A photo of Green Party campaigners in Bristol

The Green Party has made no secret that it is targeting four seats in this year’s general election. But with the party standing a record number of candidates across England and Wales, more people than ever will have the opportunity to vote Green.

There are a number of seats where the Greens could pick up a substantial amount of support, even though they are not necessarily campaigning to win. Here’s a look at some of them.


The Green Party received just 3.3% of the vote in Birkenhead in the 2019 general election. Why then is this a seat where the Greens could perform well?

Since the 2019 general election, the Green Party has had major success in elections to Wirral Borough Council. While there were just three Greens on the Council in 2019, there are now 14. Some of those Green Councillors were first elected under the Labour banner, with multiple defections having taken place in recent years.

One of those defectors – Jo Bird – is the Green Party’s candidate in the constituency. She had a complicated journey to reach the Green Party. First elected for Labour, she was expelled from the party, and subsequently sat as an independent before ultimately joining the Greens. Now firmly embedded in the party, she is one of the party’s more prominent Councillors and has helped build one of the most effective campaigning local parties in the country.

Losing Councillors to the Greens isn’t the only challenge that Labour has been facing locally. Birkenhead was one of the seats which after boundary changes led to a left vs. right scrap in the selection process for the Labour candidacy. Left wing former MP Mick Whitley was defeated by the right wing former MP Alison McGovern in the seat, leading to significant upset among members on the left of the party locally.

Adding further to the Greens’ prospects, Birkenhead is one of the few places outside of the party’s top four targets where there is a substantial local campaign. Much of the rest of the membership has heeded the central party’s calls to focus campaigning energies in the places where the Greens’ chances of victory are deemed strongest. However, with none of the party’s four target seats being in the north of England, it’s unsurprising that some northern local parties are putting their efforts closer to home. Birkenhead is one of the places where that is happening.

Birkenhead will be an interesting test to see whether, in areas where there is only a short history of Green success, good local election results can lead to strong general election showings with an effective campaign.

Sheffield Central

The Greens have a history of performing well in Sheffield Central. In the 2015 general election, the Greens came second there, picking up 15.8% of the vote. While the party’s vote share dropped in 2017 and 2019, Sheffield Central remained one of the seats that delivered the best results in the country for the Greens. Sheffield City Council hosts one of the largest Green Groups in the country – totalling 14 Councillors.

In light of this, Sheffield Central would have seemed to be an obvious target constituency for the Greens this time around. However, turmoil has engulfed in the local party, scuppering what could have been a strong campaign to win. Rumbling on for almost two years, this stems from the initial selection of Alison Teal as the party’s parliamentary candidate for the seat. Teal was a prominent Councillor in Sheffield, but became known for her disagreements with the Greens’ positions on trans rights. Following her selection, dozens of party members publicly stated that they would not be campaigning for her.

That would be drama enough. Since then, things have escalated considerably. Teal received a no-fault-suspension from the party following a complaint that had been made against her. The complaint related to her social media conduct, particularly around trans issues, and included reference to her sharing an article about the comedian and attempted Labour parliamentary candidate Suzy Izzard. Teal remained suspended mere days before the deadline for candidates to be nominated for the general election. At that point, she took the decision to leave the Green Party and stand in Sheffield Central as an independent.

At some point along that slightly meandering journey, the Green Party selected a different candidate for the election. Angela Argenzio will now contest Sheffield Central for the Greens. She’s the deputy leader of the Green Group on Sheffield City Council.

While it has been a rocky road to get to the election, and there hasn’t been a concerted effort to win the seat, Sheffield Central remains fertile ground for the Greens. Electoral Calculus is currently projecting the Greens to come second in the seat with 23.6% of the vote. That would be a record-breaking result for the party, but it would also be reflective of a trend that appears to be taking place across the country of Labour facing significant challenges from the left in urban areas.

As such, even though it’s not a target for the Greens in 2024, Sheffield Central is worth watching as a seat where the party could poll exceptionally well.

Norwich South

Norwich South is in many ways similar to Sheffield Central – save for the drama. Like Sheffield Central, the Green Party has a long history of strong performances in Norwich South. In 2010, Norwich South was the seat where the Greens got their second highest vote share, after only Brighton Pavilion. At the time, the Green Party’s efforts helped make the seat a genuine four-way marginal, with the Liberal Democrats’ Simon Wright having the record for the MP elected with the lowest vote share at that election. The Greens would fall back in later elections, first as a result of Labour’s effective squeeze messaging centred on urging voters to vote Labour in order to keep the then-in-coalition Liberal Democrats out, and later as a result of the Jeremy Corbyn-era Labour Party sucking up much of the Greens’ natural voter base.

The decline in the Green vote in general elections was matched in local elections too, with the Green Party almost being wiped out on Norwich City Council. Since 2019, however, the Greens have been steadily rebuilding. There are now the same number of Green Councillors in Norwich as there were at the party’s peak in the city. Most of these Councillors represent wards that fall into Norwich South.

It is therefore worth keeping an eye on Norwich South as a seat that will be an important test as to whether the Green Party’s local election recovery will translate into general election results now that Labour has drifted substantially to the right under Keir Starmer.

Dulwich and West Norwood

The 2019 general election was disappointing for the Greens. While the party’s vote share increased across the country, it was insufficient to win any additional parliamentary seats. There were, however, some rays of light.

One of these came in Dulwich and West Norwood. The Greens secured 16.5% of the vote in 2019, coming second to Labour. The seat saw one of the largest swings to the Green Party, boosted by a large-scale local campaign and the candidacy of the party’s then co-leader Jonathan Bartley.

Electoral Calculus has the Greens projected to come second again in 2024, albeit on a reduced share of the vote. The Greens don’t have a figure with a national profile standing this time, and they also aren’t running an intensive campaign. As such, the result here will be a useful indication as to how well the Green vote holds up in seats without a significant campaign effort from the party.

Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven

For many people, the Green Party is primarily known for its successes in Brighton. Brighton elected the first ever Green MP in 2010, then a year later it elected the first ever Green run Council.

At a parliamentary level, though, the Greens have only ever managed to break through in Brighton Pavilion. Neighbouring Brighton Kemptown (as the seat was known pre-2024) has remained decidedly Labour. From 2017, the seat was held by Lloyd Russell-Moyle. A member of the Socialist Campaign Group, Russell-Moyle was a significant figure on the left of the Parliamentary Labour Party. However, he was de-selected days before the deadline for nominations for the 2024 general election over allegations over his past behaviour, allegations which he denies. Russell-Moyle’s de-selection, combined with his replacement by the Starmer acolyte Chris Ward has led to yet another case of significant upset among Labour members.

Nevertheless, the seat is likely still extremely safe for Labour. The Tories won the seat in 2010 and 2015, before being ousted two years later. Since, they have been in second place and the primary challengers to Labour in the constituency. With the Tories facing decimation in the election, there is little prospect of Labour losing the seat.

All of this may see votes swinging in the Greens’ direction. While, understandably, local Green efforts are being put towards trying to keep hold of Brighton Pavilion, the party could nonetheless poll well in the adjacent seat.

Bristol East

As with Brighton, so with Bristol. Aside from 2015, when the Greens picked up 8.3% of the vote in the constituency, support for the party at general elections Bristol East has been limited. Despite this, there is reason to believe things may be shifting.

At May’s local elections, the Green Party emerged as the largest party on Bristol City Council. Part of that story is that the Greens won every single council ward that makes up the new Bristol Central constituency – the party’s top general election target. The other part of that story is that the Greens won across other areas of the city too – including in five of the wards within Bristol East.

This is part of a pattern in which the Green vote has shown to be increasingly strong across the whole of Bristol. In what turned out to be the last ever election for the directly elected mayor of Bristol, the Greens came second – picking up 26.1% of the first preference vote, and 43.5% of the vote in the second round.

Like with Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, don’t expect fireworks in Bristol East. What’s worth looking out for here is whether the residual Green vote increases despite the lack of a serious campaign. It could give an indication as to the future prospects for the Greens in the city and possibly show where the party could be targeting next time around.

Lancaster and Wyre

We started this article by looking a constituency in the north of England where there is a significant Green campaign and substantial support for the party in local elections. That description was applied to Birkenhead, but it could just as easily have applied to the new constituency of Lancaster and Wyre.

21 of the 61 seats on Lancaster City Council are held by the Green Party. In the 2023 local elections, the Greens made massive gains, more than doubling their representation on the council. Across the council area, 29.7% of votes went to the Green Party, only narrowly behind Labour on 31.8%. Of the wards from Lancaster City Council that make up the Lancaster and Wyre constituency, 7 of the 11 are represented entirely by Green Councillors. One of the other four wards is represented by one Labour and one Green Councillor.

So far, so good. However, things look much less promising when looking at the other half of the constituency. The Greens don’t currently hold a single seat on Wyre Borough Council. At the May 2023 local elections, the party stood just four candidates, despite there being 50 seats up for election. In each ward where a Green stood, they got a small, but not insignificant share of the vote.

Despite this, Greens in the constituency have been running a powerful campaign. Lancaster and Wyre will show us two things: whether the Green Party can translate its local election success in Lancaster into parliamentary elections, and whether it can use a strong general election showing as a springboard for council election success in Wyre.

Isle of Wight East

Many commentators were taken by surprise when the Green Party started making major inroads in parts of rural England in recent years. They probably wouldn’t have been if they had been paying attention to what was happening on the Isle of Wight. In 2015, the Green Party’s Vix Lowthion came third in the seat – then the largest in the country by population, picking up 13.4% of the vote. She increased her vote share in 2017 to 17.3%, before getting a respectable 15.2% in 2019.

Lowthion is now standing in the new Isle of Wight East constituency, which contains the towns of Shanklin, Ventnor and Ryde. Having previously stood in the largest constituency in the country, she’s now standing in one of the smallest. The island’s voters have been split into two seats, but have not been forced to share representation with any mainlanders in order to reflect the unique geography in question.

There is no reason to believe that voters on the Isle of Wight will have cooled on the Greens, just as there is no reason to believe that Lowthion’s local name recognition and popularity will have fallen. The local party is running an active campaign, and the widespread disaffection with the Tories could see the Green Party stack up even more votes than in previous years.

Isle of Wight West

Unsurprisingly, much of the above applies to the other seat on the Isle of Wight too. Isle of Wight West hosts two of the bigger towns on the island – Newport and Cowes. The two councillors the Greens got elected on the island in the 2021 local elections both represent wards in the Isle of Wight West constituency. That year, the Green Party missed out on winning a third seat in Osborne ward by just four votes.

The candidate in Osborne in that election was Cameron Palin. He’s now standing in the general election for Isle of Wight West. While he isn’t as widely known among the electorate as Lowthion, local elections on the island have shown the Greens’ support has proven to not be tied to her as an individual. In Isle of Wight West, the test will be whether that is also the case in general elections.

Image credit: Matthew Phillip Long – Creative Commons