Following the May 2021 UK general election, the Greens have made significant gains that now put them in a promising position. Indeed, the Greens have moved up the ranks by taking back seats previously held by the Conservatives, as well as coming second in some important counties.

The mayoral race in London was particularly impressive considering that the Green Party candidate, Sian Berry, finished third with 197 976 votes. She considers this a victory, especially since she finished ahead of her Liberal Democrat (Lib Dems) opponent, who is relegated to the fourth position. Overall, the Greens won 88 additional seats, for a total of 151 seats. In comparison, the Lib Dems added only 7 seats to their arsenal.

This election has proved to be a definitive victory for the Greens. According to Carla Denyer, the Green Party councillor for Clifton Down in Bristol, the Greens have benefited from the lack of confidence in the leadership of the ruling Labour Party. Indeed, in an interview with Skynews, Denyer insists, “It certainly seems that the Labour leadership nationally probably weren’t doing Labour any favours here.”

The Bristol Case

The election results in Bristol were particularly promising. The Greens went from 11 seats to 24 seats on the city council. The city of Bristol has a history and culture that is very close to the environment. In fact, the city was voted European Green Capital of the Year in 2015, and governs by five principles – energy, food, nature, resources and transport – to build a healthier city.

Green gains in the 2021 Bristol election (Photo/The Guardian)

In addition, Lily Fitzgibbon became the youngest city councillor in the city’s history, at only 18 years old. Fitzgibbon, a member of Bristol Youth Strike 4 Climate, has also been very involved in the student climate protests organized by Greta Thunberg. In an interview with The Guardian, Fitzgibbon says, “Bristol is such an environmentally and socially conscious place. It’s a place of protest culture and I think people have realised there are options outside the two main parties.”

Third official party

For Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party in the UK, voters want a drastic change from the current administration. In an interview with SkyNews, she explains that a green vote means a “positive” vote, full of good ideas. The green vote is not just a protest, it’s an endorsement.

Tony Dyer, recently elected councilman, shares the same ideas as Berry:

“I think there was an element of people looking for something different – and also looking for something positive. And I think the Green Party is providing that positive element.” 

Tony Dyer, In an interview with SkyNews
Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley, co-leaders of the UK Green Party. (Photo/Green Party)

Sian Berry wants her party to officially become the third largest party in the country, pushing the Lib Dems into fourth place, and it is well on its way to achieving that goal. Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the UK Greens, said in an interview with The Guardian:

“We’re moving from being the biggest small party to being one of the big parties. We’ve been polling ahead of the Lib Dems and we’ve seen in this election that there are no no-go areas for the Greens.”

Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the UK Greens

Elsewhere in the country, the Greens gains are also being noticed. In Scotland, a record eight seats were won by Greens. On the Isle of Wight, for the first time in history, two Greens were elected to the Isle of Wight Council.

Camille Ducellier

After having completed her bachelors degree in political science with a minor in history at the University of Ottawa, Camille is now enrolled in a Master's degree in Environmental Policy at the University College Dublin. Passionate about the great outdoors, Camille enjoys undertaking projects that push her limits while discovering new countries. She is passionate about climate issues, and hopes to pursue a career in policy making to ensure the central position that environmental concerns should occupy in the political sphere.

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