The Greens in the UK have beaten the first past the post system, designed to keep the so-called smaller parties, the parties of new thinking, out of Parliament. Winning in Brighton was a major landmark, the full impact of which will take some time to show. While the Brighton campaign drew in a great deal of the Party’s resources, it showed that with persistence, we can win under any electoral system.
In Derbyshire, as elsewhere in the country, our results were disappointing by comparison. We failed to save our deposits, which will hit us financially. By gaining around 1.5% of the vote, we have demonstrated that there is bedrock of support. In four constituencies, more than 2,800 people chose our positive message of fairness over greed, environmental protection over destruction. On that bedrock, we can build. In the local elections our vote was stronger. In Derby City around 5% overall, in New Mills West, 10%
Brighton was no flash in the pan. It took many years of dedicated campaigning, both for local and national elections. It involved taking defeats on the chin and coming back for more, driven always by the knowledge that our policies are fair for all and are the ones that will have to be enacted if we are to build a decent and sustainable society.
This is our motivation. We will come back for more. We will stand in the local elections next year, translating the Green vision into a local manifesto for action. We will contest the next general election. Our campaigning will not stop, it is not about individual ambitions, it is not about building great and glorious careers. It is about carrying our alternative visions of society to every person, getting them to believe that there is another way to live other than the vicious ‘me first’ destructive way of the capitalist free market.
Mike Shipley, DGP election campaign co-ordinator, May 2010