Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Best Ever Green Parliamentary By-Election Result

Congratulations to Green candidate Rupert Read and the Norwich Green Party on achieving the best ever Green result (in percentage terms) in a British Parliamentary by-election:

Green party campaigners were today celebrating their performance in the Norwich North by-election after more than tripling their vote, compared with the 2005 general election.

The result is the best performance ever for the Green Party in a Westminster by-election.

Rupert Read for the Green Party received 9.7% of the vote, up from 1,252 in 2005 to 3,350 today.

In comparison to 2005, the votes of Conservative, Labour and LibDem parties all went down. The Labour and LibDem vote also fell as a proportion of the turnout.

Adrian Ramsay, opposition leader on Norwich council, and the Green Party's deputy leader, said: "This was our best by-election result ever. Our best previous result was 7.4% in the Haltemprice and Howden/David Davis by-election. We started from a low base (2.7% in the 2005 general election), and we trebled our vote. On the ground, we had roughly £12,000 to spend, compared to the £100,000 that the Tories have apparently spent."

"Rupert Read ran a positive campaign, on issues such as the NHS, renewable energy, transport and living wages, and we are very pleased with the level of interest we've generated. With new members and supporters, we can now concentrate on Norwich South for the general election."

On the issue of the coming general election, Ramsay said that: "Norwich South will be different from Norwich North, since two-thirds of Norwich North was outside of Norwich City. The Greens have led local election vote share in Norwich for the last three years running, and we are the official opposition within Norwich City."

Rupert Read, the by-election candidate, added that: "The Norwich North campaign was done on a fraction of the budget of the large parties, some of which deluged residents with countless leaflets. We are pleased to have done so well without that kind of overkill."


Full results, with % change from 2005:

Chloe Smith (C) 13,591 (39.54%, +6.29%)
Chris Ostrowski (Lab) 6,243 (18.16%, -26.70%)
April Pond (LD) 4,803 (13.97%, -2.22%)
Glenn Tingle (UKIP) 4,068 (11.83%, +9.45%)
Rupert Read (Green) 3,350 (9.74%, +7.08%)
Craig Murray (Honest) 953 (2.77%)
Robert West (BNP) 941 (2.74%)

2009 turnout: 45.76%, down -15.33% on 61.09% in 2005

It is particularly heartening that the wheels came off the Lib Dem by-election machine after they started launching smear attacks on the Greens. In contrast to the increase of over 7% in the Green vote since the the last election, the Lib Dems slumped by over 2%. This does not bode well for the Lib Dems who seem to have put all their eggs in the basket of competing for soft Tory votes via the Blairism of Clegg and his Orange Book chums. We see a pattern of more and more voters (and activists) who identified with the radical wing of the Liberals or old Labour finding a new home with the Greens.

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