EXCLUSIVE: Green voters with ‘decisive power’ in key seats urged to call for electoral reform

Campaigners call on Green Party voters in battleground seats to push progressive candidates to back PR

Make votes count

Green voters in key battleground seats have been called on to use their ‘decisive power’ this election to pressure the leading progressive candidates to back electoral reform.

Cross-party campaigners identified 13 Tory-held battlegrounds, known as ‘Green Kingmaker seats’, in the 2019 election where Green Party voters could have played a vital role in helping progressives win at the upcoming election. 

The left-wing pressure group Compass has predicted there will be more of these seats at the general election as some disillusioned Labour voters may switch to the the Greens over green policies or a perceived lack of radicalism, and the group has therefore urged these Green voters to leverage their power to tell progressive candidates to back proportionate representation (PR). 

Director of Compass Neal Lawson said Green voters should “recognise the decisive power they have” at the upcoming election and persuade Labour candidates to commit to changing the electoral system, and therefore make tactical voting a thing of the past. 

Cross-party campaigners have called for an end to First Past the Post, which reinforces England’s two-party system and can often force progressive voters to unite behind a candidate that is not their first choice.

In ‘Green Kingmaker seats’, Compass said Green voters could have made a decisive difference in beating the Tories at the last election, by backing the best-placed progressive candidate, as the number of votes cast for Green candidates was greater than the Tories’ margin of victory. 

Compass has argued that Green voters ‘shouldn’t give their votes away for free’, and should instead leverage their power to encourage the winning candidate to change the voting system. 

Neal Lawson said: “Green voters should recognise the decisive power they have and, at this crucial election juncture, use it to persuade Labour candidates to give them a cast-iron commitment to supporting proportional representation.

“That way voters will break free from the never-ending doom loop of First Past the Post, which artificially inflates the vote share of the two main parties and suppresses any possible alternative.”

At the local elections in May, the Green Party secured its highest number of elected councillors and became the largest party on a number of English councils including Hastings, Lewes and Stroud, which will be key target seats at the general election. 

The 13 Green Kingmakers seats in 2019 were identified as: Blyth Valle, Bolton North East, Bury North, Bury South, Carshalton And Wallington, Chipping Barnet, Gedling, Heywood And Middleton, High Peak, Kensington, North West Durham, Stoke-on-Trent Central and Stroud. 

Compass is launching a national Vote Swap site later this week as a tool to channel support to candidates who back PR. The group is pushing to get personal endorsements on PR from candidates before the general election, so that voters can be tactical voting will no longer be necessary.

(Image credit: Flickr / nuztorad)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward

Comments are closed.