Caroline Lucas becomes the first green MP in UK parliament

It's now confirmed! Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, will become the first green MP in the UK parliament after the general election this past Thursday. The people in the constituency of Brighton Pavillion voted in Lucas with around 1300 more votes than the currently sitting Labour MP. The Guardian reports:

"The Greens won a historic first Westminster seat early this morning as the party's leader, Caroline Lucas, overturned a 5,000-strong Labour majority to take the Brighton Pavilion constituency. After a nail-biting eight-hour count, Green activists cheered and yelled in delight as it was confirmed that Lucas, 49, had seen off Labour by about 1,300 votes. In a tight, three-way race the Conservatives were less than 3,000 votes further back."

After the result was declared Caroline Lucas thanked the voters, fellow Green Party members and supporters who have helped the Greens win this historic victory. But she also criticized the media and the voting system which she says is "fundamentally undemocratic":

"Thanks to the confidence that the voters of Brighton Pavilion have shown, Green principles and policies will now have a voice in Parliament. Policies such as responding to climate change with a million new ‘green’ jobs in low-carbon industries, fair pensions and care for older people, and stronger regulation of the banks will be heard in the House of Commons, " she said.

"They have shown that they are prepared to put their trust in the Greens, despite the overwhelming national media focus on the three largest parties and a voting system that is fundamentally undemocratic."

It's great to see that the green political winds still blows strong throughout Europe. For example, in Sweden general elections will be held this September. And the Swedish Greens have gone from being one of the smallest political parties to the third biggest party (out of seven different parties) and a real power in Swedish politics with record high voter support in pre-election polls. The European Greens co-Spokespersons Philippe Lamberts and Monica Frassoni said in a statement that:

“This is a truly remarkable breakthrough for the Green Party of England and Wales and we know that Greens all over Europe and indeed throughout the world are delighted by this result. We would like to send our warmest congratulations to Caroline Lucas and her whole team of activists and volunteers who have been working so tirelessly over the past weeks and months to get the Greens’ message of social justice, fairness and environmental sustainability across to voters."

Read more: George Monbiot says that the new "Green MP is welcome addition to British politics and reflects the transformation of the party". In an interview with the BBC, Caroline Lucas says that this "is the start of a new political force in Westminster". And the Guardian wonders what's next for Caroline Lucas and the Green party after election success?

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Simon Leufstedt
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