Encouraging results in local elections for Bridgend Green Party.

First of all a little context:
We did not exist as a discreet local party 18 months ago. We have no resources worthy of the name.
We have no army of members or supporters (yet) to call on to canvass and distribute leaflets for us.

In this context we can be very proud of achieving the following at the first attempt (*see below):

  • Kathy Lewis not only secured a commendable 15% of voters support in the strongly contested Bryntirion, Llaeston & Merthyr Mawr ward, but also has become our first Community Councillor on Laleston Community Council – with about 55% of voters support and fourth place out of 7 candidates, fighting for 5 seats.
  • Gareth Harris secured a fantastic 24% of the vote against the current mayor and Labour stalwart in Bettws.
  • Neil Rogers secured an excellent 19% of the vote in the Tory stronghold of St Brides Major (over the border in VoGCBC)
  • Laurie Brophy secured a highly commendable 15% of the voters support in Hendre – Pencoed.
  • Trish Evans managed about 8.5% in the very difficult and hotly contested Morfa (town centre) ward.
  • Every candidate surpassed the minimum goal of 5% of the votes in the County Council elections (needed to secure deposits back in bigger elections).
  • Gareth Harris and Delyth Miller pushed the Labour incumbents hard in the Garw Valley Community Council battle in Bettws and took nearly a third of the votes.
  • Andy Chyba pushed the high profile Plaid Cymru candidate into last place for Brackla Community Council and came within 90 votes of a seat with 500 votes (and was within 20 votes of second place in Coity).
  • The unsung hero has to be John Evans, who as our Election Agent has the appreciation of all of us for a job impeccably well done, but has also been recognised for his great work by the Elections Officers at the Council Offices – and still managed to pull out commendable results in Ynysawdre (County Council) and Morfa (Town Council).

There is, of course, plenty to ponder on and learn from, but overall, we can all hold up heads up high. The political scene in Bridgend now knows that we are here to stay and will look to hold them to account and continue to raise the awareness of the people of Bridgend that we are here to offer genuine alternatives to the stale diet of centre right politics offered by the more established parties.

The really bad news from these elections is largely two-fold:

Firstly, the abysmal turnout (unconfirmed – but predicted to be low 30s %) emphasises just how disengaged the general public is with our politics. There is very little trust or faith in politicians in general. This cannot be our fault in the Green Party, but it is our challenge to show that we really are a fresh and trustworthy alternative that are worthy of being elected.

Secondly, given the appalling mess that the economy and so many other policy areas (education, health, foreign policy, etc) are currently in, it was ripe for a swing to the left. We could reasonably have hoped that this would translate itself into big swings to the Greens and Plaid Cymru. After all, who still perceives the Labour Party as a left wing party? It seems that many people in Bridgend still have not caught up with the political realities of ‘New Labour’. And where is the logic in turning away from the coalition parties that are screwing up every attempt to tackle our problems, and turning back to the party that largely created the problems by, in turn, politically aligning themselves to the capitalists and social nihilists of their predecessors – Thatcher’s Tories superceded by Blair’s New Labour.

I repeat my sincere respect for the numerous socialists hanging on in there in the local Labour Party, but I cannot help but worry about the consequences of an influx of new generation New Labour people into the council chamber. In addition, the overwhelming majority now held by Labour in Bridgend is a recipe for complacency and inertia. But this is where we will endeavour to make a contribution – by scrutinising their actions and holding them to account wherever we can, and constructively encouraging and supporting them to do the right things when we can.

These elections mark the end of the beginning for Bridgend Green Party. We will now look to build on this and ensure that there we can provide a legacy that we can be proud to leave to the next generations, rather than the unsustainable mess we are living through right now. If the future is to be bright – it simply has to be Green!

Upwards and onwards.

Andy Chyba
Chair of Bridgend Green Party.

*All % figures subject to official ratification of the number of voting papers.

6 thoughts on “Encouraging results in local elections for Bridgend Green Party.

  1. Johnny Denis

    Fabulous Work and positive feedback. It can be so demoralising to put in the effort and get so little tangible results. you seem to have a bridgehead on a cpc and made a great presence elsewhere. Good luck Bridgend for the future.
    Johnny

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  2. Richard Lee

    Get real, you guys. Andu got a hammering – why suggest otherwise (apart from trhe fact he wrote this guff.)

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    1. swanseaandllanelligreenparty Post author

      Thank you Richard.
      I am guessing we did not get your vote; or perhaps you are a supporter who is disappointed we did not do better.
      Fair enough either way. Part of the political game is to put a positive spin on things, but nonetheless, for a bunch of people getting involved in politics for the first time – out of conviction and a desire to see a better future – I remain encouraged.
      We never kidded ourselves that we were likely to get anyone elected (so we one successful candidate was very encouraging), but success is relative. If only teams that thought they could win the FA cup entered it, there would be less than thirty entries (instead of nearly 800) and half of those would still be kidding themselves.
      We would welcome your ideas on how to work towards a better world, Richard. We are open minded and always keen to learn from people of greater insight and wisdom. Just so long as you are not suggesting sticking with the traditional big three parties – as if that is your response, then it is you that has to getv real, Richard.

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