With the Green party making record gains in the 4th May 2023 Local elections, gaining 481 seats, the party has won its highest proportion of seats in over twenty years. Emma Burnett examines the new policies the Green party has introduced, and what this could mean for its future.
The Green Party has gone from strength to strength in the past decade, considerably increasing in engagement. This year, the Green Party saw their most successful local election turn-out, winning 481 seats, at an increase of 365 since 2022. Moreover, between 2017 and 2019, the party’s vote share increased by 65%. With the next general election looming, The Green Party are shaping up for a memorable result.
Carla Denyer, co-leader of The Green Party, pins their recent successes on ‘a deep dislike of the Tories and Starmer’s uninspiring Labour’. Denyer was also certain that the growth of climate change as a political issue was a factor – with terms such as ‘global boiling’ circulating the mainstream media, fears are heightening for the future of our planet. In recent years, the UK has seen record-breaking temperatures, extreme flooding and mass crop failures. Dazed magazine claim that ‘green is the new red’ for young people – suggesting that this is due to The Green Party having a clearer stance on views both about climate change but also other pressing issues such as social justice.
The party pledged to improve trans policy on non-binary identities and remove ambiguity around transgender rights
In their Autumn party conference, the party reiterated their view their view that ‘there is no climate justice without social, racial and economic justice’. This was also reflected in the policies they pledged to adopt and reform at the conference. The party pledged to improve trans policy on non-binary identities and remove ambiguity around transgender rights, something which will certainly feel like a step in the right direction for the many people who disagreed with PM Rishi Sunak’s plan to remove legal protection for trans people from the Equality Act. The Greens also intend to oppose the newly-introduced ‘anti-boycott bill’, in favour of ‘the democratic right of public bodies to seek peaceful means to promote human rights and climate justice’. One policy which has caught the media’s attention is the plan to implement a ‘four-day working week’; some are calling it ‘radical’.
Naturally, the party also addressed a number of environmental issues, introducing a ban on ‘high-carbon advertising’ and pledging to implement a green rail strategy by fully funding HS2. This comes after Sunak announced that the second leg of HS2, connecting Birmingham to Manchester, would no longer go ahead. In a speech at the conference, Carla Denyer accused the Conservatives of ‘doubling down on their climate vandalism’ and ‘falsely pitting the cost of living against the cost of net zero’. Adrian Ramsey also criticised Labour for pledging to keep the Conservatives’ two-child benefit cap – labelling it cruel and irresponsible.
It seems like an interesting general election result is on the horizon
Will these new policies increase support for the Greens, or are they perhaps too ‘radical’, as suggested by Chris Jarvis at Left Foot Forward. Regardless, it seems like an interesting general election result is on the horizon. What’s next for the Green Party? Is the party the only hope for the future of our planet? Whatever happens next, it could be absolutely crucial.
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