10 May 2005
On May 5th, the highest ever number of people in Essex supported the Green Party at the County elections and the Green's average share of the vote also rose. Under the first-past-the-post system, this resulted in no seats for the Greens, but had proportional representation been in place for the County Council elections, the Greens would have won at least 4 seats.
The Greens also finished ahead of UKIP in 3 of 5 parliamentary constituencies and 7 of 9 County divisions where they both stood.
In Eastern Region, the Greens celebrated their first ever County seats - in Norwich and Watford. In Oxford, the Greens gained 4 more County Councillors, making the national total 8 compared to just 2 before the elections.
In the General Election, Greens stood in over 200 seats nationally and despite the grossly unfair system of deposits, election broadcasts and payments to sitting MPs that benefit the major parties, the Green vote rose across the UK. The previous best result set in 2001 was easily beaten by Cllr. Keith Taylor in Brighton Pavillion who secured a 22% vote share, well over double the party's previous national best, putting him in a very good position to win the seat from Labour at the next General Election.
In Essex, Green stood in 5 constituencies and saw their vote share rise from an average of 2.3% in 2001 to 2.9% in 2005. Nationally, the average vote share where Greens stood was 3.4%, again, up on 2001.
At the County Council elections in Essex, the Greens stood a record 66 candidates in the 70 divisions, taking a total of 35,696 votes, well up on 2001. At just under 6% of votes cast, under a proportional representation system, at least 4 Greens would have been elected to the County Council.
Top individual result for the Greens was in Witham Northern division of Braintree District where Cllr. James Abbott beat both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats to finish third with 1376 votes (15.5%). The best district or borough performance was in Maldon District where the Greens averaged 7.7%.
For both the Labour "win" at the General Election and the Conservatives "blue wash" at the Essex County elections, the first-past-the-post system is increasingly causing distortions that deliver disproportionately large majorities of seats. This is due to the contribution of votes between 3 main parties and ever stronger 4th parties - which in Essex is the Greens.