The Green party has unveiled it’s manifesto - one much further to the left than Labour's - but will they gains in May?
The Greens have - relative to their 2010 performance of less than 1% of the popular vote - surged in support. A recent YouGov poll has put them on 6%, two points behind the Liberal Democrats, and were until very recently neck and neck with Nick Clegg’s party - and even ahead on some occasions - but as the election has drawn nearer their support has fallen, but they still remain well above what they achieved in 2010.
Even if they get three or four percent come May that will be a victory for them, and another sign that Britain’s party system is slowly changing.
But can succeed in May?
Their manifesto offers policies that will mobilise their base and woo voters thinking that Labour is not left-wing and radical enough. For example, the party aims to have 500,000 homes build by 2020, raise the minimum wage to £10 and hour by 2020 (Labour pledged to raise it to £8), renationalise rail and raise the top rate of income tax from 45p in the pound to 60p in the pound (Labour have pledged to raise it to 50p).
The Greens have become a national force. Natalie Bennett’s appearance in the seven-way debate was not spectacular but it did show the country that her party are a political force and that they have radical policies, especially when compared to Ed Miliband’s. This will likely help the party.
Furthermore, their surge in membership suggests that they are in for a surge of support at the ballot box. Combine that with relatively higher polling and the fact that they are standing in a record number of seats (571 according to the BBC) further indicates that they will improve on their previous performance.
Whether or not they will win seats in May is a different issue due to Britain’s electoral system which discriminates against the smaller parties. They will hope to hold onto their only seat (in Brighton) and hope to perhaps gain a few more.
But even if they fail in doing this a surge in votes that will show that the Greens are a real force within British politics.
So to answer the question: will the Greens get anywhere in May? Yes, yes they will.
Access the full Green manifesto here.