1 May 2016
We all know the score when it comes to election time. Colleagues, friends and family might be sympathetic to the Green Party. But they worry about voting for us in case it lets the Tories in.
But there's good news. Next week's elections for London Mayor and the London Assembly use a much fairer voting system than the General Election. So there's no need to vote tactically. Here's why:
On the pink ballot paper, you indicate your first and second preference for London Mayor. If no candidate receives 50% of first preferences (and no candidate ever has in the four previous Mayoral elections – not even Boris!), the top two go through to a second round. Here second preferences come in to play. If your first preference has been eliminated, your vote gets transferred to your second preference (if, of course, your second preference is still in the race).
In the following hypothetical scenario, the Conservative candidate would not win in the first round.
First round votes:
Instead, Conservative and Labour would go through to a second round, and the second preferences of Green voters would ultimately decide who becomes Mayor.
Therefore, there is no need to vote tactically with your first preference. Vote Sian to show the depth of Green support, and use your second preference as a fallback to prevent the candidate you dislike the most from winning.
11 members of the London Assembly are elected through the 'London-wide list' under a proportional representation system. Each party that gets at least 5% of the vote is guaranteed at least one seat. It's simple - the more votes the party gets, the more seats it wins. Since 2000, there have always been at least two Green Party London Assembly members elected in this way.
If you've got friends who aren't regular Green voters, but are concerned about issues like air pollution, housing and transport infrastructure, encourage them to split their vote and Vote Green on Orange. This is the most effective way to push these issues up the City Hall agenda.
Sian Berry is also the Green Party's first list candidate, so if she doesn't win the Mayoral election, a strong Green vote will get her elected to the London Assembly.
A third ballot paper elects London Assembly members for 14 constituencies across London. In our case the constituency is Barnet & Camden, and our candidate is Stephen Taylor.
These constituencies are elected using old-fashioned first-past-the-post, which makes it harder for the Green Party to win seats. However, a strong showing will always help push important Green issues up the agenda.
It's a complicated election, but a fairer one. The message is clear. VOTE GREEN, AND GREENS GET ELECTED. If you'd like to help the campaign in polling week, CLICK HERE.