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Britain on verge of electing first Green MP

Bookies name Green Party leader Caroline Lucas as favourite for Brighton and Pavilion seat.

James Murray, BusinessGreen, 06 May 2010

Voters go to the polls across the country today with the overall result remaining on a knife edge, and the bookies indicating that Britain is on the verge of electing its first Green MP.

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has been campaigning hard in Brighton and Pavilion and while there is no recent polling data available, the bookies have her as 8-11 favourite to take the seat.

Speaking earlier today, Lucas said she was delighted with the conclusion of Betfair, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill, all of which named the Greens as favourites to take the Brighton Pavilion seat. She also noted that the most recent YouGov and ICM polls had similarly put the Greens ahead.

Lucas urged voters to not just back the Party in its target seats of Brighton and Pavilion, Norwich South and Lewisham and Deptford. “Vote Green wherever you can, because every Green vote adds weight to the powerful message we’re sending to the three biggest parties,” she said.

She added that if the Greens are successful in their target seats, they will be able to play a crucial role in driving the low-carbon economy up the political agenda. “A small number of elected Greens can exercise an influence far more powerful than their numbers might suggest,” she said.

However, the race for Brighton Pavilion remains extremely tight, with commentators noting that a strong Lib Dem or Labour performance could yet split the vote and allow Conservative candidate Charlotte Vere to take the seat.

A Green victory would be the biggest indication yet of the surprisingly visible role environmental issues have played in what has proven to be the closest election campaign in a generation.

While many green businesses and environmentalists may have been disappointed that environmental policies did not dominate the agenda, they have arguably had a more prominent role than in any previous election.

During the leaders debates, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg were each required to defend their climate change and low-carbon policies, and they clashed over proposed level of support for renewable energy and green jobs.

The Parties’ energy and climate change spokesmen also held a series of hustings events in which each Party sought to tout their low-carbon policies, while the Lib Dems chose to make their green pledges a central part of their surprisingly successful campaign.

With none of this morning’s opinion polls suggesting that one party will secure a decisive victory, speculation continues to centre on the likelihood of a Conservative minority government or the prospects of a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition that could keep David Cameron from Number 10.

05/19/2010 – 11:19


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