Psst… have you heard? Natalie Bennett won the leadership race

She’s been all over the news and telly and that but my favorite so far has been the Independent article and the Guardian editorial today. Wowzers!

Natalie Bennett will be giving her key note speech in Bristol on Friday – and I reckon it will be a corker!


For enthusiasts of numbers and elections here are today’s results with a little bit of breakdown.

First the raw votes (round one, two and three)

Bennett                       1,300                1,487                 1,757

Cranie                              902                   976                 1,204

Phoenix                          492                   585                          –

Bartolotti                        389                       –                           –

RON                                    28                     35                        62

Not transferable              –                      28                        88


Two comments.

First, turnout was up from two years ago (from 20% -ish to 25.1%) but not up a vast amount. I do wonder whether August elections are such a good idea…

Second, why would 28 people RON *everyone* when they had a broad range of candidates to choose from? I’d say these are people opposed to having a leader at all – which constitutes just a little less than 1% of those who voted.


Those numbers as percentages;

Bennett                            41.79%     47.80%     56.48%

Cranie                               28.99%     31.37%     38.70%

Phoenix                             15.81%     18.80%

Bartolotti                          12.50%

RON                                      0.90%       1.13%        1.99%

Not transferable                                 0.90%       2.83%


So around 4.8% of members (1 in 20) wanted neither Bennett nor Cranie the two top dogs.

Natalie’s vote on the first round was very high for a four way race on STV and gave her a convincing win on first preferences which would have been almost impossible to catch up to. As her campaign manager I had hoped that we could get 50% or more on the first round but were pushed all the way to the third round. However, Natalie did win the ost transfers on each round too so the dye was well and truly cast in the first round.

Pippa’s vote was much higher than I’d expected, and given that if Wales members turnout was about the same as everywhere else (ie around 150 voting in total) her vote was not simply a Welsh vote but much wider. My personal view is that as the only candidate that basically said she was pro-business, in a context of all the other candidates taking on multi-national capital in one form or another, she attracted the “right” Green vote, even though she herself does not describe herself as rightwing.

I personally think a stronger candidate with a good campaign manager could get the right/business friendly vote up to at least 25%.



Pippas transfers 


Bennett    48.07%

Cranie      19.02%

Phoenix    23.91%

RON            1.80%

Not transferable 7.20%


Natalie won almost half of Pippa’s transfers and Peter came in third, below Romayne on second preferences from those who voted Pippa 1.

I suspect, taken with the next table, we see a small group of voters who voted for all the women. It’s not possible to tell from these figures how large a group would only vote for a man.


Romayne’s  transfers

Bennett           46.15%

Cranie              38.97%

RON                    4.62%

Not transferable 10.26%


Again Natalie won most transfers almost half of them in fact, this time from the Green Left candidate – no doubt reflecting the fact that she was the most leftwing of the two front runners (as Derek Wall argues in the Guardian).

15% of Green Left voters felt only the Green Left was good enough to lead the party and the difference between the other candidates was irrelevant so either RONned or stopped voting.


Finally, well done to the Green Left’s Will Duckworth who won the deputy leader post in a very tight vote. I’m sure he’ll be an excellent asset to the party.


Derek Wall elected as International Coordinator

As you might expect all the uncontested posts went to the only candidate. The post of International Coordinator was the only one actually contested (due to one candidate).
The candidates were the hard working incumbent (John Street), a fiery and enthusiastic young pretender (Sebastian Power) and a high profile and veteran lefty (Derek Wall). Congratulations to Derek Wall for winning this hotly contested election.
The result of the International Co-ordinator election is as follows:
2945 ballot papers returned, of which 388 were spoilt (mostly blank), giving a total valid vote of 2557 and a quota of 1278.6
First preferences were:
1182 – Wall
872 – Power
477 – Street
26 – RON
No one achieves quota and so Street is eliminated and his votes are redistributed to give the following figures:
1375 – Wall
1068 – Power
70 – RON
44 – non transferable
Derek Wall is therefore elected as International Co-ordinator

Last bit of info

Assuming you’re poised, pen in hand, to vote and are intending to walk, cycle or skateboard down to hand deliver your vote (by tomorrow people!) there are a couple more links where you can find out about the candidates who would be leader. Surely this will determine your first, second, third and fourth preferences…

First, the most appallingly subbed article the Guardian could produce. Bad even for them, and spoiling possibly the only properly researched piece of journalism this leadership campaign has produced. I doubt the author will be happy with the result – but an interesting read none the less, when you can make head or tail of it.

Second, Green Ethnic Minorities has a questionnaire on making the Greens more diverse. You can read the leader’s answers at the links below;

You can read the deputies’ replies at the site.

Last minute voters – the time has come to make a choice

If you haven’t voted in the Green Party leadership and GPEx elections yet I commend your caution and restraint. Yes, these things are worth thinking about long and hard. However, the time has come to make a choice or abstain entirely.

Your ballot paper must arrive at HQ by Friday if it is to be counted, and it’s never best to leave these things to the day before. GPEx posts will be counted on the Saturday, leadership posts on Monday (seven days today).

While it is only the international coordinator post on the executive that is in doubt with three fine candidates, who’d all make excellent GPEx members, who we select for our leader will make a profound difference to the approach of the party for years to come. The more members who take part in that decision, in my view, the better.

More online hustings questions

The second tranche of “official” questions have come out. You can read the lot on the Green Party website at the following;

Round 1

Round 2

Better Nation has the third part of it’s questionnaire on Brighton council’s recent budget here.

James is drawing a line under it there rather than do the final two questions, quite possibly sensing the public’s patience for post after post on the England and Wales Green Party leadership elections may be trying the patience of his broad church of Scottish readers.

The Morning Star profiles Green leadership candidates

The left-wing newspaper the Morning Star has run a series of profiles on the four leadership candidates.

If you want a hard copy it’s actually in the paper tomorrow (Thursday), but is available online early.

Article on the BBC about the candidates

The BBC has a piece on the leadership candidates today.

Not sure what’s happened to the Guardian article, but the Morning Star should have theirs in tomorrow’s paper.

A few media hits for the leadership candidates

You may not have seen today’s New Statesman piece with profiles on all the leadership candidates – and a bonus picture of Derek Wall! What more could you ask for? Nothing.

Also there was a profile piece in The Independent which I’m hesitating to link to because I don’t think it’s a great ad for the Green Party – but you have to take the rough with the smooth I suppose.

On a happier note there’s also an interesting set of two interviews at Better Nation on where will our next million votes come from and how many seats should the party target in 2015.


Also a quick reminder – time is running out to vote so if you haven’t yet now might be the time to fill in that form and post it off.

The ballot paper was in your copy of Green World tucked in among all those lovely advertising inserts that, frankly, are the highlight of the magazine. Rescue it from the recycle bin now!

LBC leadership hustings

On Monday evening LBC hosted a special one hour hustings for the Green Party leadership candidates. You can still listen to it here.

We should make sure we have more of this in two years time because it was a really useful format in my view and the Green Party doesn’t often get an hour to itself on a high profile radio station.

One of the differences between this format and the internal hustings (apart from being more directly public and therefore forcing people to behave themselves!) was that the questions tended to focus on getting the candidates to justify the party’s position on various questions rather than drawing out the difference between candidates or talking about internal matters.

This meant that we got to see how the candidates would perform on the show if elected.

Now some questions were more useful than others but I certainly think having a non-Green (Iain Dale) host a hustings was incredibly helpful because it cut against the tendency in internal discussions to focus inwards or fall into easy jargon. At least it did that on the whole.

Obviously I don’t think this is the only style of hustings and communication we should have, but as part of the mix I’m definitely for much, much more.


NB: Look out for Thursday’s Guardian which will have a profile of the leadership candidates and an article on the race (I’m told).

Greens and Class and leadership

Following on from our very popular post on class last month it’s good to see York Green Party quizzing the candidates on their attitudes towards the party’s “class problem”. A really interesting read, although I don’t think there are any clear winners and losers here.

Thanks to Josiah Mortimer for organising this and to Spin Pitman for an interesting introduction.


“Fun Facts” Pop Quiz

Before clicking on the link here’s a bit of fun. Can you guess which one of the eight candidates is the only one…

  1. to have attended an Oxbridge University?
  2. to come out in favour of quotas for representation of working class people?
  3. to come out against comprehensive education?
  4. who lives next door to Syrian refugees?
  5. who thinks others might define them as in the underclass?
  6. whose Dad worked in a tractor factory?
  7. who said they attended a grammar school?
  8. who can’t eat raspberry jelly?

I’ll be impressed with anyone who gets all eight without cheating.