonowski defected to Labour just before polls opened, claiming that he wanted to be part of “a bigger party that has real power to make a difference to people”.

The results in Cardiff are eagerly awaited where the party fielded 37 candidates.

The Green Party issued a statement calling yesterday's local elections "a day of steady progress for Green politics".

Councillor Andrew Cooper, Chair Association of Green Councillors, said the results showed the party was gaining wider appeal and that where Greens have been elected and stand on their record, voters approve their performance and re-elect them.

"This is a party coming of age, which is showing that when it gets stuck into local issues like housing, it can actually make gains and then hold on to them despite the swings of the big three parties."

More results are expected later today followed by the count for the London Mayor and Greater London Assembly with the result expected this evening.

Jenny Jones is the Green candidate for London mayor.

Perhaps the media will start giving the party more attention from now on.

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