The growth of Green politics continues. Across the UK local elections were held on 5th May 2022. The conservative party lost a lot of seats, with Labour, LibDems, Greens and SNP all gaining seats. Today I want to look briefly at elections in the UK, Australia and Germany.
The Green Party of England and Wales now has 550 seats, and the increase in seats has been increasingly rapid over these last three or four years, as the above graph shows. Most weeks there are the odd few local by-elections, and over the last few weeks the story of Tory collapse and Green gains continues. Many of us are now working hard to make sure that the next local elections in May 2023 result in even larger increases in the number of Green councillors.
5th May also saw local elections in Scotland where the Greens went from 19 to 35 seats, an increase of 16 seats. Again the Tory vote collapsed with Labour, LibDems, SNP and Greens all gaining ground.
Since the federal elections in Germany in September 2021, when the Greens made significant gains, there have been regional elections in a number of the regions of Germany, and again Greens have gained vote share in all of them. On 8th May Greens gained ground in Schleswig-Holstein and a week later they made impressive gains in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia.
The Australian federal elections were held on 21st May. As with the UK local elections, we have witnessed the collapse of the incumbent right wing government. The Australian Labour Party is now the biggest party, but what has been of particular importance is the breakthrough of the Green Party, and of a group of Independents, who some are calling the Teal Independents, as they combine some fiscally conservative policies with greener environmental policies. Queensland, and its’ capital Brisbane, had for decades returned right-wing climate denying politicians, and it is here that the Green have made their greatest gains.
If we are ever to reverse the multiple crises we face (climate/ecological/economic) it is clear we need a very different political system, everywhere. These latest election results in UK, Germany and Australia are all small but necessary steps in bringing about that wider system change.