Saturday, August 21, 2010

Guest Post: Is a new Green dawn "unstoppable"?

I suppose this post came out of a brief chat with Antony during the week, in which he re-iterated the point that turnout at these elections was likely to be low and that would damage the Greens chances. I'll go on to why I think the Greens are un-stoppable in a moment, but first the turnout point.

I disagree - the canvassing that I have done does show an increased level of apathy, partly because of the time of year and also because you rarely meet anybody who wants these elections. However I would argue that we all share in the apathy - it doesn't just impact on the young, student, green-voters. I have met middle-aged Tories and working class Labour who just aren't going to vote. And think on this - this will be an election where the most motivated set of supporters win. And I would say that the Greens have amongst the most determined, motivated and political (with a big P) supporters in the City. It's why I think the Tories will edge it in Eaton and why the Greens will do better than you all think across the City. In fact (here I go) I think the Greens will take Thorpe Hamlet and University in Norwich South and also Sewell in Norwich North.

Even so, we come to the wider point of the arithmetic. The Greens are essentially a single seat short of becoming the largest party; they have 9 seats and you need to add in holds in Town Close, Nelson, Wensum and Mancroft. Labour have 9 but I wouldn't bet on any of them being an automatic hold at this point (although clearly Mile Cross will end up in the Labour column come election night). Even if Labour do stage a massive recovery, the Green gain in Thorpe Hamlet will leave the parties 15-14; all it would take is a Tory gain in Catton Grove or Crome to put them as equals at 14-14. Can Morphew hold on then? I wouldn't bet on it. You see the Greens are unstoppable; because the other parties will do our work for us. A Tory gain here or a LibDem gain there (Lakenham?) and they've slipped behind. The Greens can take control without taking a single Labour seat.

For what it's worth, I think the result will be:
Green 16 (gains Thorpe Hamlet, University & Sewell)
Labour 10 (holds Mile Cross)
Tories 8 (holds Bowthorpe, gains Eaton, Catton & Crome)
LibDems 5 (loses Thorpe Hamlet & Eaton but gains Lakenham)

And in those circumstance not even a Condem coalition can stop Claire Stephenson being Leader of the Council.


Peter said...

I essentially agree with the analysis of this post.

I think a Green administration is only a matter of time and it has reached hegemony in certain wards including Wensum.

Furthermore voter behaviour is different in local elections, more people are willing to take risks with their vote and make more risky decisions. In this case giving the Greens a chance.

The Greens have launched in my opinion a very effective campaign and will gain the benefits when it comes to voting. However I do believe turn out will be low. I predict as low as 20%.

Would this be enough to stop the Greens from gaining power? The simple answer is no.

Although I don't agree with all of their manifesto the 'Open Democracy' part of it I endorse and its a refreshing change to hear about transparency and accountability.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the trains will soon be running on time


Anonymous said...

While I do agree with the general gist I think the optimism is a little OTT.

Sewell is by no means a gain, my family live there and have seen nothing Green, and Labour have a strong candidate, compared to the Green who stood down as a councillor as it was too much for her and lost her deposit in the GE, clearly out of her depth.

I'd be stunned if they win University too, Bert Bremner is the only Labour member who seem to know how to campaign!

The Tory gain in Eaton and Crome seem unlikely. I don't doubt they may get closer but to win, especially how little they have done in Crome is unlikely.

However this seems to be yet another dig at the Lib Dems, come on Antony why not a few grenades thrown at the Green, they dropped the ball on Greyhounds, had a local member kicked out for breching the data protection act (and there by the law), and came a dismal 4th at the GE when they claimed they could win. One might suspect you are about to go into coalition with them you give them such an easy ride.

As more my predictions.

Lab 12-13
Green 12-14
LD 6-9
Con 6

Anonymous said...

Very wrong. Quite funny that it is so wrong.