UK: Green Party stands aside for pro-European Union candidates

 

UK: Green Party stands aside for pro-European Union candidates

By
Steve James

31 May 2017

The centerpiece of the Green Party’s campaign for the June 8 general elections is its decision to stand aside for pro-European Union (EU) candidates from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and other parties.

The Green Party’s role as an instrument of the most pro-EU factions of the British ruling class could not be more exposed.

In 39 of 42 seats where local “progressive alliance” agreements have been reached, the Greens have stood aside for pro-EU candidates deemed most likely to win. However, the Greens’ gesture has been largely ignored by the parties it has sought to woo. The Liberal Democrats have stood down in just two seats to assist the Greens and Labour in none at all. Caroline Lucas, the party’s leader and its only MP, told the Financial Times that attempts to build a pro-EU, anti-Tory alliance have been “very disappointing.”

After contesting a record 573 seats in 2015, the Greens are standing candidates in 457 seats in England and Wales this time around. However, they anticipate winning just two of those at best. The party won over 1 million votes in 2015—up by more than 300 percent on their 2010 vote. This was the Greens’ high-water mark, as the party won support from those opposed to the Tory-lite pro-austerity program advanced by Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Much of the Greens’ support, especially among young people, has since been captured by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Indeed, large chunks of Labour’s election manifesto recycle policies previously advanced by the Greens, including the abolition of student tuition fees and renationalisation of the railways.

The Greens expect their vote to fall sharply. “Given that we have stood down in a number of…

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