Are the Greens a major threat to our vote?
I think I will pose this question rather than aim to conclusively answer it but firstly let me state why I am posing the question. Exhibit A is the ICM poll for Norwich North which actually finds the Green’s only 1% behind us. Now, I appreciate that the Green’s actually have strong pockets of localised support so that will possibly reflect here, however, when we move onto exhibit b which is the total lack of decline in the support for ‘Others’ in all of the recent opinion polls.
This points to a potential opening for the Greens and surely where they establish themselves the vote they take will be largely ours. Exhibit C is this blog from Barrie Wood which is unfortunate and hopefully not indicative of a wider process. Now, I have long harboured a suspicion/impression that the ‘Green Road out of Recession’ has been a bit anonymous for some time. I am not saying it has been dropped but it just doesn’t seem to be anymore thematically central to what we are saying.
As has been widely noted; Nick Clegg didn’t drop Trident on principled or ‘green’ grounds but out of a purely pragmatic consideration of cost. This is a problem with how we present our policy at times; we seem very much like we do not have a coherent narrative because we rattle through ‘eye-catching’ and ‘flashy’ policy initiatives so quickly. Although people say they are getting bored of the ‘cuts v investment’ tussle the reality is that is beneficial for both parties as it is a big issue which clearly identifies them as distinct in the voters minds.We could be saying that we are in favour of green investment and for environmentally friendly cuts in wasteful areas of public investment but we clearly are not.
While we behave like a protest party we will always be vulnerable to a sudden surge to another protest party. So, I guess I have in a sense come to a cogent conclusion than I aimed for; if Nick Clegg is serious about us replacing Labour then he has to be weary because the Green’s are starting to pose a serious danger to the realisation of that goal.