by John Hill
These election results were a great step forward for the Green Party both nationally and in Derbyshire. Here is a brief look at what happened, and some thoughts on what we do next.
First of all, Thank You so much to everyone who placed their trust in our candidates to push for Green values and policies at County Council.
Our gain of 88 seats is our second-best ever performance, beaten only by our breakthrough year in 2019 (when there were more seats in contention).
For a more in-depth assessment, see this video on our YouTube channel:
Now we know that 2019 wasn’t a fluke. It is becoming harder to deny that we are one of the major political parties. Next year we contest seats that were last up in 2018, before our breakthrough, so we expect to win big again.
Here in Derbyshire we have our first Green County Councillor, Gez Kinsella, elected in Duffield & Belper South division.
Also, our increases in vote across Derbyshire were even more spectacular than the national picture.
Here are some of the most impressive examples, but we saw gains everywhere.
This might look like a sudden breakthrough, but it is a result of steadily growing party membership, which has given us more resources in terms of money, candidates and volunteers. While we made gains almost everywhere that we have stood before, the main reason for these increases is that we are able to stand in far more places, because we have people willing to step forward. However, we still aren’t able to put up candidates everywhere.
We first need to work hard to get to positions where voters believe we *can* win, then we work hard again to make sure we *do* win. This year, in many places across Derbyshire, we have completed that first step.
We are still a small party, but consider how many voters we can reach that haven’t thought of voting for us before. On the one hand, we don’t have friendly national media or generations of voting instincts to put wind in our sails, on the other, we bring something genuine and new. Many people who vote (or don’t vote) out of habit are hankering for a positive alternative. Those big grey, blue and red voting blocs are a lot more fragile than most people think.
We are uniquely able to win over voters from all parties and none, by giving a clear & positive message and convincing people of our capability & integrity. Conservative voters recognise the need for conservation, Labour voters can see how our policies tackle unfairness & inequality and Lib Dem voters appreciate our consistent stances on electoral reform and internationalism. We have this wide appeal not by telling different voters different things, but by having principles we stand by and demonstrating integrity.
We’ve got a lot of work still to do and we will need your help. Every councillor elected is as a result of a team effort, and to win in more places we need not just candidates but keen volunteers to back them up.
This is how the tide turned in Brighton. In 10 years we went from being a minor party, to electing an MP. In the 10 years since, Caroline Lucas has consolidated our position through competence, decency, honesty and clarity. With the right candidates, and teams to support them, we can repeat that elsewhere, even here in Derbyshire.