Monday, 15 October 2007

Caroline Lucas elected Green Party ‘Principal Speaker’ by huge margin

The results of this year’s elections to the Green Party’s National Executive have just been announced. The results were all close, except for the most striking result: the enormous majority for Caroline Lucas, elected to the position of female ‘Principal Speaker’. Caroline garnered 78% of the vote; her opponent, Jenny Jones A.M., got just 22%.

Caroline is the main standard-bearer for the ‘Yes’ campaign, who are looking to get the Green Party a Leader in the unprecedented binding membership referendum on this topic next month. Jenny is the main standard-bearer for the ‘No’ campaign, who are fighting to preserve the status quo.

So: If this result is anything to go by -- and it may of course turn out that it isn't, but IF it is -- then the ‘Yes’ campaign clearly stands a strong chance of winning the two thirds majority it needs in order to win the referendum, and transform the public image of the Green Party. And then Caroline would surely stand a very strong chance of being elected the first Leader of the Green Party -- tonight's results clearly confirm her status as very much the number one figure within the Party. That would place her in a powerful position to challenge the political status quo in Britain -- it would empower her to lead...

With Ming Campbell’s rapid resignation this evening, political attention will focus strongly once more on the question of who will lead Britain through the crises we currently face; above all, the crisis of dangerous climate change [see my post on this from Oct. 5, http://rupertsread.blogspot.com/2007/10/will-it-be-tories-or-greens-who-offer.html ]. Announcing Campbell’s resignation this evening, Vince Cable, Acting Leader now of the LibDems, said that Campbell had clearly shown that the LibDems are the “only Party” campaigning for a “fairer and greener Britain”. The Green Party are about to step up to the plate, to vigorously and publicly contest that claim, and to make a serious case for why it is the Green Party that deserves public trust in fighting for a fairer and greener Britain.

Whoever is chosen to lead the LibDems next, they may have a real fight on their hands. I for one relish the prospect of Caroline Lucas being able to take on on equal terms Chris Huhne or Nick Clegg. . .

p.s. For an account of why I chose to leave the LibDems and join the Greens, see http://www.socialistunitynetwork.co.uk/voices/read.htm

4 Comments:

Blogger Matt Sellwood said...

Hey Rupert. I really don't think your analysis of the vote stands up. After all, Derek Wall, who is the most high profile 'No' campaigner, beat Darren Johnson, a high profile 'Yes' campaigner, in the race for the other Principal Speaker position.

Basically what Caroline's election shows is that (as we all know) she is the pre-eminent figure in the Party and would win in a landslide against anyone in any internal election. I don't think it shows that all her votes are going to transfer to the 'Yes' campaign.

If Darren had won as well, I would think you would have a decent case - but as it is, the picture is blurred and uncertain still.

Best wishes,

Matt

16 October 2007 at 11:40  
Blogger weggis said...

Derek puts the turnout at 20%.

Any thoughts on why it is so low? The electorate are GP members so are not exactly disinterested.

Would you expect the turnout for the leader ballot to be higher?

16 October 2007 at 14:21  
Blogger Jim Jay said...

On turn out it's actually pretty high for a postal ballot (for any organisation) and, I'm told this was higher than last year - although I don't have the figures to hand.

Quite why postal ballots are harder to mobilise (except in exceptional circumstances) is anyone's guess - on an intuitive level I'd have thought it would be easier to vote, but apparently not.

16 October 2007 at 15:36  
Blogger Rupert said...

Matt; I quite agree that the prognosis from these results is uncertain and blurred, and I was surprised that Darren lost. But I think that incumbency explains to a large extent why Derek and Richard won. It is very rare for incumbents to be defeated in GP Exec elections. The big exception is Keith Taylor last year. And that was a special case: I think that Keith lost pretty obviously because of his disastrous mistake in failing to get ten 100%-above-board-proper-nominations signatures.
I hope that people will reflect to themselves that, as you say Matt, Caroline is clearly our outstanding figure, and shouldn't we unleash her -- by giving her the chance of becoming Leader...
And to rebut a potential counter: If we ever get a situation in the future where there is no obvious Leader, then that's fine too: because the referendum proposal makes room for Co-Leaders, when desired, too.

16 October 2007 at 17:35  

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25. 26. Caroline Lucas elected Green Party ‘Principal Speaker’ by huge margin 27. 28.

29.

The results of this year’s elections to the Green Party’s National Executive have just been announced. The results were all close, except for the most striking result: the enormous majority for Caroline Lucas, elected to the position of female ‘Principal Speaker’. Caroline garnered 78% of the vote; her opponent, Jenny Jones A.M., got just 22%.

Caroline is the main standard-bearer for the ‘Yes’ campaign, who are looking to get the Green Party a Leader in the unprecedented binding membership referendum on this topic next month. Jenny is the main standard-bearer for the ‘No’ campaign, who are fighting to preserve the status quo.

So: If this result is anything to go by -- and it may of course turn out that it isn't, but IF it is -- then the ‘Yes’ campaign clearly stands a strong chance of winning the two thirds majority it needs in order to win the referendum, and transform the public image of the Green Party. And then Caroline would surely stand a very strong chance of being elected the first Leader of the Green Party -- tonight's results clearly confirm her status as very much the number one figure within the Party. That would place her in a powerful position to challenge the political status quo in Britain -- it would empower her to lead...

With Ming Campbell’s rapid resignation this evening, political attention will focus strongly once more on the question of who will lead Britain through the crises we currently face; above all, the crisis of dangerous climate change [see my post on this from Oct. 5, http://rupertsread.blogspot.com/2007/10/will-it-be-tories-or-greens-who-offer.html ]. Announcing Campbell’s resignation this evening, Vince Cable, Acting Leader now of the LibDems, said that Campbell had clearly shown that the LibDems are the “only Party” campaigning for a “fairer and greener Britain”. The Green Party are about to step up to the plate, to vigorously and publicly contest that claim, and to make a serious case for why it is the Green Party that deserves public trust in fighting for a fairer and greener Britain.

Whoever is chosen to lead the LibDems next, they may have a real fight on their hands. I for one relish the prospect of Caroline Lucas being able to take on on equal terms Chris Huhne or Nick Clegg. . .

p.s. For an account of why I chose to leave the LibDems and join the Greens, see http://www.socialistunitynetwork.co.uk/voices/read.htm
30. 31. 32.