8 June 2009
In the European elections, the Green Party's vote increased by 44% (1) compared with 2004 - yet the Greens still returned only 2 MEPs.
But the party's results show considerable promise for the coming general election, with the Greens having defeated all comers in the parliamentary constituencies which will be contested by the party's leader and deputy leader.
Party leader Caroline Lucas was re-elected comfortably, with the South East Green Party vote up by half, from 8% to 12%, finishing ahead of Labour. Dr Lucas's bid for election to the Westminster Parliament received a huge boost from a vote of 31.3% in Brighton and Hove. The Greens came first in Brighton and Hove, almost 6,000 votes ahead of the Conservatives, and with more than double Labour's vote across three parliamentary constituencies. Caroline Lucas will be contesting the Brighton Pavilion seat in the general election.
Jean Lambert successfully defended her London seat, overtaking UKIP. In Lewisham, the Greens (17.8%, up 5.2% on 2004) polled close behind Labour (26.3%, down 6.4%). This looks promising for the Lewisham Deptford target constituency in the general election, a seat to be contested by Darren Johnson AM, the current chair of the London Assembly.
In the South West region, the Green Party increased its vote for Ricky Knight by 2%, to 9% - coming fourth, ahead of Labour.
Rupert Read narrowly missed election in Eastern region, where the Green vote increased from 6% in 2004 to 9%. In Norwich, the Greens came a comfortable first throughout the city, on 25% - good news ahead of the general election, when Green Party deputy leader Adrian Ramsay will contest the Norwich South target seat.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, the Green vote went up from 6% to 9% - narrowly missing out to the first BNP MEP. Ironically, the BNP's new MEP lives in Harrogate, a borough where the BNP polled only 1,887 votes compared with the Green Party's 3,845.
The North West Greens very narrowly missed winning a seat where the BNP leader was elected. Highlights of the Green vote in the North West included Manchester, where the Greens finished in third place, on 13.6%, ahead of the Conservatives. Ironically, while the Green vote was up from 6% to 8%, the BNP vote actually fell numerically compared with 2004.
In the North East - the first result announced, as there are only three seats - the Greens polled 6%, 1% up on 2004, in the English region where the Green vote was always most likely to be squeezed. In East Midlands, the Green vote increased by 1% to 7% and in West Midlands up 1% to 6%.
In Wales, the Green Party vote increased by a third, from 4% to 6%.
The European Green Group looks set to be much stronger after this election. The French Greens, for example, have gained 8 seats, more than doubling their representation to 14 seats.
1. Figures from the BBC website. The Green Party of England and Wales had a vote share of 6.06% in 2004, versus 8.71% of voters in 2009, a leap of 43.7%.