24 February 2015
* Greens already confirmed to stand in almost 90% of seats
* Six key election themes revealed
* ‘Standing for the Common Good’ campaign poster unveiled
* "Our biggest, boldest campaign ever", says Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader
* Caroline Lucas MP: "Parliament needs a clear, strong Green voice now more than ever”
* "The sense of change is palpable", says Darren Hall, Green PPC for Bristol West
The Green Party today announced its largest ever slate of candidates for Parliament and six key themes for the 2015 General Election campaign.
The Party, which committed to stand in “at least” 75% of seats at the 2014 Autumn Conference, is now already on track to stand in almost 90% of seats at the 2015 General Election (1). The percentage is set to continue climbing in coming weeks as more local parties select candidates ready to stand for the common good.
The increased appetite for Green values and policies – as demonstrated by the Party’s best polling in a generation - will be met by increased opportunities to vote Green at the ballot box on May 7th 2015.
Bennett, Lucas and Darren Hall, PPC for Bristol West, made speeches and took questions at the official campaign launch where a ‘Standing for the Common Good’ campaign poster was unveiled to the media.
In her speech, Natalie Bennett, The Green Party Leader and PPC for Holborn and St Pancras, outlined the party’s six key electoral themes (2).
“Something profound is happening in British Politics. The old way of doing things is falling apart as the politics of hope triumphs over the politics of fear. The Green Party wants to create a political system that puts the public first and we believe we have the means to achieve that ambition. Our membership numbers have soared, our poll ratings are the best for a generation and we’re going to be fighting our biggest, boldest campaign ever. It’s a truly exciting time to be part of The Green Party."
Caroline Lucas MP, recently named Patchwork's MP of the Year (3) and widely tipped to retain her Brighton Pavilion seat, spoke about her time as a local MP and record of standing up for her constituents in the community and Parliament.
“A good local MP insists on getting the answers that need to be had, asking the questions that must be asked on behalf of constituents. As a Green MP, I have no Party whip - and my voice has been much stronger for it. My position isn’t decided for me by a Party official – my constituents feed into every speech and every vote.
“In fighting for the issues that matter most to Brighton residents – from a truly protected NHS, improved and public Railways, a fair and resilient local economy; in addressing the housing and cost of living crisis and standing up for local schools and individual constituents – I think I’ve been able to demonstrate how much one MP can do if they really want to.
“And as austerity cuts deepen and privatisation tightens its grip on our public services – Party lines, far from becoming more distinctive, have blurred into one another. Parliament needs a clear, strong Green voice now, perhaps, more than ever.”
Darren Hall, the Green Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in Bristol West, has seen his odds of success dramatically improve in recent weeks. Recent local election results in his constituency suggest that Hall could be joining Lucas in Parliament in May.
"In Bristol the sense of change is palpable. Our membership numbers have surged, and people from across the city are getting involved in my campaign. The fact is that people like our policies – our job is to make sure they hear about them. The momentum is with us in Bristol, as it is across the UK, and these next ten weeks will, no doubt, be very exciting.”
The Green Party - which has seen membership surge from 12,000 in 2010 to over 54,000 today - is targeting seats up and down the UK, from St Ives to Liverpool Riverside.
Baroness Jenny Jones introduced the launch, which took place at the Royal Society of Arts at 10.00.
1. The Green Party has selected candidates in 390 constituencies across England and Wales with 119 still to be confirmed. That means that the Greens will stand in at least 509 seats (or 88.83% of the total 573 seats).