Monday, May 10, 2010
Barnet Greens earn 20,000 votes but still denied seats
Barnet Green Party would like to thank everyone in the borough who voted Green in the national and local elections last week and we would particularly like to thank the dozens of people who helped out, some of whom contacted us out of the blue.
The number of Green votes in the Barnet borough elections almost doubled from 11,637 in 2006 to 20,388 this time, which would have entitled us to several councillors under a proportional election system. Unfortunately, the current winners-take-all system continues to deny us any seats on the council, demonstrating at a local level the urgent need for major electoral reform.
Thankfully Caroline Lucas managed to win the Greens’ first ever parliamentary seat when she triumphed in Brighton Pavilion constituency, while across the country additional Green councillors were elected in Bristol, Cambridge, Reigate, Reading and Hull, though the vagaries of the dreadful voting system and linking of the parliamentary and local elections meant we lost a few seats on some councils in London.
“As I monitored the count for East Finchley, the ward where I was a candidate, I saw that an enormous number of people had voted for names from two or three different parties, rather than backing three candidates from a single party. Judging from my strolls around the marquees where the votes were tallied, the trend was the same in other wards,” said Barnet Green Party press officer Andrew Newby.
This proves that a large proportion of people in Barnet borough really would like to see a balanced council, with a fair representation of all the political parties rather than the overwhelmingly Conservative administration that we are lumbered with.
Let us hope that the new British government, in whatever shape it may take, brings in a truly proportional voting system for local councils as well as for parliament.
Meanwhile, Barnet Green Party will continue to campaign on the many urgent local issues, not least our efforts to persuade the council to adopt a 20 mph speed limit in all residential streets in the borough. This would not only reduce accidents but make side streets more pleasant to walk or cycle along, improving people’s quality of life and boosting community spirit.
We will very much need your help in future and hope you will continue to support us as we begin preparations for the next major electoral challenge, the London Assembly elections in 2012, when we and activists across London will be fighting to increase the number of Green members of the London Assembly. Greens have played a key role in shaping policies on the assembly and could have even more influence if we win additional seats.