Saturday, 10 January 2009

BELL BACKS GREENS FOR EURO POLL

Graham Dines, From East Anglian Daily Times Fri Jan. 9. Click to link (scroll down)


WITH European Parliament elections due to take place in June, the Green Party has stolen a march on the others in the East of England, launching its first campaign video as it attempts to garner enough votes to get an MEP elected under the proportional representation system used in the UK for the Euro poll.

Lead candidate Dr Rupert Read, who serves on Norwich City Council where the Greens are the main opposition party, believes he has a strong chance of being elected to Brussels and Strasbourg.

He and the Greens have even been endorsed by Martin Bell, the former broadcaster for stood as an Independent in the 2004 European elections in protest at the method for electing Euro MPs.

Says Dr Read: “At the time of the 1999 elections, there were just two Green Party principal authority councillors in Eastern Region. There are now 27, with the Greens on Norwich City Council becoming the official opposition in 2008.

“There are also now Green councillors in every county in the region. Since 1999, membership of the Green Party in the region has also risen.

“Now more than ever, Green MEPs are needed to pursue peace, to take serious action to stop climate damage, to help stabilise the economy by investing in good green jobs, and so much more.”

The party's main hope is that enough voters become fed up with the main parties and look for an alternative. The Green Party has consistently secured its highest nationwide vote share at the European Elections, with more than a million people voting Green in 2004.

Under the list system of proportional representation, two Green Euro MPs were elected in 1999 - one each in the London and South East regions - and they were re-elected in 2004.

In the East region - covering East Anglia, Essex and the Chilterns - the party is holding a series of public meetings with the next being held in Wivenhoe, near Colchester on Saturday January 24.

At this stage, it's difficult to calculate the percentage vote needed to elect a Green MEP. Much depends on the vote total for the Conservatives, the leading party in the region, which because of their strength across the six counties, are guaranteed three seats. The more votes the Tories receive, the more likely it is that they will get four seats, with the optimistic believing a fifth seat is within their grasp.

To do that, the total Conservative vote in the region will have to be around the 60% mark, which should be beyond them. My best prediction is the election of four Tories, one Labour, and one Liberal Democrat. The seventh seat could go down to the wire, with a second MEP for either Labour or the Lib Dems, or one for either the UK Independence Party or the Greens.

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Graham Dines, From East Anglian Daily Times Fri Jan. 9. Click to link (scroll down)


WITH European Parliament elections due to take place in June, the Green Party has stolen a march on the others in the East of England, launching its first campaign video as it attempts to garner enough votes to get an MEP elected under the proportional representation system used in the UK for the Euro poll.

Lead candidate Dr Rupert Read, who serves on Norwich City Council where the Greens are the main opposition party, believes he has a strong chance of being elected to Brussels and Strasbourg.

He and the Greens have even been endorsed by Martin Bell, the former broadcaster for stood as an Independent in the 2004 European elections in protest at the method for electing Euro MPs.

Says Dr Read: “At the time of the 1999 elections, there were just two Green Party principal authority councillors in Eastern Region. There are now 27, with the Greens on Norwich City Council becoming the official opposition in 2008.

“There are also now Green councillors in every county in the region. Since 1999, membership of the Green Party in the region has also risen.

“Now more than ever, Green MEPs are needed to pursue peace, to take serious action to stop climate damage, to help stabilise the economy by investing in good green jobs, and so much more.”

The party's main hope is that enough voters become fed up with the main parties and look for an alternative. The Green Party has consistently secured its highest nationwide vote share at the European Elections, with more than a million people voting Green in 2004.

Under the list system of proportional representation, two Green Euro MPs were elected in 1999 - one each in the London and South East regions - and they were re-elected in 2004.

In the East region - covering East Anglia, Essex and the Chilterns - the party is holding a series of public meetings with the next being held in Wivenhoe, near Colchester on Saturday January 24.

At this stage, it's difficult to calculate the percentage vote needed to elect a Green MEP. Much depends on the vote total for the Conservatives, the leading party in the region, which because of their strength across the six counties, are guaranteed three seats. The more votes the Tories receive, the more likely it is that they will get four seats, with the optimistic believing a fifth seat is within their grasp.

To do that, the total Conservative vote in the region will have to be around the 60% mark, which should be beyond them. My best prediction is the election of four Tories, one Labour, and one Liberal Democrat. The seventh seat could go down to the wire, with a second MEP for either Labour or the Lib Dems, or one for either the UK Independence Party or the Greens.
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