EU elections: Greens gain votes in Camden with remain message
Sian Berry: We don't just want to stay in Europe - we want to remain and work together on climate change
27 May, 2019 — By Richard Osley
THE Green Party says it is confident it can build on new support registered at the European elections to expand in Camden after a share of disaffected Labour voters appeared to side with them.
Sian Berry, the Highgate councillor who is also the party’s national co-leader, said: “We have seen people support Remain parties over hard Brexit parties, and we’ve been part of that. We’ve had a great set of results. We don’t know what the Conservatives are going to do next and who their leader will be, but these elections have shown that there is support for remaining in Europe. We had people supporting us because we have been clear all along that we want to stay in Europe.”
She said: “It’s funny because we often get accused of being a one-issue party on the environment. Here we had parties do well on one issue, but we were not just a single issue campaign: We did not just say we want to remain and that’s it. We want to remain and make sure that Europe is working together on climate change, and actually if you look across Europe, in countries like Germany and France, the under-25s came out support us and we did incredibly well. So if you take away that Brexit debate element which hung over the election in our country, people across Europe supported the Greens – lots of young people.”
Cllr Berry, the party’s mayoral candidate at next year’s City Hall elections, acknowledged the Liberal Democrat surge meant Sir Vince Cable’s party had polled ahead of the Greens in her Highgate ward, but she said that new supporters would now have the “memory” of voting Green which would make it easier for the party at future elections.
She said: “The results showed us doing well in several wards. If there had been local elections on the same day, then we would definitely have had more Green councillors elected. These elections have also drawn more people to the party, which means we have more organisers who can help build on this. We have the London elections next year – and there was a poll a couple of weeks ago and I was on 16 percent from six percent. It’s going to be very interesting.”
As co-leader, she has been fronting much of the election response on television and radio overnight and today, and told the New Journal: “It’s great that we are now getting some of the media attention that we didn’t get during the campaign. We’ve managed to get MEPs elected without all of the press.”