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“Unite to remain” opportunities represent a game-changing solution to the stalemate created by the outdated British electoral system says Catherine Rowett

“Unite to remain” opportunities represent a game-changing solution to the stalemate created by the outdated British electoral system

Catherine Rowett, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Norwich South, has said that the arrangements announced between the Greens, Lib Democrats, and Plaid Cymru should be seen as an opportunity to change UK politics and help people to have their voices heard.

The three parties have come to an arrangement to ensure that in certain key seats the strong support for remaining in the EU can achieve its goal more effectively. In such seats, the one or two candidates will be standing aside, while encouraging voters to lend their votes to another party for this election alone. This will make seats that were once safe seats into marginal seats, and tip the balance in some marginal seats, to allow the pro-remain majority to be represented by a pro-remain MP instead of a Conservative or Labour MP.

In the East of England, the Green Party candidate will stand aside in North Norfolk, while the candidate who would have stood for the Liberal Democrats will stand aside in Bury St Edmunds.

Catherine Rowett said “Many voters have been frustrated for years by finding that their vote never has any effect. Many Green voters had their first ever success in May when they elected me as the first Green MEP for the East of England. That was under a proportional voting system. If we had a proportional system in the UK, the Green Party of England and Wales would have had up to 20 MPs after the 2015 General Election. One of the reasons why voters repeatedly retreat to parties that they do not really support, just to keep out a worse alternative, is because they rarely get a chance to elect an MP who represents their own ideas.

Setting aside our candidate in some constituency is not an ideal solution, but we consider it as a temporary sacrifice, to establish the possibility of a multi-party system. In the best of worlds, people would be allowed to choose from any party they like, and that is what we shall continue to offer in most seats across the country. Our ideology is fundamentally different from that of other parties, and it’s quite wrong to think that any remain party is the same as any other. We’d prefer to offer everyone the option of a genuine green vote, especially at this time when the climate emergency so urgently needs attention and when our countryside is under threat from overdevelopment, road building, soil degradation, incinerators and pollution in the rivers. Nonetheless it is better to have some Greens elected than none, so we have identified particular seats where there is the potential to secure for our voters a vastly improved representation in parliament. Caroline Lucas has been our sole voice for years in Westminster, but we get so many votes across the country that we deserve more like her in Westminster, not just in Brussels.

This is our chance to alter the configuration of the next government and not just alternate between two almost equally unpopular traditional parties.”


Notes to editors

Catherine Rowett was elected as the first ever Green Party MEP for the East of England in May 2019.

Twitter: @catherinerowett

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Press officer:

Daniel Laycock: -  07824 017741 / 01480 353340