Here at The Nopebook, we believe firmly in educating people about politics so that they can make free and informed political choices. This post is part of our Politics 101 series, where we aim to equip people with the information they need to make sound political decisions.
The Green Party of England and Wales is a left-wing political party, with one Member of Parliament in the House of Commons (co-leader and MP for Brighton Pavillion, Caroline Lucas), one representative in the House of Lords, and three Members of the European Parliament.
A Brief History
The Green party has its origins in the PEOPLE party, founded in 1973. The party was renamed The Ecology Party in 1975, and became the Green Party in 1985. Combining environmentalism with left-wing economic politics, the party has historically taken a progressive approach to social policies such as civil liberties, animal rights, LGBT rights and drug policy reform.
The party is current co-led by Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley. Lucas is the Green’s first MP representing Brighton Pavilion, a seat held since the 2010 general election, and was elected the first leader of the Green party in 2008. Bartley was elected co-leader in 2016, having been a member of the party since 2011. In the past, the party chose not to have a single leader for ideological reasons, but instead had two Principal Speakers, one male and one female.
The Green Party’s most recent manifesto, the ‘Green Guarantee’ outlines ten key pledges;
- Build “an economy for everyone” by phasing in a “4-day working week, abolishing exploitative zero hours contracts, upholding trade union rights, and ensuring that everyone is paid a living wage”.
- Protect the environment by introducing “urgent measures to tackle climate change, replacing fracking, coal power and subsidies to fossil fuels” and investing in “jobs rich renewable energy technology”.
- Demand “the people’s democratic right to vote on whatever deal is negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU” with a referendum that includes the option to remain in the EU.
- Introduce an “NHS Reinstatement Act to roll back privatisation” and close the “NHS spending gap”.
- Bring “Academies and Free Schools into the local authority system, abolish SATs and reduce class sizes”, and also “scrap university fees”.
- Scrap “age-related wage bands” and lower the voting age to 16 and introduce political and active citizenship education for all young people.
- Create affordable homes by introducing “living rent for all through rent controls, provide more secure tenancies for private renters, and introduce mandatory licensing for all landlords”.
- Cancel the “replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system saving at least £100 billion over the next 30 years” and pursue “ethical foreign policy, and a humane and compassionate immigration and asylum system”.
- Introduce “proportional representation for parliamentary elections” and reform the House of Lords “as an elected second chamber”, as well as tightening “rules on media ownership so no individual or company owns more than 20% of the media market”.
- Return railways to “public ownership, and invest in regional rail links”, and “tackle the impact of transport on climate change and public health by cancelling airport expansions and ending airline fuel subsidies”.
Who They Appeal to
Data was unavailable for demographics that voted Green in the 2017 snap general election, as the results were classified as ‘other’. However, data is available for the 2015 general election, and demographics were typically;
- Under the age of 35 (between 7% and 8% aged 18 to 34 voters, versus 2% to 4% aged 35 to 65+ voters)
- Equally male and female (4% male and 4% female voters)
- Privately rent their home (9% of voters versus 2% to 3% of voters who own, mortgage or socially rent their home)
- Almost equally white and BME (4% of white voters versus 3% of BME voters)
After the announcement of the snap election, the Green party said they were ready for a general election. Caroline Lucas promised a “bold, positive vision for a different kind of Britain”, and co-leader Jonathan Bartley said that the party would give people a “real alternative to the politics of the past”.