The Mayoral and Assembly elections in 2016 offer an amazing opportunity for London Greens to build on the Green membership surge and make the most of the talents and experience of members new and old.
Our main priorities as a Party in this election should be to:
* maximise our presence on the London Assembly
* put a Green Mayor in City Hall and
* get local parties ready for the next local elections in 2018.
Currently we have just four councillors elected in London, despite having come third in the mayoral election in 2012. If we are going to change this, we have to get better at contesting elections effectively. This election is a chance to try things out and for our local parties to build on their enthusiasms and fine tune the basics of electioneering.
Since joining the Greens in 2009, I’ve stood as a target ward council candidate twice (2010 and 2014), a by election once (2011), on the Assembly list in 2012 and in the General Election in 2015. I’ve used each opportunity as a candidate to learn and grow the capacity of the Islington Green Party team. I’ve also been campaign manager in the Junction ward by election in 2013 where we came second in a ward we’d never worked in before.
I was proud to stand in Islington North in the General election, coming third with 10.2% of the vote against a long standing and popular MP. It was the sixteenth best result in the country and achieved without national party target status. We did this by organising and engaging new teams across multiple wards, building on local enthusiasm and delivering targeted communications to more voters than ever before.
My election to Islington Council in 2014, in a breakthrough ward, was by just eight votes. I know very well that every vote counts and that we have to earn the trust of voters across London. This means appealing to Londoners across our city with a positive vision that can include voters who have voted for other parties in the past. Habitual Labour, Lib Dem and Tory voters contributed to my eight vote margin. If we are going to get a Green mayor for London we need to inspire voters of all backgrounds and previous political persuasions that Green Party leadership can make London a better City.