Better election results ahead for the Green party? | Letters

Letters: Unlike Ukip, the Labour party or even the Tories, the Green party has a leadership that has its party behind it

Both John Curtice (Remain voters must now be Corbyn’s top priority, 25 February) and Jonathan Freedland (Copeland shows that Corbyn must go. But only Labour’s left can remove him, 25 February) suggest that Labour’s only hope is to champion the 48% – or, to put it more accurately, the 63% who did not vote to leave the EU. But Jeremy Corbyn has already blown that one with his tragically misguided three-line whip to crawl after the Tories in voting for article 50, even though most Labour voters backed Remain, as did most Greens and most Liberal Democrats.

Labour’s last hope of avoiding electoral oblivion is to champion proportional representation, as Martin Childs says (Letters, 25 February). No one can really say what motivated a slim majority of voters to go for leave, but the most convincing argument that covers all possible shades of opinion is that people did not feel listened to. This isn’t necessarily the same as feeling “left behind”. I am not one of the left behind, but as a Green voter I am hugely underrepresented in parliament and my issues and concerns are routinely dismissed and ignored. I am definitely not listened to. Proportional representation would give a proper voice to me and to everyone else in the country who feels let down or marginalised. In fact, had we had PR in place prior to the referendum, it is almost certain that far fewer people would have felt motivated to give the government and/or the elite a kicking.
Claire Lewis

• Reading John Curtice’s article confirms me in the belief that Labour’s electoral strategy appears to be “win Stoke and lose London”. In 2020 Labour remainers such as myself will have three unenviable options: either voting reluctantly for Labour, a party determined to ignore our views, despite us being in the majority among Labour voters; voting Green; or abstaining. Given Labour’s poor polling figures, it does seem a misguided strategy to alienate the majority of Labour voters.
Derrick Joad

• Re your editorial (Labour needs better answers to the questions voters are asking, 25 February), I would have expected better of the Guardian than to refer to “England’s four main parties (five if you count the Greens)”. The Green party is not the fifth party of British politics; it has been around since 1972, unlike Ukip, which only began in 1991 and which after Stoke and Copeland looks like it has had its day. Unlike Ukip, the Greens have an MP elected on a Green ticket rather than originally by defection from the Tories. Unlike the SNP or Plaid Cymru, the Greens cover the whole of the UK.

In the 2016 London elections the Greens were the third party, on first- and second-preference votes, ahead of both the Lib Dems and Ukip. A major factor behind Sarah Olney’s Richmond Park victory was that she benefited from the Green vote, following an agreement to do politics differently and work in partnership for that particular vote. And, as the Guardian itself reported in January 2015, Green party membership was growing faster than that of the Lib Dems or Ukip.

That growth has continued and, unlike Ukip, the Labour party or even the Tories, the Green party has a leadership that has its party behind it, with a coherent political vision, for a sustainable, fairer and greener society.
Catherine Shelley
Croydon and Sutton Green party

• After a byelection, all I need is the result now and the result at the last election. I am capable of doing the sums of who is doing better or worse. As a Green councillor I am particularly interested if the Green vote is going up or down. The Guardian on 25 February was no help.
Roger Stearn
Old Newton, Suffolk

• You used to give much more useful information in your byelection results: the votes cast and percentage for each candidate and the overall swing, plus the previous election figures for comparison. Why not revert to that approach rather than the fairly useless graphic which takes about the same amount of space while giving far less information.
Joseph Webber
Haywards Heath, West Sussex

• Copeland voters are most worried about jobs; their main employer is the nuclear industry. They could see it had no future when a Chinese company stopped negotiations for a local buyout. That deal would have been bad for our energy bill payers because we would have had no control over pricing such electricity, but it was the last hope of a government that will not commit another penny to Sellafield. Labour’s mistake was ignoring the job opportunities to replace that industry such as wind and tidal power, solar energy, heat extraction and better use of methane. Also the thousands of long-term jobs needed to decommission such plants. The nuclear industry is paid for by taxation, but all that public money is only going in one direction, preventing “green economic growth”. Private investment follows public money into industry. Present policy stops such progress.
Martin Gilbert
Ulverston, Cumbria

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