This year voter turnout was disappointingly low. Some blamed it on the rain but we need to look deeper for explanations about why so many people have lost faith in politics.
It is clear to me from travelling around the country and speaking to voters ahead of these elections that people are looking for an authentic, honest alternative to the big three parties.
Millions of people are feeling the impact of the coalition government's austerity policies. With unemployment rising, crucial services being cut and a growing gap between rich and poor, we need a dramatic change of course to put our economy on a stable footing for the future. But Labour doesn't have a credible alternative. Not only does Labour have a record of privatising public services and failing to properly regulate the financial sector but Ed Balls and Ed Miliband have made clear that Labour would not reverse this government's cuts to public services.
The Green Party offers a clear alternative. Nationally, Caroline Lucas has proposed legislation to clamp down on corporate tax avoidance and generate billions of pounds per year to help protect public services. She is also pressing the government to sign up to an EU-wide Robin Hood tax on currency speculation between the big banks. And the Green Party remains the only party arguing that spending billions of pounds on renewing Trident - a nuclear weapons system designed for the cold war - is an outrageous use of public money when social care services for the elderly and youth services are being cut around the country.
At regional and local level, the Green Party put forward practical policies that will help people on low incomes and create a healthy environment. In London, Mayoral Candidate Jenny Jones proposed policies to make housing more affordable, such as the refurbishment of a million homes (to reduce fuel bills) and action to give private tenants more security and more stable rents. London Green Party candidates also promoted the Living Wage and reduced fares on public transport. And Londoners responded positively to these practical policies, with the Green Party overtaking the Lib Dems to finish third in the elections for Mayor and the London Assembly.
Our key policies for local councils also included action on affordable housing and affordable public transport. Around the country Green councillors have a track record of proposing practical policies on home insulation, public transport, the Living Wage and protecting green spaces. And Green councillors also have a track record of being strong advocates for their communities, working hard all year round and engaging residents in local decision-making.
Where Green parties make the breakthrough at local level, they nearly always hold their seats and then gain ground at subsequent elections. Where people see Green councillors in action, they like it and want more. And this year was no exception.
We successfully defended nearly all our seats that were up for election this year, many with increased majorities. In several areas, including my home city of Norwich, Labour mounted aggressive attacks against us. They believed that the national swing from the government parties to Labour would enable them to win seats from the Green Party - but voters chose to continue having active Green Councillors representing their area. We also gained new seats in Reading, Reigate and Kirklees and made strong advances in the West Midlands, with two defences and a gain in Solihull and breakthroughs onto Worcester, Nuneaton and Dudley councils for the first time.
The Green Party made some important advances at these elections. Our priority now is to show voters in more parts of the country the distinctive approach that elected Greens offer.
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