GPEx Elections Co-ordinator candidates

As voting opens for the Green Party of England and Wales’ (GPEW) internal elections, candidates for the position of GPEx Elections Co-ordinator explain why party members should vote for them.

GPEW candidates 2020 Elections Co-ordinator
GPEW candidates 2020 Elections Co-ordinator
Green World
GPEW candidates 2020 Louis Williams

Louis Williams

 The experienced candidate who wants you to win.

My plan is based on my experiences, so first, I’d like to share my story with you.

In 2015 I helped win my first election with Lin in Bath and the feeling of your hard work paying off, winning at the count, is something I’ve never forgotten.

Soon after I attended Campaign School and ran the West of England Mayoral election. Winning the highest Green vote for any Mayoral election.

Then I fought the Lib Dems in Bath (2017). After that, I went on to run the Bristol West campaign (2019). Winning the highest Green percentage outside of Brighton Pavilion. 

I never forgot that first count in 2015 and the joy I felt getting Lin elected. Since then, my goal to get more Greens elected hasn’t changed, it’s just scaled up. 

I stand as the most experienced candidate and this experience has brought me to my plan. I stand to:

  • Support and champion the Campaign School program, expanding its support into all regions and every local party.

  • Support our Target to Win Strategy and continue to get Greens elected onto all local councils.

  • Work tirelessly to continue our record-breaking run of councillors elected. Putting into place a plan to get at least one Green on every Council by 2030 and running at least 5 Councils.

  • Support the Party’s longer-term planning for larger elections like Mayoral campaigns, London and Welsh Assembly and the next General Election.

  • Introduce a plan to increase the diversity in our candidates standing for election so that we can represent all parts of England and Wales.

  • And use Green World, online updates/Q&A sessions, email lists and all other internal communications ways to celebrate Green wins in England and Wales.

These are bold plans, but we have to be bold to see real change.

GPEW candidates 2020 Joe Levy and Laurie Needham

Laurie Needham and Joe Levy

Giving you the resources and training that will enable you to run the clever, sophisticated campaigns the Green Party is becoming known for at election time.

To be truly successful at election time, Green campaigners need to feel that while we are part of different local parties with different needs and circumstances, we are part of the same wider party that should listen and engage with every level from the grassroots upwards. Whether you are putting out your first leaflet, trying to elect a second councillor, or in official opposition, we think we can be the election coordinators that enable you to run your best campaigns.

Experience

Laurie: 

  • Coordinates campaigns in Conservative, rural strongholds

  • Elected in 2019 with a 60 per cent majority 

  • Supports other local parties’ election campaigns

  • Achieved record results in recent by-elections

Joe:

  • Election campaigns in Exeter since 2015 

  • 2019 campaign organiser for the inner city St David’s ward (took a seat from Labour with 55 per cent of the vote). 

  • Helped manage Exeter’s European election campaign, 27 per cent of the vote and 300 votes off first place

Our aims

  • Continued and improved funding and resources going directly to fighting and winning elections. Elections should be a funding priority.

  • Ensure Campaign School and other training programmes continue

  • Update and improve election resources in consultation with local parties to ensure they are fit for purpose

  • Review impact of 2019 general election, including impact of Unite to Remain agreement

  • Meet regularly with regional and liberation group representatives to ensure party election strategy is in touch with the reality across the country and that we’re running inclusive and diverse election campaigns

If we want to build our success at local elections and develop this into success at every level of government, we need to support local activists over long periods of time, giving you the resources and training that will enable you to run the clever, sophisticated campaigns the Green Party is becoming known for at election time.

GPEW candidates 2020 Zoe Nicholson

Zoe Nicholson

What we need is calm, experienced, strategic leadership in our GPEx elections coordinator. We are not short of ideas, it’s relentless focus on resources that’s needed.

I am Leader of Lewes District Council and everyday I have the privilege to put Green policies into action. This is because over the last three years my local party has implemented our national strategy for winning in local elections and in my role as Campaign Organiser we won 10 seats in two years. I have experience of winning votes and seats in Tory areas and messaging that brings Tory and Lib Dem voters to us. I understand the electoral strategy that works to give us more MPs in 2024, this must be our focus as a Party, and all the local, Mayoral and Sennedd elections along the way.

Having spent two years on GPEx, I know that our talented and dedicated staff team are not short of ideas or the will to execute those ideas. What is missing is relentless focus on making sure we get the resources we need directed at electoral success. Our local elections results in 2019 were unrivalled nationally in terms of growth, we know how to get people elected locally, the issue is applying the strategy consistently. On GPEx we don’t pay enough attention to our electoral strategy, to the garnering of resources needed and directing our finances to understand our target voters and target our messaging accordingly. My simple commitment to you is to play a leadership role in three things by the end of 2021:

  • Telling the story of the impact of Greens in our communities and in the halls of power to increase our funding from donors and members.

  • Increasing the spend on elections so that target local parties have  a staff member

  • Ensuring we understand the demography of our core vote in our target constituencies and that we are building that core vote.

Our communities and planet need Greens in the halls of power, it might sound dull, but what we need is calm, experienced, strategic leadership in our GPEx Elections Co-ordinator. We are not short of ideas, it’s relentless focus on resources that’s needed.  

GPEW candidates 2020 Claire Stephenson and Kai Taylor

Claire Stephenson and Kai Taylor

Kai and Claire for Elections Co-ordinator, to empower local parties to win elections at all levels and build a clearer, more cohesive election and messaging strategy for the long term. 

Kai Taylor and  Claire Stephenson are standing for the job-share post of Elections Co-ordinator in a bid to bring a professional and industry-based experience to how we approach elections as a party. We’ve made good progress over the last few years, but we’re not winning over the hearts and minds of the British public quick enough to tackle both the growing climate crisis and the urgent need to tackle social justice.

Kai was the youngest Green Councillor when elected in a by-election in 2017. In addition to now leading the Green Group on Knowsley Council, Kai is also the campaigns manager for Knowsley Green Party since 2018, supporting campaigns which have seen three borough councillors and 19 town councillors elected.

Claire is a journalist, media strategist and public relations professional, with membership of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and National Union of Journalists, running her own ethical media consultancy. She works with Vivienne Westwood and her son Joe Corre’s organisation, Talk Fracking. Claire was press and media officer for former Green MEP Gina Dowding prior to Brexit.

Kai and Claire believe in an academic-based approach to elections, incorporating data, focus groups and the constant review of best practise to enable the Green Party to have a professional, result-orientated electoral strategy. 

We would also immediately start to develop a long-term creative general election plan, identifying target constituencies early and ensuring that they have the support from the national party to lead a campaign over the course of this parliament. 

As Election Co-ordinators, Kai and Claire would aim to empower local parties with the training and resources necessary to win elections at all levels. We would work alongside the communications and election staff at GPEW to develop a messaging strategy with a greater clarity and one that will enable campaigners to get the Green message across to the public in a quick and efficient way. 

Voting for the GPEW internal elections for leadership positions and the Green Party Executive (GPEx) will run until 31 August. If you are a GPEW member, you can cast your vote on the GPEW members’ site.