Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, 2008

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Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, 2008
5 September 2008 (2008-09-05) 2010 →
Turnout 2,769

  Caroline Lucas 2010.jpg Ashley Gunstock.jpg
Candidate Caroline Lucas Ashley Gunstock
First pref. 2,559 210
Percentage 92.4% 7.6%

Leader before election

New position

Elected Leader

Caroline Lucas

Green Party of England and Wales deputy leadership election, 2008
5 September 2008 (2008-09-05) 2010 →

Candidate Adrian Ramsay
First pref. Unopposed
Percentage Unopposed

Deputy leader before election

New position

Elected Deputy leader

Adrian Ramsay

Caroline Lucas speaking as the first Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales at its autumn conference in 2008.

The 2008 Green Party leadership election took place in September 2008, and saw Caroline Lucas, one of the two Principal Speakers of the party, elected as the first Green Party Leader.

The election followed the party's decision to replace its current system of two Principal Speakers with a single leader. The change was supported by Caroline Lucas, but opposed by the other Principal Speaker, Derek Wall. It gained the support of 73% of party members who cast a vote in an internal referendum.[1]

Caroline Lucas launched a campaign for the Leadership on 14 July.[2] The other candidate for the leadership was Ashley Gunstock, an actor best known for his role in The Bill.[3]

Only one candidate stood for the Deputy Leadership, Adrian Ramsay, leader of the Green group on Norwich City Council. He was a supporter of Lucas and under party gender balance rules, could only be elected to the post if a woman was elected to the leadership.[4]

Nominations for both the Leadership and Deputy Leadership closed on 31 July 2008, following which, ballot papers were distributed.[2] In order to assist candidates with canvassing, the party's Standing Orders Committee decided to release the contact details of 7,000 members to the candidates. More than 100 party members signed a protest letter which questioned whether this publication was legal under the Data Protection Act. The issue became moot when all three candidates declined to request contact details.[5]

Hustings took place at the Green Party of England and Wales' conference, and the results were announced on 5 September at approximately 8pm.


The turnout was 37.9% (of a membership of 7,565). This was an increase from the 20% turnout for the election of the Principal Speakers in 2007.

Leadership Result[edit]

Green Party of England and Wales
leadership election, 2008
Candidate Votes %
Green tickY Caroline Lucas 2,559
Ashley Gunstock 210
Turnout 2,769[6] 37.9%
Caroline Lucas elected Leader

Deputy Leadership Result[edit]

Adrian Ramsay was elected to the Deputy Leadership unopposed.


  1. ^ Haroon Siddique, "Green party decides it should have a leader", The Guardian, 30 November 2007
  2. ^ a b "Caroline Lucas in race to be elected as first Green Party leader",, 14 July 2008
  3. ^ Henry Deedes, "Pandora: Leadership election takes a nasty turn for the Green Party", The Independent, 1 August 2008
  4. ^ Sam Williams, "Green leader eyes national role", Norwich Evening News, 1 August 2008
  5. ^ "Statement from Returning Officer",, 1 August 2008
  6. ^ This figure includes only votes for the two candidates, and does not include any spoilt or void ballots, the number of which (if any) have yet to be announced by the Green Party of England and Wales