19 May 2017
If you believe in Green policies, but are thinking you might vote tactically, in the hope of unseating the Tories, we understand why, but consider this -
In the 2015 general election, even if every Green had voted Labour in Stroud, the Tories would still have won (Tories 27,813, Labour 22,947, Green 2,779), and that was when Labour looked like a united party. Judging by what's happened since (including the County Council election), the gap this time will be bigger still and tactical voting simply won't work. So think twice before putting your precious cross by a party you don't really want, if it isn't going to stop the one you want even less.
• If you vote Green it increases our total – which raises our profile and increases the argument for a fairer voting system.
• It also puts pressure on the Labour Party to acknowledge that, as things stand, it hasn't a hope on its own of getting a parliamentary majority and needs to consider the Green proposal for an electoral agreement – and sends the same message to the Liberal Democrats.
In our view, those two things together are the only way to seriously challenge a dysfunctional democratic system and a Tory majority that could otherwise continue for a long time to come.
Listen to your heart and your head: vote Green!
Greens tried to cooperate to defeat the Tories in Stroud…. but the Labour hierarchy refused
Both nationally and locally, Greens have been in the forefront of trying to prevent a Tory landslide with the spectre of a disastrous hard Brexit, perpetual unfair voting system, inhumanity towards refugees and damage to our local government services, schools and NHS.
This was aimed at agreeing how to work together to avoid splitting the vote and repeating what happened in the last election, when the Tories won all the seats in Gloucestershire. We hoped to build on the successful cooperation at Stroud District Council, where Labour, Green and Lib Dems have been successfully working together to deliver services that have attained record satisfaction levels among residents and local businesses.
Sadly, the Labour hierarchy ruled out any general election co-operation, handing over Stroud and the other Gloucestershire seats to the Tories. It seems the Labour Party put their party interests, of preventing the growth of competitor progressive parties, ahead of the interests of the people of Stroud. This is mirrored across the country where Greens have either stood down, or offered to stand down, but Labour have refused to reciprocate. This is not cooperation – it is bullying. In Surrey Labour has expelled three senior members for trying to unseat the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, by forming a progressive alliance with local Greens and Liberal Dems to unite behind an NHS doctor standing against him!
That is why the Stroud District Green Party is urging all progressive voters in Stroud to vote positively for the party that genuinely tried to cooperate and do something differently. Vote for Sarah Lunnon, for a progressive Green MP, rather than a Labour Party which has lost the last two elections in Stroud, with ever increasing margins, following the strategy of relying on the young and the progressive casting a tactical vote. Those tactical votes were wasted in the last two elections – and look likely to be wasted in 2017.
As Sarah Lunnon says, ‘Electoral alliances were never about standing aside. We wanted to stand together with the other parties to campaign for some shared principles, including a fair voting system.’
Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley, co-leaders of the Green Party, said:
‘We wanted to make this work – and at the countless public meetings we’ve been to up and down the country, it’s clear that grassroots members of both Labour and Liberal Democrats, and the wider public, wanted it to as well.