I received an email from Inside Croydon asking if I knew of any former Croydon candidates standing on the local elections. *London doesn't have any elections in 2019. I sent this reply:
Yes, I am one of those ex-Croydon now standing for Reigate and Banstead council. My home ward is Chipstead, Kingswood and Woodmansterne.
I've lived in Woodmansterne - which has a railway station actually in Croydon - for three years now.
Greens actually get elected in these areas! This is down to hard work and recognition for ther hard work. There are three Greens elected here in Redhill East (2) and Earlswood & Whitebushes(1) wards.
I haven't had an opportunity to get out that much but the activists tell me canvassing returns suggest the Green vote stronger than ever.
The local agent told me she expects turnout to be low as Conservative voters stay away because of Brexit. The local MP Crispin Blunt - a Leaver - took the unprecedented step of putting out a statement asking voters not to punish local Tory councillors because of Brexit. Local Tories have stopped canvassing because of the doorstep fury they have received over the issue.
Green canvassers are still noting concern about affordable housing and Green Belt development on the doorstep, but also for the first time Climate Change is being mentioned as an issue. Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg and David Attenborough have pushed the issue to the fore of voters minds.
Given there are three councillors to be elected this time around, it will be interesting to see how the results pan out in my ward as the only party putting up three candidates are the unpopular Conservatives. Other parties such as Greens or UKIP could benefit from split votes.
-------------------------------------------------- Tags croydon, greenparty