Green leadership candidates make final push for votes as polls close

As the polls closed in the Green party election, candidates for leader and deputy leader made their case for election on social media.

Sian Berry Jonathan Bartley

Candidates in the Green Party leadership election reiterated their pitches on social media ahead of voting closing on Monday.

Incumbent co-leaders Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley stressed the party’s achievements during their two years at the helm. In a video posted on her twitter account, Berry highlighted successes including Green gains during the 2019 local and European elections, pushing the Green New Deal into mainstream political discourse and shutting down the fracking industry. Urging people to vote, Berry added:

“We are ambitious for our party to win more elections, to be bigger and bolder and be a real movement for change.”

Bartley tweeted a personal thank you for all of the supportive messages, saying he’d been ‘blown away’ by the response by many young people. “It gives me so much hope for the future,” he added.

Challenger Cllr Rosi Sexton reiterated her campaign slogan of ‘being serious on inclusion, being serious on credibility and being serious on winning elections’ in a Facebook post. She added that the Green Party was not a ‘pressure group’ or ‘lifestyle movement’ but needed to be ‘the effective political voice’ of the Green movement.

The leadership candidate chose a different approach on twitter, in a thread drawing parallels the Green movement and her past as an MMA fighter. She spoke of going from women’s MMA being seen as ‘a joke’ in 2000 to her becoming the first woman to fight in the UFC in 2013.

Sexton added: “The thing about cultural shifts is that before they happen they seem impossible. After they happen, they seem inevitable.”

Leadership candidate Shahrar Ali focused his final message on the climate emergency, in a Facebook video focused on its catastrophic impact, particularly on the poorest. “Vote for Climate Justice Matters. Change is possible. Change is absolutely necessary,” he wrote.

Deputy leadership race

Incumbent deputy leader Amelia Womack shared on Twitter a series of endorsements for her re-election as Green party deputy leader, citing among other things her support for LGBTQ rights, strategic ability and compassion. She tweeted: “We have so many important elections on the horizon, and we can win by building our skills at the grassroots. I want to continue my work on building this expertise.”

Tom Pashby tweeted a video asking to be voted in as deputy leader because they would make the party to be ‘more vocally left-wing’, build back the party’s reputation on trans rights and ask every voter to vote Green on the next election.

Nick Humberstone tweeted that he didn’t think it ‘likely’ that he would be elected as deputy leader, but it was certainly ‘possible’. He added: “If I am elected, I am ready to give it my all. After all, if we’re not running to win…why are we running at all?”

Andrea Carey Fuller did not have a specific message pitching her candidacy as deputy leader on her social media in the day leading up to polls closing. Instead, she shared tweets from other candidates in the Green election.

Former Lord Mayor of Bristol and Green councillor Cleo Lake posted a twitter thread making the case for her election as deputy leader. Her points include her being the only elected official as well as only woman of colour running for the role, as well as her background in activism and proven experience at the local level.

Lake added: “I will make us a legitimate electoral force – I want to win elections. Not just increase our vote. We make change when we elect greens.”

Counting and announcements will take place on 9th September.

Sophia Dourou is a freelance journalist

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