A general election is just around the corner. As the Green Party, our policies of environmental, social and economic justice have never been so urgently needed. The IPCC has stated that we have just 11 years to tackle the worst effects of climate change, but in reality we have just 18 months to put policy in place to make it possible. This is why we need to be a powerful force in this election.
After a record-breaking round of elections this year, where we doubled our number of local councillors and won seven seats in the European Parliament after winning more votes than the Tories in the European elections, we have an opportunity to maintain the momentum behind the Green wave.
To ensure that we get our highest ever vote share across the country, we have to stand in as many seats as possible across the UK. We need to break our previous record of standing in 93 per cent of seats in 2015, and that only happened because of the determination of our local parties. If your local party hasn't started a selection process then please get selecting, and get prepared. I have had reporters describe us as the ‘organised party’ before when we've been ready to launch candidates when a general election is called.
Every vote means that we have more chance at media coverage, and more government money to run our MPs’ offices. Every vote is a vote for change, and we need to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote Green so that we can continue to punch above our weight in the world of politics.
As a political party with equality at our core, we also need to work to break another record. We need to be supporting and encouraging as many women as possible to run across the UK. As a party that believes that Parliament should be diverse, that needs to be reflected in our choice of candidates.
Women, people of colour, people with disabilities, LGBTIQA+ and working class people don't always assume that politics is a place for them. This means that to get diverse candidates then we must encourage and support people to stand. Many people will have personal barriers that they'll want addressed to feel able to stand. That might be public speaking training or even child care support. As Greens I hope we can rally round and ensure that we address any issues that reduce people’s opportunities to stand.
Our politics will only be richer if it reflects the country we live in, and that won't come unless we work to create it.
Let's build our party from our local selections. Let’s select diverse candidates that can enrich and strengthen our party, and our political system.