Are the Greens a major threat to our vote?

Green PartyI 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.


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8 responses to “Are the Greens a major threat to our vote?”

  1. Jock says :

    I believe they are a threat, yes. Because “Liberalism” has become such a meaningless term that almost anyone, enviro-communist or eco-nazi, let alone much of what passes as the statist “left” can portray themselves as “cuddly liberals”. I am sure many people vote Green because they perceive some “Liberal ++”.

    We need to return to a definition of Liberal that this party, or at least its predecessors, really did represent, uniquely.


  2. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Although I think we might agree on the technicalities of how we would self-define I don’t in principle disagree with what your saying. I think this lack of narrative flow is in fact what relgates us to the status of perpetual protest party and as I said that will always make us vulnerable to challenges from the likes of the Greens.


  3. Nich Starling - Norfolk Blogger says :

    The Greens were expecting the poll to put them higher than 14%.


  4. darrellgoodliffe says :


    Let’s hope they dont because that would eclispse us….


  5. unchanged says :

    “Are the Greens a major threat to our vote?”

    I was wondering when you were going to wake up. I left the LibDems and joined the Greens a couple of years ago because the right wing of the PLDP decided to stage an undemocratic grab for power. This has resulted in a lurch to the right in policy and a renunciation of 130+ years in policy toward Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Just at the time when the LDs should have been appealing to old Labourites. People want principled politicians which is what the Green Party has. Your links on the right side show Con and Lab blogs but not green suggesting you are still mostly comatose.


  6. Jock says :

    My how I laugh at suggestions about the “right wing” and coups and so on. The youngest “old labourite” who would appreciate proper liberalism I suggest would be of the age of Philip Snowden!

    If the party is abandoned by those who have a “left-right” image of where parties should be and leaves those of us with both a “left” and a “right” understanding of free trade liberalism and small unobtrusive states can help everyone but the poorest more than most, just as those poor understood a hundred years ago before the soggy socialists conned them into believing a new worker-aristocracy in government would answer all their problems, we may get the chance to define ourselves in terms of liberalism, rather than in terms of relationship to perceived “left” and “right” others do things.

    I look forward to the day, though it may be a painful transition with many friends left along the way, sadly!


  7. Alix says :

    “Just at the time when the LDs should have been appealing to old Labourites.”

    What a weird idea. Why would liberals want to appeal to old Labourites? It continues to amaze me, this idea among the old guard that “liberal” can mean whatever it meant when they were teenagers, viz, a synonym for “left”. Rather than what it, you know, means.


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