Greens could beat Liberal Democrats next May, says new poll

Natalie Bennett

Thursday’s YouGov poll, for the The Sun, puts the Green party in fourth place, one point ahead of the Liberal Democrats.

The news will be welcomed by Green party activists and candidates across the country as it is another sign of the party’s growing presence on the political stage, particularly with the Green Party Of England and Wales reaching almost 28,000 members.

The YouGov poll puts the Greens on 7%, and the Lib Dems on 6%. The poll put UKIP in third place on 17%. The Conservatives came first with 32%, one point ahead of Labour on 31%. Whilst the Conservatives lead, it is down on their vote share in 2010.

But it’s not the fight for the top spot that’s the most interesting result, it’s the Greens in fourth place. They are beating a party that got almost one in four votes back in 2010.

The Greens are clearly gaining ground in UK politics and could well add to their one seat in the House Of Commons next May. And the fact that the Greens only got 1% of the vote at the last general election, shows just how the party has actually come.

According to the poll, the Green party’s main support comes from 18-24 year olds, with 17% intending to vote Green, compared to 14% in that age group planning to vote UKIP. 10% of 25-39 year olds intend to vote Green, 5% of 40-59 year olds, and 4% of 60+ year olds, showing a clear age effect.

However, the party’s main problem is Britain’s first past the post system, which favours the larger parties, but such a system works best under a two party system. It’s a two party electoral system for a party system with two parties, but the latter is no longer the case. The two systems are diverging and Britain has an electoral system that does not quite work, especially for the Greens.

The smaller parties, such as the Greens, UKIP and the SNP have seen large gains in recent years. The YouGov survey that puts the Greens on fourth place says that 30% of respondents intend to vote for a party that is not Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrats.

The Greens are part of a new multi-party political system. This polls suggests that is it is absurd that for them to be excluded from the 2015 television debates.

The party will surely increase their share of the vote next May and perhaps gain a few more MPs, creating one of the most diverse parliaments seen in forever. And come 2020, they will be well placed to make a much bigger breakthrough.

The full results of Thursday’s YouGov/Sun poll can be found here: