The next election starts here

It’s my party……

…….and I’ll cry if I want to. Actually, there is little or nothing for Green Party members to cry about at the moment, writes Trevor Jones.

2015 Austerity March Green PlacardsThe Green Party is in very good shape. The ‘Green Surge’ has seen membership increase dramatically. The membership of London Green Party now stands at over 12,000, which is more than the national membership in 2012.

Here in Reigate and Banstead, we have seen a similar growth in members.

In the year since the last AGM, membership has more than tripled, increasing from 41 to 128. Membership across Surrey has increased by a similar proportion.

However, it is not just the increase in membership that should give cause for confidence.

In Caroline Lucas we have probably the most effective parliamentarian of the day, a highly effective public speaker and campaigner who garners a huge amount of very positive publicity for the Party. Natalie Bennett has proved to be a strong leader who performed well in the General Election leadership debates. Locally, our two Councillors work hard to keep green issues on the agenda on the overwhelmingly Conservative controlled Borough and County Councils.

These are all advantages to be built on, as is the settled nature of the national Green Party. The Labour and Liberal Democrat parties are in the midst of leadership contests which are likely to prove decisive and result in both parties being focused on internal matters for the next year or so. UKIP did not achieve the breakthrough it expected to in the General Election, is in crisis organisationally and will in all likelihood be focused on its raison d’etre, a British exit from the European Union, between now and the referendum in 2017.

Whilst all might look rosy in the Conservative Party, having won its first parliamentary majority since 1992, very few would bet against civil war breaking out over Europe or indeed the proposed airport expansion, with different groups of Tory MPs vociferously opposing new runways at both Heathrow and Gatwick.

As we approach our local party AGM we need to be able to build on all of these advantages over the next five years. The next general election starts here; so does the next local election.

The Green Party needs you to help. Whatever contribution you feel you can make, it can make a difference. If you’re a member, join me at the AGM on 20 July as we begin translating the Green Surge into elected representatives.

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