Following the results on the Isle of Wight in the local elections, the Progressive Alliance has called on Labour and the Liberal Democrats to cooperate with the Greens in the general election.
The Conservatives gained a majority of votes in the Isle of Wight with 18,377 votes. However, the Greens came in third with 5597, Labour were on 4322, the Liberal Democrats on 2755 and 973 for UKIP. The Independent block of votes, which tend to be very strong in local elections on the Isle of White, had 12,508 votes. This translated into the Greens winning their first ever council seat in the Isle of Wight.
In the local elections the Greens have built significantly on their last result when they only contested one ward and received fewer than 300 votes.
Jonathan Bartley, the Green Party co-leader will go to the Isle of Wight later today to meet the party’s councillor. He told The Guardian “Across the country Greens have gained seats – with first seats in Orkney and the Isle of Wight, and a first win in Wales.”
There are now calls from the Progressive Alliance for Labour to stand aside for the Greens. At the last general election, the Greens came in third behind UKIP.
At a national level both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have refused to take part in a progressive alliance.
The Progressive Alliance is a cross-party group that advocates for “progressive politics”. Their aim is to abandon “tribalism and collaborate to reset the political system”.
Ahead of the general election, there are a number of progressive alliances at a local election. In Ealing Central and Acton the Greens have stood down in favour of Labour, where candidate Rupa Huq is defending a small majority. In Brighton, local Liberal Democrats decided to stood aside for the Greens in Brighton Pavilion, and the Greens stood down in Brighton Kemptown, where Labour came a close second to the Tories in the last general election. Alliances have also been formed at a local level in Shipley and Ilford.
Neal Lawson, the chair of the Compass group who claim to have instigated progressive alliances in Brighton and London, has called for Labour to stand aside in the Isle of Wight. He said:
Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.
“There will be many people who will be deeply disappointed with today’s results but there are also immense opportunities to be seized.
“Progressive parties on the Isle have a duty to offer people a clear alternative on June 8th. This can only happen if parties are prepared to cooperate and work together.
“It’s now clear the Greens are the main challengers to the Conservatives on the Isle of Wight. If Labour stands aside, they could unlock many local Green parties elsewhere in the country who are prepared to stand down for Labour – this is what the Tories fear.
“A better country and a brighter future is within our grasp if people work for it and ask for it.
“Now is the time for progressives to work together to change the government.”