More people than ever before voted Green in East Devon on Thursday 5th May. Sharon Pavey, Green Party candidate in Honiton St Michael’s, gained the best result for the Greens, polling 676 votes, and beating all candidates except the Conservatives.
Thursday’s poll represents a huge swing to the Green Party and shows that not only are voters disillusioned with the main parties, they are also showing their support for a credible local alternative. The result is all the more impressive as the East Devon Green Party was set up just 15 months ago, and it shows that the Green Party is now a force to be reckoned with in local politics.
The Green Party won votes in seven wards across East Devon. 676 people voted for Green candidate Miriam Brown in Budleigh Salterton. The Greens came third in Seaton with Emily McIvor beating Labour and UKIP candidates and many more people showed their support by voting for Green candidates in the Tale Vale, Honiton St Paul’s, Exmouth Town and Sidmouth Rural wards.
The Green Party polled more votes than any other party except the Conservatives in Honiton St Michael’s where all eyes were on the phenomenal fight between 38 year old Sharon Pavey (left) and the three Conservative candidates. Sharon has been a breath of fresh air, working hard on the doorsteps to meet as many people as possible in her ward. Commenting on the result, Sharon Pavey said:
“I would like to thank the 676 voters in Honiton St Michael’s for voting for me, a comparative newcomer to the local political scene. It has been an immensely rewarding experience to get to know the people of Honiton better, and they have inspired me to continue working on their behalf in the town. I am looking forward to joining the town council next week. We always knew it would be hard to beat the Conservatives; especially as Honiton is one of their safest areas.”
Sharon adds “I came second after the Conservatives, and, here in Honiton, we are living up to Caroline Lucas’s statement that we are now the opposition: the Party with a coherent set of policies quite different from the Conservatives. We are not happy with the cuts to public services, the efforts to dismantle our health service, sell off our forests and end access to higher education for all. People now realise that we are so much more than a Party that cares for the environment, we believe in equality and fairness and social justice.”
The Greens also polled strongly in Seaton, where Emily McIvor (left) gained an impressive 593 votes, despite this being the first time the Party has contested a local election in the town. Emily McIvor, Seaton candidate said:
“Seaton’s Green voters and campaigners have made their views clear: we expect more from Tesco and other developers, and will not sit by while Councils allow inappropriate development and cuts to vital services such as the recycling centre. Seaton is a wonderful place to live, and I look forward to working with all of those who care about the town, including our elected representatives, in seeking solutions to the many problems currently faced by the town.”
Green support in East Devon is growing steadily, and the Party is now preparing for the County Council elections in two years’ time. In the coming years, local Greens hope to mirror the level of support in areas like Brighton, where the Greens hold more Council seats than any other Party. Closer to home, there are Green Councillors in Totnes, Stroud, North Somerset, Torridge, Glastonbury, Wells, Yeovil and Dartington.
East Devon Green Party press officer Henry Gent (left) commented:
“The significant gains for us here, and across Britain, come hard on the heels of Green gains in Australia, Germany, and Canada. Across the globe the Green movement is gaining ground. Here in East Devon we are a small part of a great movement, and the best hope for the future of the world. We call on East Devon campaigners to join us and help build on our current success.”
Sharon Pavey 07740 973990
Emily McIvor 07812 354144