12 May 2015
It was inevitable that our activists felt some disappointment following the May 7th elections in our area, as our work failed to be translated into seats. We had targeted our limited campaigning resources into two council wards: in Weston Coyney we came fourth with 15% of the vote, and in Keele second with 27%.
It was disappointing perhaps, but not discouraging. It is always especially difficult for the party to make progress in council races when they are held on the same day as a general election and we must always look to the long term changes our small party is bringing to the politics of North Staffordshire.
In Newcastle-under-Lyme we expanded our vote from the 1001 we achieved in 2014 to 2789 this year. In Stoke-on-Trent, in our first election, we won 3201 votes. Taken together we gave almost 6000 people the chance to vote Green in local races and 4489 in the four parliamentary constituencies we contested.
This expansion was reflected throughout the West Midlands (you can read details here) and in the general election nationally we increased our vote by four times over 2010, to over 1.1m. Caroline Lucas increased her majority in Brighton, the Green Party came second in four parliamentary seats, and made a net gain of council seats. We can feel proud that we have offered a new direction in local and national politics and cemented our position as a viable competitor in future elections. And our results only added to the #greensurge - on May 8th 1500 people around the country looked at what the election meant and joined the Green Party.
This growth is our obligation to continue. We are here because of our deep belief in Green principles and we know that over time the correctness of our policies will become more and more apparent. We have barely scratched the surface of what is possible in our region. In the years between now and the next election we will continue to build and to campaign in many causes - electoral reform, localism, human rights, the fight against austerity and inequality, and, of course, ecological wisdom. We must attract talented campaigners and candidates, continue to build on our varied fields of expertise, and always offer our members and friends our encouragement to act on their decent instincts.
We remain committed and optimistic, for optimism itself is a political act.
MW & JZ
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