Greens Prepare To Fight Norwich North By-Election
Here are some of the first news releases about the Green campaign in Norwich North -
Candidate selected for Norwich North
At a packed meeting of Green Party members this week, Dr Rupert Read was selected as the Green Party's parliamentary candidate for the Norwich North by-election, ahead of fellow Norwich City Councillor Claire Stephenson, and former councillor Jessica Goldfinch.
Rupert Read said: "I'm honoured to be given the opportunity to represent the Green Party in a by-election in which, for the first time ever, the national spotlight will be on the Green Party and our campaign and our prospects are being taken extremely seriously."
As well as being a Green city councillor, Dr Read (43) is also a lecturer in philosophy at the University of East Anglia.
Dr Read recently won a huge expansion of the Green vote in the east of England in his campaign for the European elections and came within 1% of securing a seat. Hundreds of supporters took an active part in that campaign, and, in the absence of the high-level funding enjoyed by other parties, the Greens are calling for similar assistance in Norwich North where they'll be organising their first major leafletting this weekend.
Norwich Green Party has 13 Norwich City Councillors (Labour 15, Lib-Dems 6 Tories 5). It has 7 Norfolk County Councillors serving 7 of the 13 Norwich county wards. In the 2009 European election, the Green Party secured more votes than any other party in the Norwich City Council area, gaining 25%.
Here is the news release on the first opinion poll relating to the forthcoming election -
Norwich by-election - Greens take off as Labour goes into freefall
The first poll in the Norwich North by-election shows a major increase in the potential Green Party vote - as Labour's support collapses.
The poll shows the Conservatives ahead on 34%. Labour have fallen to second place, and their support has plummeted FIFTEEN points to 30%. Meanwhile the LibDems are worrying on 15%.
But the poll suggests the Green Party's support has shot up to 14%, putting the Greens hot on the heels of the Liberal Democrats. In UK-wide polls relating to parliamentary elections in the last year, the Greens have more commonly been on around 3% - and the previous record was 8%.
The by-election is being fought for the Greens by Dr Rupert Read, a Norwich city councillor and local university lecturer, who narrowly missed election as an MEP in the recent European elections.
College poll shows popularity of Green Party higher education policies
The poll, which was conducted by ICM and commissioned by the University and College Union, also questioned respondents about their attitudes to education - and Green Party policy proved popular.
Nearly three-quarters of adults (73%) agreed that giving young people affordable access to local education and training would reduce crime and anti-social behaviour - a view shared by the Green Party.
Over four-fifths (82%) of adults in the Norwich North constituency agreed that every local person who met entry standards should be entitled to a free place at a local college or university. Green candidate Rupert Read, who teaches at the University of East Anglia, said he would do everything in his power as an MP to help bring this about.
Rupert Read said today: "This poll is very encouraging for the Green Party.
"In the Norwich North by-election, the big three parties have everything to lose. The Green Party has everything to gain."
The poll was commissioned by the University and College Union and carried out by leading pollsters ICM. It surveyed a random sample of 504 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 19-21 June 2009. More detailed results can be found at: http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3987.