More people yesterday voted for The Green Party in Stroud than ever before in a General Election. Nationally our vote has risen by almost 65% from 2017. We returned Caroline Lucas to Parliament with an increased majority and we stand united ready for the fight that the next five years of Tory rule will bring.
Johnson appeared this morning in front of a lectern declaring a ‘People’s Government’. We are clear that these are sinister echoes of a form of populism that is more akin to that of Trumpism than Westminster, let alone Stroud. Locally our job is to hold the newly elected Conservative member to account, to ensure she tempers the most extreme elements within her party and that she genuinely puts the interests of Stroud, the Valleys and Vale first. We will work with other parties to hold Siobhan Baillie to account locally for promises made during the campaign on climate change, a positive Brexit deal and the NHS. These issues are too important to ignore once the election campaign is over.
Part of this process is about rebuilding relationships with friends from across the political spectrum, many of whom we have a long and proud working relationship with at a local level. We strongly welcome the Make Votes Matter initiative announced a few days before the election to unite Greens and Labour locally in pushing for electoral reform. This must be the focus of our energy. Never again should any party ask residents in Stroud vote for a party as the least bad option because the political system has failed them.
We regret that Labour refused to enter into talks with us ahead of this General Election to form an agreement. We see the failure of their cynical electoral strategy of frightening previous Green voters to vote tactically rather than providing a positive vision for the future for their traditional voters to unite around. We know that many of those who voted Green this time, including Tory Remainers who reject Johnson, would never vote for Corbyn whether or not the Greens were standing. Therefore this electoral strategy of trying to stop the Greens standing was both anti-democratic and deeply flawed.
The next five years will be some of the most challenging we as a community and country will face with critical action to be taken to address climate breakdown. Greens are proudly the political wing of a wider social movement for environmentalism and social justice. We are disheartened by last night’s results across the country but remain committed to securing our place in Europe, fighting for climate justice and fixing our broken political system.
Moving forward, we are committed to work with other parties to fight for a fair, democratic voting system that encourages cooperation rather than conflict.