Despite their discouraging performance during the constituency vote, the Scottish Green Party managed to secure the support of 2 802 Scots last week through the regional ballot vote.

Their success earned them eight seats in the Scottish Parliament, surpassing the party’s record of three seats in 2003.

Election staff members count votes for the Scottish Parliamentary election at a counting centre in Glasgow,
May 8, 2021. Photograph: Russell Cheyne

Green influence

The 2021 elections did not introduce many changes to the Scottish Parliament, with the majority of its parties receiving their projected number of votes. Of course, there was a glaring exception, the unpredicted success of the Scottish greens.

Co-led by Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvey, the party’s historical win put them on the road to expand their influence in Holyrood through the use of, as Slater described in her official statement, “positive, practical policies”.

Coalition government

Alongside the SNPs (Scottish National Party), the Scottish Greens formed the pro-independence majority, making them a key player in pushing forward a mandate for the democratic independence referendum. The Scottish Greens have long held the belief that independence from the UK is imperative. As explained by Slater in a publication for The Scotsman, this step guarantees separation from a system that invests in planet-destroying energy and transport policies, as well as an increase in its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Scottish Green politician and a Member of the Scottish Parliament Rosse Greer voices support for independence mandate.

Despite initial reservations about the possibility of governing alongside the SNPs as a minority government, Slater later claimed that it is “a strength of the Scottish Parliament that we can have minority governments because actually, I think legislation is better when it’s worked on by more than one party”.

Behind the success

Ms. Slater credits the party’s success to its focus on positive campaigning surrounding issues of green recovery and the climate crisis, in place of short-sighted “tactical voting”. With deadlines such as the likes of the Paris climate agreement closing in, the party will have an important role to play in ensuring other parties are held accountable when it comes to the environmental responsibility Holyrood has towards the citizens of Scotland and the international community.  

“we will be working to implement what’s in our manifesto.”

Lorna Slater, co-leader of the Scottish Greens

In einem public statement for a British news agency, Ms. Slater also added: “We came into this election with a costed manifesto that had practical policies to tackle the climate emergency, create tens of thousands of jobs and help build a wellbeing economy”.

Salma

Salma is a second-year student currently pursuing a double major in French and Life Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Thanks to her interest in both language and science, Salma developed a passion for climate politics, global sustainability, and environmental activism. In her free time, Salma enjoys sculpting and debating competitively.

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