Last week we had local elections in England. As the above graph shows, the Green Party made impressive gains, as it has done at every round of local elections since 2019. Before that electoral victories were very much smaller in number, and focused on a limited number of councils. One of the dramatic changes has been how the Greens are now winning in seats all across the country, and sometimes not just adding one or two new councillors, but lots at a time. The Greens now have an absolute majority on Mid-Suffolk District Council, and are the largest party in Babergh, East Hertfordshire, East Suffolk, Folkestone and Hythe, Forest of Dean, Lewes and Warwick. Their biggest gains were in Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Kent, and Sussex, but they also won multiple seats in many northern places, including Lancaster, the Wirral, Knowsley, Darlington, Derbyshire Dales, Amber Valley, Ribble Valley, South Tyneside and Trafford.
In England and Wales the Green Party now has 744 councillors, according to the Green Party themselves, or 766 according to Wikipedia. (This is on district, county and metropolitan councils, but does not count parish councillors.) Whatever the precise figure is, it is of course still less than the Conservatives, Labour or LibDems. If, and it is a big if, current rates of collapse of the Tories continue, and the growth of the Greens, and LibDems, continues, then in a few years it may be that Britain does start to become a multi-party democracy, and that the decades of dominance by the Labour and Tories will be a thing of the past. That is our best hope of getting proportional representation, better democracy, and actually tackling the real problems facing us, from climate change to poverty.
Sometime in the next year to eighteen months the UK will have a general election. On the evidence of last weeks’ local election results I would expect the Conservative vote, especially in rural southern England, to collapse. LibDems and Greens will be the main beneficiaries of this collapse. Labour will probably form the next government. Some commentators expect them to win a large majority, others, such as myself, are hoping for a hung parliament, with Greens and LibDems having some input into a Labour led administration.