UK Greens could win first seat in Parliament

While the Green Party of the United Kingdom has elected a member of the European Parliament, they have not yet elected a member of Parliament in their own country.  However, this could change soon.  The Independent reports:

A poll of voting intentions carried out by ICM Research shows that the Greens, who had their best-ever result in the constituency in 2005, hold an eight-point lead over their nearest rivals, the Conservatives, with the Greens on 35 per cent, the Tories on 27, Labour on 25 and the Liberal Democrats on 11 per cent…

Several developments boost the chance of Britain’s first Green MP. The first is that Brighton Pavilion’s incumbent Labour member, David Lepper, is standing down. Mr Lepper is a popular local figure. A key factor in his holding on to the seat last time around was that he had voted against the Iraq war.

The Greens’ 2005 candidate there, Keith Taylor, scooped 22 per cent of the vote, beating the Liberal Democrats for third place and coming within 1,000 votes of pipping the Tories to second. That was the party’s best general election performance…

But the most significant development is the candidature of Caroline Lucas herself, Britain’s most accomplished Green politician. Articulate, passionate, radical without seeming threatening, the former Oxfam adviser has been MEP for South-east England for 10 years, and is a world away from the old image of the Green party activist as someone who lived in a tepee eating brown rice.

She presides over a party which has shifted from its purely ecological roots to an identity which might be described as radical social democrat; although still with the most demanding agenda for fighting climate change, and resolutely anti-nuclear, the Greens are now equally concerned with job creation in the recession and defending the NHS…

The party has 126 councillors in 43 local authorities across Britain as well as two MEPs, Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert. It intends to field a “half slate” of just under 300 candidates in the forthcoming election, likely to be held in May.

But in what some may see as another sign of its political coming of age, it is concentrating its efforts in just three target seats: Brighton Pavilion, Lewisham Deptford and Norwich South.

H/T to Richard Winger.

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