Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, 2016

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Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, 2016[1]
← 2014 5 July – 2 September 2016 2018 →
Turnout 29.8% (Increase14.7%)

 
Lucas and bartley co-leaders.png
David Malone.jpg
Candidate(s) Caroline Lucas
and Jonathan Bartley
David Malone
Votes 13,570 956
Percentage 86.0% 6.1%

Leader before election

Natalie Bennett

Elected Leader

Jonathan Bartley/Caroline Lucas (job share)

Green Party of England and Wales deputy leadership election, 2016
← 2014 5 July – 2 September 2016 2018 →
Turnout 11,338 (21.4%)

 
Amelia womack.jpg
No image wide.svg
Shahrai Ali.jpeg
Candidate Amelia Womack Andrew Cooper Shahrar Ali
First Pref. 4,742 1,778 1,716
Percentage 41.8% 15.7% 15.1%
Final Pref. 6,063 2,308 2,244
Percentage 57.1% 21.7% 21.1%

 
No image wide.svg
No image wide.svg
Candidate Kat Boettge Daniella Radice
First Pref. 1,510 924
Percentage 13.3% 8.2%
Final Pref. Eliminated Eliminated
Percentage Eliminated Eliminated

Deputy leader before election

Shahrar Ali and
Amelia Womack

Elected Deputy leader

Amelia Womack

The Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, 2016 took place from July to August 2016, with the campaign period taking place in July, and voting period in August. The incumbent leader, Natalie Bennett, announced on 15 May 2016 that she was not intending to stand for re-election after four years as the leader of the party, resulting in the first contested leadership election since 2012.[2]

Former Leader Caroline Lucas MP and Jonathan Bartley won the leadership election with a job share arrangement with 86% of the vote; the results were announced at the party's Autumn Conference from 2–4 September. Five other candidates contested the election; aside from filmmaker David Malone, no other candidate received above 5% of the vote.

The party has elections every two years for Leader and Deputy Leader roles; this was the fifth election since the party decided to switch from having principal speakers to having a leader and two deputy leaders, or co-leaders and one deputy leader. It saw the highest ever turnout in a Green Party internal ballot by quantity of votes (15,773).[3]

Background[edit]

Caroline Lucas, then an MEP for South East England, was elected as the first Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales in 2008 (formerly a system of two principal speakers was used). In the new Constitution of the Green Party, it was also mandated that there would be leadership elections every two years.[4] Lucas was elected as the first Green Party MP, for the constituency of Brighton Pavilion, and in the same year she was re-elected unopposed as Leader. In 2012, she announced she would not be standing again as Leader, saying: "The reason that I've decided not to re-stand... is because I want to give other people the opportunity to get well known, to have some profile in the party, hopefully to use that to get themselves elected as well."[5]

In the 2012 leadership election, Natalie Bennett, a journalist for The Guardian, was elected as Leader. She was re-elected unopposed in the 2014 leadership election, and then led the party in the 2015 general election. At the general election, the Green Party's vote share increased from 1.0% to 3.8%, but they did not increase their parliamentary representation.[6] Following the 2016 local elections, in which the Green Party lost four local councillors but came third in the London Assembly and in the London mayoral election, Bennett defended her record as Leader.[7] On 15 May 2016, Bennett announced she would not be standing again for election later in 2016, saying: "There have been times when I got things right, and times when I got things wrong, but that’s because I'm not a smooth, spin-trained, lifelong politician."[2][8]

Campaign[edit]

During the course of the leadership campaign, the UK held a referendum resulting in a vote to leave the EU. This led to leadership contests starting in the Conservative Party, UKIP and the Labour Party.

A series of hustings were held,[9][better source needed] including in London,[10] Leeds,[11] and Manchester (for the Leadership[12] and deputy Leadership[13]).

Caroline Lucas stated that she and Bartley "want to forge a new “progressive alliance” with other political parties willing to advocate electoral reform – potentially including deals over who would contest particular parliamentary seats."[14] Rival candidate Clive Lord criticised the plan, noting the rejection of the idea by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.[15] Lord said, "What else did anyone think Corbyn would say to the Green Party’s Progressive Alliance? It makes sense for Labour – both factions – to eliminate Greens wherever we do well, because we only take what they regard as ‘their’ votes and nobody else’s. So the four or five seats (if you include Sheffield Central) where we would want a clear run, are the last that Labour would allow us."

Matt Townsend, a party executive member, expressed concern that Lucas's early entry into the contest would lead it to become a "coronation",[16] as did other party commentators.[17]

The campaign has been covered by various on-line and printed media, including Vice,[18] Bright Green,[19] Left Foot Forward,[20] The Guardian,[21] and The Huffington Post.[22]

As part of the election process, all candidates have been invited to answer a diverse range of questions related to Green Party policy by various party organisations and affiliates. One consistent question at hustings and in the questionnaires is the question of identity, diversity and LGBT BAME representation in the party and how noticeably homogenous the leadership race is in particular. All candidates have acknowledged this and it is not a point of contention. The question was put in the Electoral Reform Society's questionnaire and all candidates answers and views on this issue were printed.[23] A campaign to support Re-open nominations in the leadership vote was founded upon an alleged lack of diversity in the make-up of the leadership candidates.[24][25][26]

Other major questionnaires were on Reddit from the UK Greens subreddit,[27] The Green Party Trade union Group,[28] and from Bright Green, one of Britain’s leading left-wing blogs.[29]

Procedure[edit]

According to the Constitution of the Green Party the leadership should be "the primary public faces of the party, responsible for presenting Green Party policy and promoting its electoral activity and campaigns to the public on a daily basis." Candidates must have been members of the Green Party for three years or more at the close of nominations, and must have signatures supporting their nomination from a minimum of twenty other party members. Elections are constitutionally mandated to take place every two years by a postal ballot of all members. The Constitution states that nominations for leadership will be open from 10:00 on the first week-day in June until noon on the last week-day in June. Polls will close either after the last mail delivery on the last week-day of August, or five week-days before Autumn Conference starts, whichever is sooner. The party elects a Leader and two Deputy Leaders, or two Co-Leaders and a Deputy leader (thus, as Bartley/Lucas won the leadership, only one deputy leader was chosen).[30] Several other executive positions are also being chosen. Re-open nominations (RON) is included as a voting option.[31] Votes are counted according to single transferable vote and alternative vote, as appropriate.

Timetable[edit]

On 20 May 2016, the party announced a provisional timetable for both the leadership and deputy leadership elections.[32] Further details were announced on 27 May 2016.[33] On 29 June 2016 it was announced that the close of nominations would be postponed from 30/06/2016 12:00 to 30/06/2016 22:00 due to a "technical problem".[34]

  • 1 June 2016 (10:00) – Nominations open
  • 30 June 2016 (22:00) – Nominations close
  • 1 July 2016 – Campaign period begins
  • 24 July 2016 – Campaign period ends
  • 25 July 2016 – One month balloting period begins
  • 25 August 2016 – Balloting period ends
  • 2 September 2016 – Autumn Conference begins in Birmingham; results are announced
  • 4 September 2016 – Autumn Conference ends

Candidates[edit]

Leadership candidates[edit]

Candidate(s) Born Constituency contested Most recent position(s)
Lucas and bartley co-leaders.png
Jonathan Bartley
and Caroline Lucas
[35]
(1971-10-16) 16 October 1971 (age 46)/
(1960-12-09) 9 December 1960 (age 57)
Streatham
(2015 general election)
Brighton Pavilion
(MP since 2010 general election)
Green Party Work and Pensions Spokesperson/
MP for Brighton Pavilion
(2010–present)
Leader of the Green Party
(2008–2012)
No image wide.svg
Simon Cross
[1]
Rochford and Southend East
(2015 general election)
No image wide.svg
Clive Lord
[36]
1935 (age 82–83) Batley and Spen
(2005 general election)
David Malone.jpg
David Malone
[37]
March 1962 (age 56) Scarborough and Whitby
(2015 general election)
No image wide.svg
Martie Warin 1987 (age 30–31) Easington
(2015 general election)
Councillor on Easington Village Parish Council
(2013–present) [38]
No image wide.svg
David Williams 1949 (age 68–69) Rochdale
(1992 general election, as Labour)
Councillor on Oxfordshire County Council
(2013–present)
Councillor on Oxford City Council
(2006–2014)

Deputy leadership candidates[edit]

Candidate(s) Born Constituency contested Most recent position(s)
Amelia womack.jpg
Amelia Womack
[39]
(1985-01-12) 12 January 1985 (age 33) Camberwell and Peckham
(2015 general election)
Deputy Leader of the Green Party
(2014–present)
Green Party Culture, Media and Sports Spokesperson
Shahrai Ali.jpeg
Shahrar Ali
[40]
1975 (age 42–43) Brent Central
(2015 general election)
Deputy Leader of the Green Party
(2014–2016)
Green Party Home Affairs Spokesperson
No image wide.svg
Kat Boettge
[41]
1977 (age 40–41) Nottingham North
(2015 general election)
Green Alan Borgars.png
Alan Borgars
[42]
1991 (age 26–27) Hemel Hempstead
(2015 general election)
Andrew Cooper
[43]
1964 (age 53–54) Huddersfield
(2015 general election)
Councillor on Kirklees Council
(1999–present)
Green Party Energy Spokesperson
Störm Poorun.jpg
Störm Poorun
[44]
1976 (age 41–42) Lewisham East
(2015 general election)
No image wide.svg
Daniella Radice
[45][46]
None Councillor on Bristol City Council
(2013–2016)
Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods
(2014–2016)

Endorsements[edit]

Leadership endorsements[edit]

Significant endorsements are listed below. The candidates have noted additional endorsements.

Deputy leadership endorsements[edit]

Results summary[edit]

Leadership[edit]

Green Party of England and Wales
Leadership election, 2016[17]
Candidate Votes %
Green tickY Jonathan Bartley/Caroline Lucas 13,570
86.0%
David Malone 956
6.1%
David Williams 527
3.3%
Re-open Nominations 306
1.9%
Clive Lord 173
1.1%
Martie Warin 133
0.8%
Simon Cross 108
0.7%
Turnout 15,773 29.8%
Bartley & Lucas elected as Co-Leaders Green tickY

Deputy Leadership[edit]

Green Party of England and Wales Deputy Leadership election, 2016[59]
Candidate First Round % Second Round % Third Round % Final Round %
Green tickY Amelia Womack 4,742
41.8% 4,882
43.7% 5,231
47.5% 6,063
57.1%
Andrew Cooper 1,778
15.7% 1,859
16.7% 1,979
18.0% 2,308
21.7%
Shahrar Ali 1,716
15.1% 1,820
16.3% 1,948
17.7% 2,244
21.1%
Kat Boettge 1,510
13.3% 1,623
14.5% 1,845
16.8% Eliminated
Daniella Radice 924
8.2% 983
8.8% Eliminated
Störm Poorun 445
3.9% Eliminated
Alan Borgars 179
1.6% Eliminated
Re-open Nominations 44
0.4% Eliminated
Turnout 11,338 21.4%
Amelia Womack re-elected as Deputy Leader[60]
Lucas and Bartley after the results were declared.

Bartley/Lucas won the leadership contest with 86% of first preference votes, on an increased turnout from the previous leadership election and the previous contested leadership election.[61] Womack was re-elected as deputy leader.[17]

They saw off competition from five others to succeed Natalie Bennett, who is stepping down after four years.

Ms Lucas, the Greens' only MP, was leader of the party between 2008 and 2012 while Mr Bartley is the party's work and pensions spokesman.

The two said the joint election showed the party was "not bound by tradition".

Their joint ticket took 13,570 - 88% - of the 15,467 votes cast. The party says co-leadership is "a first in Westminster politics".

The announcement was made at the party's autumn conference in Birmingham, at which Amelia Womack was also elected deputy leader.

Aftermath[edit]

Lucas thanked outgoing leader Ms Bennett and said that, under her leadership, the party had "reached more people than ever before".

Bartley said: "We stand here, more united as a party with two leaders than others are with one" and invited those who wanted "more than divisions and uncertainty" to join. The co-leaders said their joint election showed "the power of working together and the importance of striking a healthy balance between work and family and other commitments".[62]

Ms Lucas told the BBC later that the job-share sent a political message about "doing politics differently" but it had also been "a very practical decision". In an acceptance speech delivered together, Ms Lucas and Mr Bartley called for the Greens to form "progressive alliances" with like-minded parties. Ms Lucas has previously floated the idea of a loose electoral pact with other parties on the left of British politics, including Labour, which would see them give Green candidates a clear run in constituencies where they were best placed to challenge the Conservatives and vice versa.[63]

Mr Bartley said the current first-past-the-post voting system for general elections was "redundant" and it was wrong that while more than a million people in England and Wales voted Green in 2015, it only had one MP, "we are resolute in wanting to explore the potential for progressive alliances with other parties that will deliver fair votes and will deliver more elected Greens that ever before," he said.[62]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Leadership candidates' official campaign sites

Deputy leadership candidates' official campaign sites

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Green Party Leadership candidates announced". Green Party of England and Wales. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Stewart, Heather (15 May 2016). "Natalie Bennett to step down as Green party leader". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  3. ^ Mortimer, Josiah (2 September 2016). "Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley are the new co-leaders of the Green Party". Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Constitution of the Green Party as agreed at Autumn Conference 2015". 
  5. ^ "Green Party leader Lucas not seeking re-election". BBC News. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  6. ^ Walker, Peter (8 May 2015). "Green vote increases four-fold, but Caroline Lucas remains party's only MP". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Greens' Natalie Bennett defends leadership after elections". BBC News. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Brown, John Murray; Pickard, Jim (16 May 2016). "Natalie Bennett resigns as Green party leader". Financial Times. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  9. ^ "Leadership Hustings Planner". Google Docs. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  10. ^ "Green Party Leadership Hustings 2016 - London". YouTube. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  11. ^ "Green Party Leadership Hustings". YouTube. 2016-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  12. ^ "Green Party Leadership Hustings: Part 1 - Leader Candidates, Manchester 2016". YouTube. 2016-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  13. ^ "Green Party Leadership Hustings 2016 Manchester Part 2: Deputy Leader Candidates". YouTube. 2016-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  14. ^ "The Green Party leadership race doesn't have to be a 'coronation'". openDemocracy. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  15. ^ https://clivelord.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/my-leader-bid-post-corbyn-re-progressive-alliance
  16. ^ Matt Townsend (2016-06-04). "Green Party leadership election: a stitch up?". openDemocracy. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  17. ^ a b c "Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley elected Green party joint leaders". The Guardian. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2016-09-02. 
  18. ^ Spratt, Vicky (2016-07-28). "We Profiled the People Who Will Lose to Caroline Lucas in the Green Party Leadership Race". VICE. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  19. ^ "Bright Green quizzes the candidates for Green Party leader". Bright Green. 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  20. ^ Josiah Mortimer (2016-05-19). "Who are the frontrunners in the Green Party leadership contest?". Left Foot Forward. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  21. ^ Peter Walker (2016-07-05). "Five candidates in running for Green party leadership". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  22. ^ Aimee Challenor (2016-07-06). "Green Leadership Election: Whose Likely to Lead Us Well?". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  23. ^ "ERS Quiz the Green Party Leadership Candidates on Democratic Reform". Electoral-reform.org.uk. 2016-08-02. Archived from the original on 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  24. ^ Blake Roberts (2016-07-25). "Why I'm voting to re-open nominations for Green Leader". Medium.com. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  25. ^ "#VoteRON (@RON4GreenParty)". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  26. ^ "LGBTIQ Greens | Leadership candidates respond to LGBTIQ Questions". Lgbtiq.greenparty.org.uk. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  27. ^ share (2016-07-25). "Voting is open: r/ukgreens, who are you voting for? : UKGreens". Reddit.com. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  28. ^ "Green Party Leadership candidates answer GPTU questions". Green Party Trade Union Group. 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  29. ^ "Bright Green quizzes the candidates for Green Party leader". Bright Green. 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  30. ^ https://my.greenparty.org.uk/sites/my.greenparty.org.uk/files/constitution_after_Autumn2015.docx
  31. ^ title (2016-07-06). "Green Leadership Election: Whose Likely to Lead Us Well?". Huffingtonpost.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  32. ^ "Nominations for Green Party Leadership elections to open on 1 June 2016". Green Party. 20 May 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  33. ^ "Green Party launches 2016 Leadership and Executive Elections website". Green Party. 27 May 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2016. 
  34. ^ "Election of the Green Party Executive 2016" (PDF). 
  35. ^ Stewart, Heather (31 May 2016). "Caroline Lucas to stand for Green party leadership as job share". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  36. ^ Clive Lord (2016-06-23). "my leadership bid latest". Clive Lord for Leader of the Green Party. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  37. ^ "I have decided, after lots of pondering... - David Malone Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Scarborough and Whitby". Facebook. 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2016-07-03. 
  38. ^ a b "Vote Martie Warin for Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  39. ^ "Left Foot Forward Interview". Retrieved 2016-06-30. 
  40. ^ Jun 30 (2016-06-30). "Shahrar Ali on Twitter: "You are too kind, Joe! I confirm my nomination to stand for Deputy Leader of the party I LOVE. Submitted. https://t.co/aSIHIpqeMs"". Twitter.com. Retrieved 2016-07-07.  External link in |title= (help)
  41. ^ "Katharina Boettge on Twitter: "I'm delighted to announce that I am standing for the GPEW deputy leadership election @Kat4DepLeader"". Twitter.com. 2016-06-28. Retrieved 2016-07-07. 
  42. ^ Borgars, Alan (17 May 2016). "I will run for Green Party Deputy Leader this year". Alan's Green Thoughts. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  43. ^ a b Mortimer, Josiah (4 June 2016). "Huddersfield councillor Andrew Cooper announces Deputy Leadership bid". Bright Green. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 
  44. ^ "Launch of campaign for Deputy Leadership". Storm Poorun. Retrieved 2 July 2016. 
  45. ^ "Intending Candidates for Leadership" (PDF). Green Party. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  46. ^ "Vote for a Green Mayor for Bristol". Daniella Radice. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  47. ^ "Endorsements". Bartley/Lucas. Retrieved 5 June 2016. 
  48. ^ "Why I'm endorsing Martie Warin for Green Party Leader". Alan's Green Thoughts. Retrieved 6 July 2016. 
  49. ^ Wall, Derek. "Voting first preference for @Martie_Warin for #GreenParty leader, ecosocialist all the way!". Twitter. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  50. ^ "Endorsements". David Williams Green Leader. Retrieved 2016-07-12. 
  51. ^ "Andrew 4 Deputy Leader". Andrew4deputy.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  52. ^ a b c "Andrew 4 Deputy Leader". andrew4deputy.uk. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  53. ^ "David Malone Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Scarborough and Whitby". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  54. ^ "Amelia Womack (@Amelia_Womack)". Twitter. 2016-08-02. Retrieved 2016-08-18. 
  55. ^ "Derek Wall: "The Welsh are on a winning streak, please vote for a Welsh deputy leader @Amelia_Womack for @TheGreenParty has to make sense"". Twitter.com. 2016-07-01. Retrieved 2016-07-08. 
  56. ^ "#ElectShahrar — Elect Shahrar". Electshahrar.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-08-17. 
  57. ^ "Roger Lewis - Roger Lewis shared David Malone Green Party..." Facebook. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2016-08-15. 
  58. ^ a b http://www.stormpoorun.net/#!endorsements/xo5ad
  59. ^ "Revealed: Full breakdown of the Green Party leadership election". Bright Green. 2016-09-03. Retrieved 2016-09-03. 
  60. ^ Shahrar Ali won the second Deputy Leadership position in 2014, but under the party's rules only one Deputy Leader can be elected if there are two Co-Leaders. As Lucas/Bartley won the Leadership, only Amelia Womack was elected.
  61. ^ "Record numbers vote in Green leadership contest". Bright Green. 2016-08-23. Retrieved 2016-09-02. 
  62. ^ a b "Green Party: Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley elected as co-leaders". BBC News. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2017-03-26. 
  63. ^ "Green Party offers an electoral pact to a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour". The Independent. 2015-08-24. Retrieved 2017-03-26.