Copy of a letter to the Bristol Post: Ian Onions assessment (Post, 29 Dec 2015) of what the May 2016 election results are likely to be in Bristol is inaccurate. It does not accord with the facts from the 2015 elections and is not consistent with Bristol's recent electoral trends.
Take Bedminster ward for example. Ian Onions describes it as a safe Labour seat and predicts that two Labour councillors will be elected. Yet in 2015 Labour achieved just under 34% of the vote and the Greens achieved just over 30% - a very close second place. A swing to the Greens of under 2% is needed to win - therefore Bedminster is not a safe Labour seat and as the main challengers the Greens could win one or two of the seats. The Green result last year was not a flash in the pan but part of a consistent upward trend. In 2010 we achieved approx 10%, in 2011 it was 15%. By 2014 the vote had grown to 22% and our position changed from 4th to 2nd. In 2015 we went closer still with 30%. In addition Greens have won in the neighbouring wards of Southville and Windmill Hill.
Furthermore the article states that the new Central ward will also return two Labour councillors. There is a ward name change, from Cabot, plus some slight boundary change, but Ian's assertion is again not founded in the electoral facts. Cabot was Liberal for many years and then Green Councillor Group Leader Ani Stafford-Townsend won with 38.5%, with Labour significantly behind behind on 22%.
Nowhere does Ian's assessment describe the doubling in the number of Green councillors from 7 to 14 last year. Nowhere does his assessment describe the very large surge in membership of the Green Party during 2015. Nowhere does it say that increasing Green electoral success has been a clear and consistent trend. It's all to play for in the May 2016 mayoral and council elections in fact and Bristol's Greens are determined to continue the strong growth trend of recent years and make a difference for more and more people.
Glenn Vowles and Will Quick
Green Party Candidates for Bedminster
See the Bristol local election results data here.