8 May 2010

Stroud: general election results

Our actual Green vote in the General Election was disappointing - but not entirely unexpected – some 1,500 people who voted Green last time chose to shift their vote somewhere else - most likely to David Drew.

Photos: Taken at the count on Thursday night

Sadly in Stroud this ended up with what many consider the worst of both worlds – the Tories still won and we have a lower Green vote from which to build in future elections. This has left us with a significant challenge ahead to build the level of vote we need to challenge the power of the big parties and to make a transition to a sustainable and just future. However the situation may well be very different in the future if we get some form of proportional representation - let's not forget last year Greens polled 20% in the County elections across the whole District - and this time in local elections 22% in the seats we stood.

Photo: Candidates Martin and Dennis

The actual vote was Conservative (Neil Carmichael) 23,679; Labour (David Drew) 22,380; Lib Dem (Dennis Andrewartha) 8026; Green (Martin Whiteside) 1,542; UKIP 1,301; Independent 116.

For me it is important that people in the Stroud area have the opportunity to vote for something radically different from what the three big parties have to offer, and I know that if many people had not had the opportunity to vote Green, they would not have voted at all.

Photo: UKIP talking to Independent candidate (former BNP and at 91, the oldest candidate in the country)

It is vital to have a strong Green vote to show there is a clear voice from the Stroud area for a different sort of politics with clear values of more equality, social justice and action, not words, on climate change. It also points clearly to the absurdity of our electoral system with our new MP elected by just 30% of the Stroud electorate. We need a better system fast. Green votes help us change the system.

Photo: David Drew as the count looked close

David Drew will indeed be missed for his energy in local politics and as Dennis Andrewartha asked in his speech on election night - will Carmichael be a Knapman or a Drew - Knapman was well known for his poor attendance at the House of Commons and his seeming lack of interest in the District - he went on to leave the Tories to go to UKIP and become their leader then hand that over to Farage - I remember he was in the press for hiring Polish workers for long hours in cramped conditions - so much for his pride in British workers....

See some of the discussion before the election about whether Greens should support Drew in the comments section here.

Carmichael, fox hunting and turbines

Indeed Neil Carmichael (pictured at count left) has alot to follow - his comments over fox hunting have also caused some concerns - he has said to the press that he has not made his mind up on fox hunting - indeed saying that a free vote is the right way to go as that is democratic - what nonsense! Where is the democracy in that? How can the public have a say if we don't know how he will vote? Furthermore it seems Neil Carmichael has written to some residents saying he will work 'tirelessly' to overturn the ban on hunting. I hope we will get some clarification on this!

The other controversial story last week was that Carmichael had agreed to four 125m-high turbines on land on his farm in the North East. He was criticised for agreeing to those turbines but refusing to give support to proposals by Stroud-energy firm Ecotricity for eight 120m-high turbines at Berkeley Vale, Stinchcombe. Mr Carmichael's argument is that the Stinchcombe turbines are near an Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Lastly these three papers on election day court my eye - The Sun rooting for Cameron, The Mirror for Labour and The Star- well who would have known it was election day!!


Anonymous said...

I hope you Greens are really happy with yourselves now we have a right wing pro hunting Tory in Stroud. A huge loss to Stroud and a pity you put your egos before the good of the area. People voted for David and not your party to try and stop the Tory and keep the best MP we have ever had and one of the best in the country.A pity a few more of you did not follow. I hope you are really chuffed with yourselves.

Andy Day said...

I wonder if 'Anonymous' has made the same accusations against the Lib Dems. Why should any Green vote for the most right-wing Government in living memory? Sure, they delivered on hunting (although the law is being widely flouted and the League Against Cruel Sports is having to do the work of the police). They've also attacked human rights and civil liberties, waged monstrous & illegal wars, sought to expand airports and allowed the gap between rich and poor to widen massively. I hope 'Anonymous' and all Labour Party supporters everywhere are really happy with having allowed a once-great socialist party to fall into the paws of self-seeking, greedy Blair-clones.

Philip said...

Last comment removed as contained personal references re Neil Carmichael.

David Drew maybe better than our new MP but we have already covered his failings from supporting the war in Afghanistan, failing to fully support an inquiry into Iraq, failing gay people on issues re equality and his support for environmentally and economically disastrous nuclear power. I can fully understand why many Greens would not wish to compromise on such important issues of principle.

I could not support the Labour party after their record in power. Also David had the chance to offer himself as an Independent but refused - interestingly I understand Labour would still have put a candidate up against him!?!

We need a completely different approach to the challenges we face - supporting the current status quo will not bring that closer - but hey we've already had all this debate elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

What I'm not chuffed about is the enormous failures of David Drew and his Labour party - how can anyone be serious and vote for them? The first comment seems to be saying lets throw our principles out of the window - he's been an ok MP - let's not sing his praises too highly - democracy is meant to be about voting for what we want?? Or are you now advocating some warped form of democracy? Where will that lead us? Well we can see already - look at the Vote for Policies site where Greens come top - if we don't start voting for them then we are never gonna get it......

Anonymous said...

I truely wish you Greens would have voted for David and agreed a bit of comprimise, as life is so often about, if only to save us from someone that has nothing in common with true working class Stroud people, but plenty with the rich!
Having said that I believe what the Liberals have done is far worse, if there was an av system Green would get my 2nd vote, I will never vote for Liberals now, not that I ever have!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Labour voter and I can see we lost the election ourselves - Stroud labour party has collapsed long ago-- I'm surprised we did as well as we did --and agree with the last comment the liberals have true to form sold out.

Anonymous said...

where is your evidence that stroud labour party collapsed long ago? i was working at the count and from what i saw the average age of people with a red rosette was about half that of the tories!-and when they canvassed my road there was a massive crowd of them

Anonymous said...

Ask our elected Labour councillors what they think