Comment posted on GP Members website to discussion about the 2014 election results, the rise of UKIP, and the media treatment of the GP.

After the event you can make up almost any narrative you like to describe the results. There is insufficient evidence to provide firm support for any particular story so you can believe whatever would be most convincing to you - and it wont matter.


UKIP nationally took about 32% of the vote on a 34% turnout. There is no information here to help predict what might happen at a general election in one year's time. In particular there is no evidence how the other 30+% who didn't bother to vote this year but will next year will vote.

One possibility is that the proportions in the Euro will scale up to the General, another possibility is that everyone who was going to vote UKIP or Green this time turned out and the extra 30% will split in proportion to the popularity of the big two and a half parties - leading to a Labour government with a small majority, a near wipe-out of LDs, and UKIP winning fewer Westminster seats than the Greens who may hang on to their one.

Or anything else you fancy.


What evidence there is, seems to me to be that Target To Win (TTW) works and remains the only game in town when it comes to winning seats at any level.

Even Molly's success in the SW is as much due to UKIP and Cons being close to neck and neck thus allowing them to loose one of their previous 5 seats thanks to the peculiarities of the d'Hondt system and gifting it to us. If UKIP had been just 2 points higher and the Cons 2 points lower it would have been 3 UKIP, 2 Cons, and 1 Labour. Or vice versa between Cons and UKIP.

Here in Bristol, where I don't live or vote, in our ward (Bedminster) you wouldn't have known there was an election on. The only leaflet delivered, 2 days before polling, was from the incumbent Labour - who duly went on to win.

As I understand it all of the Green supporters' time and shoe-leather and money in Bristol was spent on identified and nutured target wards - with the predictable result that the one being defended was comfortably held and two new Green councillors elected with thumping majorities.

It really is the only way to have a reasonable chance of winning elections. As far as I can see from the limited detail available so far the success at Euro level was in part due to a good increase in Green vote in Bristol, and in part to the absence of confusing candidates - the only spoilers in the SW were BNP and "An English Independence" party - neither of whom will have taken good green votes, whereas in 2009 we lost a few potential green votes to the odds'n'sods with £5k to burn. The absence of Mebyon Kernow standing in Cornwall possibly was part of the reason for the increase in Green vote there. (MK supporters are often somewhat green)

So all congratulations to Molly and her team for building a strong campaign by carefully focusing what they did and against the trend getting a near 2% increase in Green vote. And even more congratulations to the Bristol team for showing us how it should be done.

Oh, and the media? Well there was just as little mention of Greens in the local media here in the SW as everywhere else and nationally. And just as much puffing of UKIP. And yet the green vote increased - by targeting to win.

Policies? The only policies that matter are the ones you get asked about on the doorstep or the hustings (or in media interviews if you are lucky enough to be allowed space to answer).

The publicly owned media are only ever going to support the status quo, or a party like UKIP who fits the status quo narrative. The privately owned media are only ever going to support the owners' interests. Neither is ever going to give prominence to an anti-establishment anti-captialist party - which is at core what we are.

When a Green government is in place hopefully it will abolish the BBC (not yet official policy unfortunately) and severely limit media ownership concentration (already official policy), until then we can't expect the mass media to offer us anything - they are not stupid.

Chris Rose is right - TTW works. The only alternative to TTW is revolution.

Your choice.

Support Brighton and a more local target constituency if you have one next year. If you have council elections next year only support a target ward. But do stand everywhere we can to maximise word of mouth and social media exposure, and stand for the core green ideas, not some washed out socialist agenda.