Sunday, 9 May 2010

Thank you!

Well, we hoped to make history by getting the first Green Councillors elected. For 16 months, we pounded the streets of Stroud Green, come rain or shine – or snow! – and met an amazing array of residents, many who had interesting stories to tell.

From hearing about squirrels rights (yes, really) to seeing Dusty Springfield’s cowboy boots - ! – and from learning about the history of the area to learning of the terrible conditions many of the residents of this supposedly affluent area live in, we became part of the community, and did our best to help residents, albeit in an unelected capacity.

So many members and non-members helped out, whether it was through fundraising, or slogging around delivering leaflets, or knocking on thousands of doors. Some of them raised our media profile, helped us with our election material, and yet more stepped forward to participate as ‘paper candidates’ in neighbouring wards, meaning we could stand a ‘full slate’ in Haringey.

All of this led up to last Thursday, where, in Stroud Green, we ran a full election day operation. When I went out to ‘knock-up’ voters, I was told, again and again, “We’ve already voted for you!” “Good luck!” It was both humbling and a great boost.

Then at the count we had to endure a Tory surge nationally (always thoroughly depressing) and the realisation that we had not taken Stroud Green, despite our hardest of efforts.

The result was as follows:

Name of Candidate Party Votes

BRAGGA Anna Leigh Green Party 1,209

BUTCHER Ed Liberal Democrats 2,889

COPE Sarah Elizabeth Green Party 1,234

COWAN Dorothy Eugenie The Conservative Party Candidate 436

CURTIS Kay The Conservative Party Candidate 423

FORBES Jayne Elizabeth Green Party 1171

KEEVER John The Labour Party Candidate 1591

NORTON Roy The Conservative Party Candidate 451

PATEL Jayanti The Labour Party Candidate 1,522

REECE Katherine Mary Liberal Democrats 2,551

ROBERTSON Jo-Ann The Labour Party Candidate 1,562

WILSON Richard James Liberal Democrats 2,427

So the average vote for a Green candidate in Stroud Green was 1204. In 2006, at the last local elections, the average vote for a Green candidate in Stroud Green was 516. In other words, although we did not win, all of our efforts meant that we more than doubled the Green vote. Not enough for Green Councillors to be elected in Haringey, but surely a step in the right direction.

I've had emails and 'phone calls from Stroud Green residents since the result came through - one wrote 'I'm sorry that you did not get elected on Thursday in my ward. You certainly worked hard and I think would have been a good councillor for us.' Thank you - and thanks to all of you who voted for us.

We of course had some wonderful news to boost us: we have our first MP. I’m informed that the Green Party website is currently crashing because there are so many people joining the party today. Indeed, we’ve attracted new activists and members through our campaign in Stroud Green – just this week, when canvassing, I picked up a new, enthusiastic member on Oakfield Road!

Now we need to let the dust settle before analysing things and planning our next steps, and in the meantime I hope we can have a great party, to thank all of the activists who have given themselves so generously over the last year and a bit.

I want end by saying a special thanks to Chris, my husband. Not only did he look after our daughter every night and weekend whilst I was out campaigning, he more often than not put in hours of work every night, organising leaflets, posterboards, logging data, sorting out the website...the list goes on.

Thank you all – and onwards!