Of course while there has been delight at my win there has also been disappointment over not gaining Bisley and Nailsworth wards (see earlier posts). Nevertheless Greens all over the UK have been celebrating the news that our party leader Caroline Lucas won the Brighton Pavilion seat.
On Friday afternoon at the count in Stroud Anya Whiteside (pictured left) arrived from Brighton and shared some of the excitement from the Brighton count - including the inspirational speech by Caroline to party workers after the announcement.
The election of the first ever Green to Parliament represents a truly historic moment. Hundreds of thousands of Green voters across the country now have, for the first time, a voice in Parliament, and genuinely progressive views on issues such as the economy, health, and the environment will now be heard.
After the result was declared, Caroline Lucas said: “The emphatic support of voters in Brighton Pavilion show that they do want to support a party whose values represent fairness, social justice and environmental well-being. They have shown that they are prepared to put their trust in the Greens, despite the overwhelming national media focus on the three largest parties and a voting system that is fundamentally undemocratic. I feel humbled by their trust in me, and I am excited by this vote of confidence and I'm looking forward to the challenging task of fully representing the voters of Brighton.
“This victory is no accident: it is the result of the hard work and commitment of thousands of Green Party members and supporters not only in Brighton but from right across the country over the past months and years. It is their work and support that has helped deliver this win, and the victory is as much theirs as it is mine.
“Thanks to the confidence that the voters of Brighton Pavilion have shown, Green principles and policies will now have a voice in Parliament. Policies such as responding to climate change with a million new ‘green’ jobs in low-carbon industries, fair pensions and care for older people, and stronger regulation of the banks will be heard in the House of Commons. I will also use my influence as an MP in the city of Brighton & Hove to push for affordable housing for the city, a new secondary school for the city, and greater backing for the city's creative industries.
“Finally, as this election shows, the first-past-the post voting system used for general elections is utterly discredited. I will be strongly backing calls for a referendum to replace it with a form of proportional representation that properly reflects the needs and views of 21st century voters. If a form of proportional representation is introduced, the Green Party is confident that its true level of support nationally can be represented properly.”