Monday, June 08, 2009

Considered analysis on the Euro results

The Telegraph is calling this a Tory surge. I rubbed my eyes and checked the figures to be sure. An increase of 1% to 27.7% adding one MEP to their already bloated group. If this is a surge what are they calling the Greens additional 2.4% (the largest gain of anyone standing at these elections)? Oh, that's right - they don't call it anything, we're invisible.

So, today I'm coping with another electoral hangover. It's not as bad as '92 I suppose but, Christ, it would have to be pretty damn dire to come close!

The election was good for the Greens across Europe, just not quite good enough here in the UK to increase our representation. As Ben says "The Greens had set themselves two measures of success: winning more seats, and keeping the BNP out. Though our vote share rose across the country, we didn't achieve either of these aims."

Our arguments in the North West that the left should vote Green to keep the BNP out were born out by the tight result and it is only right that we thank people like Salma Yaqoob and George Galloway who did not simply give a paper endorsement to Peter Cranie but ensured the distribution of thousands of leaflets encouraging their supporters to turn out and vote Green in this election.

I only wish we could thank them from a position of success having beaten Griffin to the final Euro seat. Sadly we now have two fascist MEPs to deal with, but to all those on the left who gave time, money, support and/or their votes despite not seeing themselves as natural Green supporters that assistance has been appreciated more deeply than it's possible to express here.

The BNP have a very poor record as councillors and often struggle to get re-elected because of it. Sadly the performance of our MEPs rarely effects whether they are re-elected. UKIP had no trouble this time round and their representatives have not just been useless they've split, been jailed, not turned up and taken vast buckets of cash for their trouble. Nobody knows or cares if their MEP does a duff job and so we can't rely on the BNP's incompetence to lose them the seats next time around.

The Green increase in vote and county councillors is to welcomed, particularly because we beat all the other parties in Oxford, Brighton and Norwich and it's too tight to call in Lewisham Deptford which means our Parliamentary ambitions are still on target. That's great news.

It seems to me that, leaving aside the small size of the party itself, the two main problems the Greens faced in this election was access to the media and a late attack on the party over stem cell research. Our small media team did a very good job under the circumstances and our party election broadcast was phenomenal but when you have UKIP appearing on every available platform and the Greens fighting to even get mentioned it's frustrating, especially when despite this we saw the largest increase in our vote share of all the parties.

I'll come to the stem cell and general science stuff in a later post when I get the energy (I've said this before but I still mean it!). I've been contacted by quite a significant number of people I know over this and have seen it referenced numerous times so I've no doubt it damaged our vote to some extent. Whether it cost us 5,000 in the North West is impossible to know and I've no intention of speculating about that as you have to take the rough with the smooth.

We didn't lose the North West because of a 'split vote' (which lacks evidence), too few endorsements, the fact that we were alphabetised under 'the' rather than 'green' or a small bit of bad press here and there but because when the votes were weighed the BNP had managed to convince more people to vote for them than we did. If we'd been a bit more credible, or they a bit less, things would have been different but that's the way it's gone.

Our task in the Greens is to build on the advances of the night to create local groups and successes that make a positive difference to people's lives. The party is too small and too often lacks roots and we need to work to improve this if we're to become a truly national party. Our task in the wider progressive movement is to bring people together from many different perspectives and traditions not just to combat the vile British National Party but to tackle the well of reaction and despair from which they draw sustenance.


Pippa said...

One bit of good news on the night was the great result we got in Hackney - 23% across the borough and no doubt higher in Hackney North and the target wards. Now to hit the ground running and get some more of those Green councillors elected that the people of Hackney are waiting for!

Joe Otten said...

Yup, you've been hard done by, by the distribution of votes. A sober analysis.

UKIP of course were closer to beating the BNP than you were. But who could have predicted that either, against their national trend of going nowhere.

Mike Shaughnessy said...

In Haringey we got a borough wide vote of 17.3%, beating the Tories (15%) into fourth place.

Not as good as Hackney, but we hope we can carry this momentum forward and finally get some Green councillors elected in Haringey.

The broader context is that we so nearly increased our representation in the Euro Parliament, but sadly fell just short. Damn.

At least I was right not to make predictions public this time.


Joseph said...

where can you grt a district by district (or even ward by ward) breakdown of these results? my electoral geekery is being all bottled up till I can find this:D

well done to Jean and Caroline, and commiserations to Peter, Rupert and all the others. But not to fret, from what I've heared of the broken-down results so far we're in good shape to take it all the way in Brighton Pavillion and Norwich South

Jim Jay said...

Alas there is no ward by ward data this time but your local borough council may well provide the area stats.

Most of this info at the moment is coming from the people who attended the counts. For instance in Lewisham as a whole we cam esecond and that's the official result but as we were there we monitored the deptford constituency and, well, we were pleased with what we found.

Mike Shaughnessy said...

That's interesting Jim. In Haringey, at the verification the ballot papers were face down. At the count, you could not tell which ward votes came from.

What happened in Lewisham?

Jim Jay said...

Ah - we're talking about two different things. The verifcation (which probably happened Friday?) was the face down thing - the count still has to take place, which happened on Sunday.

Once the particular borough has their result they phone it in to the city hall where a big screen (apparently) displayed the results district by district.

This means if you went to the counting of the ballots you could know which ballot box was from where and do an unofficial 'rough' count of your own for whichever bits you like plus you get the official figure for the whole place.

ps I wasn't actually at the count but this is my understanding.

Reg said...

Results for Greenwich:

LABOUR 13,414 (26.49%)
CONSERVATIVE 10,360 (20.46%)
UKIP 6,507 (12.85%)
GREEN PARTY 5,573 (11.01%)
LIB DEMS 4,998 (9.87%)
BNP 4,269 (8.43%)
CHRISTIAN PARTY 1,749 (3.45%)
No2EU 603 (1.19%)
LIBERTAS 208 (0.41%)
STEVEN CHEUNG 206 (0.41%)
JURY TEAM 172 (0.34%)
YES 2 EUROPE 85 (0.17%)
HAROON SAAD 40 (0.08%)
SOHALE RAHMAN 15 (0.03%)

TOTAL: 50,631 (100.00%)

Mike Shaughnessy said...

I only got to our count at 7pm, but the Head of ES told me beforehand that all the votes from each ward would be randomly lumped together, after verification.

To be honest, this saved me some work, as election agent, so maybe I'll say no more about it.

Pippa said...

The Hackney count sounds the same as the Haringey one. We couldn't tell which ballots were from Hackney North or Hackney South - let alone which wards. Though I suspect the bits that were almost all green were up near Stoke Newington somewhere ;-)

Sue said...

Lewisham was counted roughly by constituency, although the wards had been mixed up and the postal votes (which apparently were 60% of the total votes cast) were from across the borough and dished out between the 3 counting areas. We couldn't really get any precise constituency data, but we (Greens) were clearly doing significantly better in Lewisham Deptford than in Lewisham East and West (though we did pretty well there too!).

Red Green Nick said...

Bristol Results:

Conservatives: 20,675 (19.4%)
Lib Dems: 19,834 (18.6%)
Labour: 17,321 (16.2%)
Greens 16,735 (15.7%)
UKIP: 14,647 (13.7%)
BNP: 6,132 (5.7%)
Pensioner Party: 2,796
English Democrats: 2,029
Christian Party: 1,363
Socialist Labour: 1,245
No2EU: 951
Fair Pay Fair Trade: 725
Pro Democracy: 613
Katie Hopkins: 436
Jury Party: 347
M Kernow: 287
WAI D: 59