Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas in front of Downing Street

Jeremy Corbyn has said that he does not currently want an electoral pact with the Greens.

When asked if he was in favour of an electoral pact to stop the Conservatives winning seats in Brighton, he told the local Argus newspaper:

“At the moment no. What we are doing as a party committed to the Labour cause and position, in opposition in parliament in order to maximise votes against the government, obviously we cooperate with other opposition parties. Does this translate into electoral pacts? No.”

According to the Argus, he made a similar promise in September 2015.

Green MP and leadership candidate Caroline Lucas has been arguing that an electoral pact between Labour, the Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru is necessary to stop the Conservatives winning power. In this, she has been supported by Labour’s shadow defence secretary and Corbyn loyalist Clive Lewis.

The argument for an electoral pact is strongest in Brighton’s two constituencies. Brighton Pavillion has been won by Caroline Lucas in the last two elections while Labour have finished second on both occasions.

In Brighton Kemptown, the Conservatives have narrowly beaten Labour in the last two elections. On both occasions, if Green voters had voted Labour then Labour would have won the seat.

The idea of an electoral pact has been controversial among both Green and Labour supporters. A motion to the Green Party’s conference is currently circulating which calls for any pact to be voted on at conference before party leaders publicly praise the idea. Another motion asks the party not to have an electoral pact with the Liberal Democrats.

If the leader of the Labour Party does not support the idea though, it may be a non-starter.