Greens stand aside in Oldham East & Saddleworth

5 May 2017

Oldham and Saddleworth Green Party are not fielding a candidate in the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency. The Party believes that the current unfair voting system could deliver another Conservative victory with disastrous consequences for people in our country.

In recent decades both Conservative and Labour have achieved parliamentary majorities without even approaching a majority of votes cast. In 2015, the Conservatives won 37% of the votes cast - just 24% of people registered to vote – but an overall majority in Parliament. The Green Party campaigns for a system based on proportional representation.

Miranda Meadowcroft, who stood for the Green Party in Oldham East and Saddleworth in 2015, said
"The Green Party has consistently campaigned for fundamental reform to our voting system. The current 'first past the post' system means the winner takes all even where most people have voted against them and creates a Parliament where the views of millions are not represented. The upcoming election is set to reproduce a similar outcome with destructive results.

"Theresa May's government is committed to an extreme Brexit that could have disastrous results for our environment, our jobs and our rights. It is a government pursuing policies that are starving our NHS, schools and public services, increasing the housing crisis and child poverty and damaging the economy. "

For these reasons the Green Party has proposed a one-off electoral alliance with other opposition parties to help achieve electoral reform. Though neither the Labour nor Lib Dem leaderships have responded positively, in several areas, including London Ealing and Brighton, local parties are co-operating on order to prevent a Conservative landslide. To further these objectives Oldham and Sadddleworth Green Party has decided not to stand in the Oldham East constituency and is urging its supporters to vote for the sitting MP Debbie Abrahams.

Miranda Meadowcroft said 'We hope the Labour Party nationally, and our MP personally, commit to supporting democratic reform of our voting system. We also welcome the call by leading members and supporters of the Labour Party that Labour should stand aside in Brighton Pavilion and the Isle of Wight, where, as they write, the Green Party "is best-placed to defeat the Tories."(1) As Caroline Lucas has said Labour should recognise that "they have a responsibility to protect people in this country from the worst of harsh, cruel Tory policy". (2) Only by co-operating can we hope to do so. "

(1) politics/2017/apr/30/labour- should-step-down-for-the- greens-in-some-key-seats
(2) politics/2017/may/02/labour- block-on-tory-limiting- alliance-a-betrayal-says- lucas-green

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