Camden Green Party are currently contesting a winnable council by-election in Kentish Town. All the signs are that the Greens will be able to improve on their previous second place and actually win the seat - although unfortunately nothing is guaranteed in this world.
Our candidate, Victoria Green, is the only contender that actually lives in the ward and her record as a community campaigner makes her a good fit with the other three Greens on Camden council, who have a deserved reputation as excellent local councillors.
In December 2006 the Greens clinched second place in the ward with 28% of the vote to the Lib Dems' 37.5%. However in May, the Kentish Town Lib Dem vote fell to just 600 (from over a thousand), and is likely to fall further after their ‘local’ Councillor moved to Arizona and continued to claim allowances, something that eventually caused the by-election.
All of this means that, with support, Victoria Green is well placed to win the election on October 30th. But she wont be able to do that without some help and I'm trekking down to London this weekend to lend some support - which made me think - I might as well let people know about this and see if I can rally a few London and non-London supporters.
On Saturday we're meeting from 10 a.m. on Kentish Town High St. (I'm told you go out of Kentish Town tube station and turn left, "you can't miss us") where the street stall will act as a organising hub for door knocking, leafleting and other activities in the area which will go on into late afternoon. If you've not helped out the Greens before this would be an ideal time to dip your toe in the water, meet the candidate and take in the fresh London air... oh, hold on... make that bracing rather than fresh.
I'll leave the last words on this to the Lib Dem Chair of Camden Council's Sustainability Task Force Alexis Rowell;
We've got another [by-election] coming up in Kentish Town because our Arizona Kid, Philip Thompson, has resigned to do a PHd in the States. We shot ourselves in the foot over that. The story made it into the national media because he moved to Arizona before he resigned as a councillor. I'm delighted for him that his academic career is going so well, but I do think he should have announced his intention to resign at the point at which he decided to do his PHd abroad.It's important that we continue to build the momentum with electoral successes where we can get them and winning one seat in a new ward can quickly turn into three in a couple of years time - so we're sowing good seeds for the future. See you there!
The Greens ran us very close in Kentish Town during the last by-election there and I expect them to be the main rivals this time. I'm told we identified more potentially Green voters in Kentish Town during that by-election then than any Lib Dem local party in the UK had ever identified before. So I guess it will turn into a referendum about how much the current Kentish Town councillors have done to support policies to mitigate climate change and how much we as an administration have done to push sustainability. Interesting!