Local Elections: Greens advance in Scotland; Challenge now set for the left at Westminster
The Green Parties in England, Wales and Scotland had an encouraging day following local elections across Britain.
Emily Durrant, elected in Powys, became the Party’s first councillor ever elected in Wales.
In England there was no change in the number of Green Councilors on County Councils, with gains in Shropshire, North Yorkshire, Somerset and Dorset offset by losses in Oxfordshire, Stafford, and others. Some did make gains on District councils.
But the big breakthrough took place in Scotland, where Greens were fighting the first local election since the surge in members that followed the 2014 referendum on independence.
In their strongholds of Edinburgh and Glasgow the Party made firm gains. In Glasgow seven Greens were elected, up from five in 2012. Edinburgh Greens won eight councillors, up two from before the election.
With neither Labour, SNP or the Conservatives holding a majority in Edinburgh or Glasgow the Greens may be under pressure to join coalition administrations which will be negotiated in the coming weeks.
Highland and Island Greens won their first ever seats on Highland Council and on Orkney Council. The Stirling and Aberdeenshire Greens held their seats whilst Midlothian lost a councillor. 9 of Scotland’s now 19 Green councillors were not men, contrasting with England’s male dominated day.
English Greens largely toiled in First Past the Post polls whilst in Scotland and Wales the Single Transferable Vote was used.
Despite impressive victories in Mayoral contests in Liverpool and Manchester Labour had a difficult day at the expense of the Tories. It appears that UKIP lost all but one of their councillors.
Former Green Party of England and Wales Leader Natalie Bennet said it was “not surprising” that the Conservative vote had risen so strongly given the collapse in support for UKIP.
This will however underline the vital importance of progressives working together to defeat the apparently united right-wing in next month’s General Election.
For ongoing coverage of the 2017 elections follow the Bright Green Vote 2017 live blog.
(Editors note- this article was amended to correct the Glasgow Green councillor figure- they now have seven, not eight, councillors)
England council results summary
Scotland results summary
Wales council results summary