First a heartfelt thank you to all the electors of Poplar and Limehouse who voted for me and The Green Party in last Thursday’s General Election. Together we managed to double the Green vote from 900 in 2017 to 2,159 last Thursday! Thank you so much.
Second thanks to the excellent team from Tower Hamlets Green Party’s membership who also made this happen by turning out at weekends, early in the morning and generally in all weathers to try and reach as many of the 88,000 voters in the constituency as possible.
On Thursday, 61,562 voters did turn out and register their vote (or had already sent in their vote via the postal system).This represents 67.03% of the electorate. Another time, if I had Dominic Cumming’s budget and the tech wizards he used so effectively to win the Leave Vote in 2016, I would want to focus on trying to understand why 33% of the electorate did not vote and how to persuade them to do so!
Third point is that this Election more than most previous ones highlighted the unfairness of the ‘First Past the Post’ electoral system and the disservice it does to UK democracy – particularly at a time when the UK is so divided and opinions so firmly held. Just look at these statistics;
The Conservative Party has taken 56% of the seats in Parliament with only 43.66% of the vote.
The Conservative Party were voted in by 14,806 electors and is now committed to taking the UK out of the EU by the end of next month.
The Loyal Opposition (Labour, Lib Dem, Green, SNP etc) had 16,663 votes. So more people voted against the Conservative party than for it, and all that did vote against the Conservative Party believed in handling the final decision about Brexit through an Affirmative Vote where remaining in Europe would have been one of the options.
The Conservatives increased their overall vote by 1% and gained an extra 48 seats.The Green Party increased our vote by 1% and got no more seats. The Lib Dems increased their vote by 4% and lost 1 seat!
The number of votes needed to get one MP are grossly unbalanced; with 845,697 votes to get one Green MP; 336,638 for one Lib Dem MP; 50,838 for a Labour MP; 38,244 for a Conservative MP and only 25,882 for a SNP MP.
That’s exactly why The Green Party is totally committed to following most other European countries and using Proportional Representation (PR) as the fairest and most democratic way of electing Members of Parliament. Where every vote counts and coalitions and compromises mostly lead to considered and moderate policy making.
Though this may sound like the electoral system is stacked against us (and it is) we must never give up. We must argue for The Green Party’s radical Manifesto and constantly stress that the Climate Emergency really is an emergency and cannot be ignored. Equally important we need to organise much more effectively – organise our money and our people.
If you think Green, you should vote Green and if you voted Green you should seriously think about joining The Green Party via our Tower Hamlets Green Party. If the 2,159 who voted Green all joined the Party and paid their membership fees we would be an unstoppable force for Green values and actions – if half that number joined then we would still be a significant force to be reckoned with in East London and in Poplar and Limehouse specifically.
Please let me know if you have decided to join or want to be persuaded!
I will try to meet up with everyone personally who shares my concern and commitment to organising for the common good and the Green Wave in our neighbourhoods, schools and faith institutions.
The next Tower Hamlets Green Party meeting is from 19.00 on Wednesday, January 15th (venue to be confirmed). Please come as an observer or better still come as a new member with the power to shape and vote on the Green Organiser Plan.
I welcome members ideas and suggestions for Organising and Re-Organising Tower Hamlets and Poplar and Limehouse specifically. We do not have to wait until the next General or even Local Election! We must start now. There is no time to waste!
Thanks again for your interest, support and voting for me and The Green Party.
Have a great Christmas and New Year break and maybe put ‘Joining The Tower Hamlets Green Party’ on your New Year’s Resolution list!
PS. Please do follow me on twitter for updates.