Monday, May 10, 2010

Thoughts on the May 2010 elections

Minutes before this photo was taken (6.05am, Friday 7th May), Caroline Lucas was duly elected MP for Brighton Pavilion


  • My own vote in the 2007 Bensham Manor by Election was 240; in 2010 it is 1194. I guess this is recognition of three years of local activity. Our realistic local ambitions revolved around ensuring everyone in the borough could vote Green, and this was achieved through the full slate. If the local election was not on the same day as the General Election I may have got in.
  • My everlasting memory of the 2010 General Election took place at 6.05am on the morning after the day before. Whilst on stage for the declaration of results for the Croydon North constituency, with Bernice Golberg (Croydon Green Party’s super-agent), we spotted the results of Brighton Pavilion come through on the TV screens around the room….AND HOW WE REJOICED ON THE STAGE AND ON THE FLOOR, whilst Labour MP Malcolm Wicks berated the Conservative candidate Jason Hadden.
  • Finally, people around the country will get to see there is visionary alternative to the almost identical LibLabCon trick, and that you can put forward sustainable and progressive solutions to the problems we all face. Solutions that do not put profit before people or planet.
  • I am my worst critic normally BUT I could even see that whilst nationally our vote took a squeeze, the Green vote in Croydon held up fairly well. Gordon Ross’ vote in Croydon South was 1.74% from a standing start (no candidate stood in 2005). As far as I can make out, the Green vote in Croydon North (1.97%) was the highest for any outer London borough.
  • The Presidential style leaders' debate had a major influence on both the General and Council elections. The apparent self interest nature of politicians from Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties had been exposed in the MP expenses scandal. To counter widespread disillusionment, the three parties leaders turned this election into and ‘X’ Factor style affair, billed as Brown V Cameron V Clegg, switching the emphasis to the personalities rather than parties. The fact that there was little choice between the three on either social or economic spectrum was largely accepted by the media. Suddenly people were engaged again. The stay at home Labour voters in Croydon North, of which Bensham Manor is one of the 8 wards, got to see Dave Cameron in action for 270 minutes beside Gordon Brown, although they would have needed just 2.7 minutes to reach this conclusion: If they failed to vote, David Cameron – who clearly didn’t look, think or talk like them - could end up as their next Prime Minister. However, not for over 100 years (and possibly more) had the local elections in London fallen on the same day as the General Election. This meant the turnout in the ‘locals’ doubled automatically. Hence, Labour regained the seats they lost north of the borough and the Conservatives south of the borough were re-elected with even bigger vote shares – the TV debates conversely shoring up the anti-Brown vote. WE NEED PR!!!!!!!!!
  • I spoke to a residents in Bensham Manor on the night of one of the TV Leaders debates who told me their votes will be decided on the performance of the three leaders on show. I asked if this would apply to the council election as well, to which they replied “yes”. I then spent about 15 minutes explaining everything they needed to know in order to at least make an informed decision about how best to use their council votes.
  • One Labour councillor commented, "you’ve done very well in Bensham Manor", referring to all the posters, "you have built up a presence in the area". The fantastic thing about the campaign is that it stirred those living in Bensham Manor into greater activity. They realise that it has been the Green Party that has been knocking on doors throughout the year, supporting and informing local people. Those that were previously just passive voters asked if they could put up a poster; those that were active supporters became members; those that were just members have become candidates. I am very positive about the future.

by Shasha Khan

Green Party candidate for Croydon North

Green Party candidate for Bensham Manor ward.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We did very well as a party. I loved coming back for the final week of the campaign and was impressed by the hard work you, Bernice, Chris, Jade, Brendan, Tracy, Gordon, Barry, Eileen (and everyone else, apologies if i missed you!) put in. It seems the party has moved on, we're much more professional than we once were, have many new members, and I can't wait for the local election in 2014 where I hope to be able to play an even greater role.


Standing up for what matters