The two by-elections on 23rd June 2022 – a missed Opportunity

The two results were a condemnation of the current travesty of Leadership: fine.

But the most serious issue facing any electorate remains the climate. The candidates who should be flagging this up polled 2.5% and 2.1%.

In Leeds, XR has already started knocking on doors with what should be the real message, but they are not doing it in Parliamentary elections where it could make a decisive difference.

The electorate who voted was just over 50% in Tiverton & Honiton, but down to 30% – less that one in three in Wakefield. So it was not even a matter of persuading people to change their votes. Although my strategy would be just to get enough votes to make the climate threat the main issue, with so much apathy Greens could have given the others a real fright.

In Wakefield, 47.9% of those who voted, voted Labour. That is less than 16% of those eligible to vote, 17% of the remaining 69% may seem over-ambitious to give the Greens that much needed second seat in the House of Commons. But with enough XR volunteers on the doorsteps with a simple message about climate breakdown, 2.1% – 0.7% of the available votes does seem rather minimal.

If I had been selected as the candidate in Wakefield, I would have contacted XR, and tried to persuade them to switch their doorstepping to where it could have an immediate impact. Even without the figures above, to save the deposit would have made others take us seriously.

I did nothing to help Ashley Routh, and I know that other equally close Green Party neighbours felt the same. His (or should it be her) main preoccupation has nothing to do with what the Green Party was founded to put right, and it has certainly not formally changed its aims.

The possibilities in Tiverton & Honiton are less dramatic. Only 47% of the electorate did not vote, so only those, not 69%, were still available. But 1.6% of the total possible still seems strangely minimal, given the publicity for the threat. Why did Gillian Westcott not try to recruit XR activists as doorsteppers, with the same simple message?

The world emains on couse to climate disaster. By-elections are a possible way to shift mind-sets

2 responses to “The two by-elections on 23rd June 2022 – a missed Opportunity

  1. Hallo clive, I live in Germany, many years back in UK. Marginally, I think the UK is still more liberal. Now here in D, the green party has become the most important party here even if Putin has managed to derail this movement temporarily. I am afraid green politics have a very hard slog to get close to power with the voting system in the UK whereas they succeededin D, even though as I suggest the left/right divide is not so different here…suggesting being a marginal movement is the fate of green unless you succeed in getting the voting system changed…ironically it was the UK who blocked the British system in NIri, Rep. Irl. and in Germany (thank you). A green vote remains “wasted” unless you get the system changed.

    • Of course changing the voting system is necessary, but the UK did vote on that and said no.
      I hope to shift public attitudes by a doorstepping campaign (XR activists) in by-elections, which simply stresses the danger of climate breakdown. It has not been tried. XR are doorsteppng in Leeds but did not in either of the by-elections.

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