Greens say Jo Swinson’s call for three-way election debates will ‘marginalise millions’

The Lib Dem leader believes only Corbyn, Johnson and herself should be in TV debates

The Green Party have today responded in anger to Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson’s call for “three-way” election debates which only involve the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.

As the UK prepares for a probable general election on 12 December, Jo Swinson yesterday said she believes TV debates should only involve these three parties.

The Lib Dem leader believes all other parties, including the growing Green Party, should be excluded from these debates in the run up to the election.

Green Party leader Jonathan Bartley said this move “marginalises millions of people”.

Bartley commented: “This completely disregards the increased number of votes received by the Green Party both at the local and European elections. 

“It also marginalises the millions of people who in the last year have taken to the streets to highlight the need for radical, immediate action to tackle the climate crisis.

“This should be the climate election. As ClientEarth’s poll has just shown, climate change will influence the decision of more than half of voters.”

Clarifying Swinson’s comment, a spokesperson for the Lib Dem Party said: “Jo is setting out her ambition to be Prime Minister, as is Corbyn and Johnson. So she believes those candidates shoukd have a three way debate.”

Yet Bartley continued: “The latest polling also shows that people believe the Green Party would best handle issues of the environment and climate change – more than the other big parties combined. 

“We have a bold, radical agenda for this country far beyond that being offered by any other party. Excluding the Green Party from a debate would withhold this plan from the millions who are demanding climate justice.”

Lucy Skoulding is a freelance reporter at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.

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3 Responses to “Greens say Jo Swinson’s call for three-way election debates will ‘marginalise millions’”

  1. Alasdair Macdonald

    What does this mean for Ms Swinson in her own East Dunbartonshire seat? The SNP has been the largest party in Scotland for several years – in terms of seats at Westminster, Holyrood, in council chambers, in terms of actual votes and in terms of party membership.. Is she proposing that the SNP is not permitted in any election debates in Scotland. Or is she proposing that in Scotland the LibDems might not be present in such debates? in recent opinion polls and in terms of seats in the Parliaments and in Council chambers, her party sits fourth or fifth.

    I know what her answer will be – this is a UK election. However, it is the SNP which is the third largest party at Westminster after the Conservatives and Labour, but such things do not deter her – she will exclude the SNP as a ‘regional’ party, rather than a UK national one.

    Another point: No matter how, she decides to justify her excluding approach, we know that the Northern Irish parties will get no UK wide exposure.

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  3. Julia Gibb

    So Swinson wants the Party that won more than three times the number of seats the LibDems achieved at the last GE (the SNP) to be excluded. Quite the democrat. The 3rd largest Party at Westminster should be excluded and her patchwork bunch chosen!

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