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| May 20, 2019

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After Successful Local Polls, Green Party Eyes Parliament Elections

After Successful Local Polls, Green Party Eyes Parliament Elections

The recently concluded local elections saw favourable results for the Green Party, with Brighton & Hove City Councillor Phelim MacCafferty thanking voters for the victory, not just locally, but also across the nation.

“We topped the poll across the city with 4,000 more votes than any other party and we’re the only political party to increase our vote share in every ward,” writes Councillor MacCafferty. “Our gains mirror successes across the country, as the Green Party saw its best ever council election results.” All in all, 19 local councillors from the party have been elected or re-elected from the previous term’s 11, taking seats from the Conservative and Labour parties in the process.

Meanwhile, CBS News reports that the Conservatives lost more than 700 seats, while the Labour Party lost 87 nationwide. Tim Warren, a Conservative who lost his seat to Liberal Democrats’ David Wood, called voters’ “almost anti-political” who want to “punish us for a lack of action in government.”

Of course, what Warren was alluding to is the effect caused by Brexit and the lack of progress amidst the proposed changes three years after the referendum. “The people that voted to remain blame us for leaving and the people that voted to leave blame us because we haven’t left yet,” he explains.

Along with the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party is among the pro-EU parties who stood to gain from the ongoing Brexit negotiations. Caroline Lucas, a Green MP, is leading the movement in resisting Brexit. The Green Party want to remain in the European Union, as they believe that working with our European neighbours is the only real way to tackle the challenges of climate change, inequality, and poverty.

One of the party’s main campaign platforms is a second referendum on Brexit, promising that the storm is far from over. A long-form post by FXCM on the impact leaving the EU will have on the GBP points out how the official exit was slated for March earlier this year. However, the negotiations continue with no end in sight, as Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to get the approval of the House of Commons. Another referendum on Brexit is the Green Party’s attempt to mobilise a pro-European movement, in an effort to undo what Lucas called an “unforgivable act of intergenerational betrayal.”

After the success of the local polls, the Greens want more representation in Parliament in the upcoming elections on 23 May, where they can enact significant nationwide changes. Now that they have a little more momentum after the local elections. Concurring with Lucas, Bartley notes that international cooperation is imperative in issues regarding climate change. A previous Brighton Journal report details that the Green Party’s main platform for local governments is centred on environmental policies. They want to create an effective recycling scheme, free Brighton and Hove from single-use plastics, and minimise food waste while simultaneously producing more renewable energy.

On top of that, the Green Party also proposes a carbon-neutral future for the UK by 2030. Fossil fuels will be the first to go, which will be replaced with renewable energy sources. In addition, their official platform also includes expanding protected natural areas, including marine ecosystems. Also on the agenda for the Green Party are fair taxes, making sure that the rich cannot avoid paying their own. Lastly, they want to work with EU member states to establish a universal basic income to eliminate poverty across the continent. For more information, check out the Green Party’s full manifesto.

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