Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Green Surge in the European Election Polls

Whilst canvassing for the Green Party in the run up to the European Elections, I and other members have reported a very positive feel from the voters. This seems to now have gone into overdrive with the revelations in The Daily Telegragh about MP’s expense claims, which MP’s tried to suppress. The voters I have spoken to over the past week or so, have been pretty animated about the issue and many are saying that they will vote Green to register their disgust with the Westminster parties.

Who can blame them? MP’s have demonstrated their complete contempt for the public with these outrageous claims for non existent mortgages, swimming pools, moat cleaning and the rest. The belated remorse and the promise to pay back the most extravagant of the claims seems not to have impressed the electors either. One man put it like this, ‘if I stole a car and then returned it to the owner, I would still be charged with theft.’

All of this is now feeding through to the opinion polls for the European Parliament elections on 4th June. Polls appearing in the Sunday newspapers show a surge in support for UKIP, The Green Party and to a lesser extent the BNP.

It could be that people are reluctant to tell pollsters that they will vote for the BNP, so these polls may be understating support for the far right party, we will see.

The idea that UKIP will benefit is somewhat perplexing. They are the traditional vehicle for protest votes at European elections, but in this case they are a very strange home for voters protesting about dodgy expense claims. Two of their MEP’s have been thrown out of the party over dodgy dealings during the last Parliament, and often they have no intention of being hard working MEP’s, signalling their contempt for the EU generally, whilst turning up in Brussels every now again just to qualify for their payments.

The two sitting Green MEP’s, Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas, have worked tirelessly in the European Parliament for a diverse range of issues from scrapping the UK Working Time Directive opt out to making sure food is clearly labelled where it contains Genetically Modified foods.

A national opinion poll for ComRes/The Sunday Express at the weekend put Green Party support at 11%, almost double what is was in 2004 the last time Europe voted. Even better, the same poll put support within the south east of England at 16%, ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Other polls also show an increase in support for the Green Party.

If you want to vote for a party with an excellent reputation for integrity with policies to tackle unemployment, tax havens and disastrous climate change, think about voting Green.

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