Monday, 27 April 2015
Lord Ashcroft has published an opinion poll for Bristol West.
The relevant figures are second up from the bottom, so it predicts Labour to get 38% of the vote, Greens are second on 25%, LibDems third on 20% and Tories 4th on 14%.
Superficially, and perhaps in fact, this is great news for Labour. They are well ahead in this seat. And yet.....there are some messages which as a Green, I think it only right and proper to suggest:
1. The Tories are 4th
While stopping short of saying the 'Tories can't win here', well, it is pretty much inconceivable.
The single biggest reason the Labour Party have for people to vote for them is they ain't the Tories, and you have to vote Labour to stop the Tories.
In Bristol West, it clearly isn't true.
To those people who say they will vote Labour because it stops the Tories, well, the Tories are stopped. This is NOT a reason not to vote Green. If you are diehard Labour or think they have the best policies, by all means vote for them. If you would consider voting Green, but want to stop the Tories first and foremost, we urge you to think again.
2. The LibDems are third
The LibDems are behind the Greens and a long way behind Labour. I like Stephen Williams as a person, but his time is up.
The LibDem vote has collapsed in recent council elections. It has now collapsed in the general election.
If there is to be a challenge to Labour, it will come from the challenger - and that is the Green Party.
We call on those thinking of voting Liberal Democrat to think again. If you want to see a challenge to Labour in Bristol West, vote for the nearest challenger - and that is the Green Party.
3. Vote for the status quo or vote for something other than the status quo
I have met the Labour candidate a couple of times, and have no problem with her as a person. However, she will just become another Labour MP, one of hundreds, and part of the Labour establishment.
Darren Hall, the Green candidate - if he came the second Green MP - and achieved a fraction of what Caroline Lucas has achieved - he will be a brilliant asset to Bristol, to the Green Party, to the planet and to those wanting achieve a socially just society.
So I urge voters in Bristol West to move beyond thinking of the statistically probable, but just this once, think of the possible ....