How Labour should respond to the ‘Green surge’ | Owen Jones

How Labour should respond to the ‘Green surge’ | Owen Jones
Renationalising the railways, a living wage and a referendum on PR are three policies that would take the wind out of Green sails

It is not a sudden panic about the threat of environmental catastrophe that has caused the Green party to swell in membership and hit up to 11% in the polls. It has everything to do with the failure of Labour to offer an inspiring alternative to five years of Tory austerity. According to IPSOS Mori, more than a quarter of Britons believe that Labour plans to “cut spending too much”. It just takes a few of those to defect and Labour is in trouble. The Greens offer a living wage, public ownership of rail, higher taxes for the rich, and other policies based on social justice that appeal to large swathes of the electorate.

There is one obvious counterattack Labour can make: vote Green, get a Tory government. Because of the absurdities of first past the post (FPTP), the Greens are unlikely to win any seat other than Brighton Pavilion, already held by the courageous and principled Caroline Lucas. According to Ladbrokes, the Green surge could deliver seats such as Brighton Kemptown, Hove, Stroud, Norwich North and Bristol North West to the Tories. Losers could include Labour leftwingers like Brighton Kemptown’s Nancy Platt, Norwich South’s Clive Lewis, and Lancaster’s Cat Smith.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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