Greens 'aiming to make history' in East Anglia

Adrian Ramsay in front of party supportersImage source, Paul Moseley/BBC
Image caption,

Adrian Ramsay launched his party's eastern region election campaign in Diss, Norfolk

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The co-leader of the Greens insisted the party was "on a roll" as he launched its general election campaign in the East.

Adrian Ramsay gathered with candidates and other supporters in Diss, Norfolk, on Saturday.

"This election we aim to make history in the East, with our first ever Green MP in East Anglia," he said.

He said that Labour was "weak" in rural parts of East Anglia and that he was confident in his party's chances following a series of successful local election results.

Image source, Paul Moseley/BBC
Image caption,

Mr Ramsay has been co-leader of the Greens since 2021

Last year the Greens won control of Mid Suffolk District Council, taking 24 out of 34 seats.

That was the first time the party had become the largest group on a local authority.

Elsewhere in the East, the Greens are the largest party on the councils of Babergh, East Suffolk and East Hertfordshire, whilst they are the main opposition on Norwich City Council.

The newly created Waveney Valley constituency, which covers parts of Suffolk and Norfolk, including Diss, Harleston, Bungay and Halesworth, is one of the party’s target seats.

"The Green Party’s on a roll here in East Anglia," said Mr Ramsay, who is a candidate in the general election.

"We have made excellent gains in the last few sets of local elections.

"There are so many seats in the East of England where people are looking for a change from the Conservatives, but in rural East Anglia Labour are weak and people have the opportunity to vote Green to bring that change about.

"With more Greens in Parliament we can push the new government to be bolder, both on protecting the environment and restoring our public services."

The party won its first – and so far only – parliamentary seat in 2010, when Caroline Lucas took Brighton Pavilion.

It plans to stand candidates in every constituency in England and Wales, with 60 standing in the eastern region.

A full list of parliamentary candidates for all constituencies will be available on the BBC news website when nominations have closed.

Greens feeling very confident

Analysis - Andrew Sinclair, BBC East Political Editor

Despite a growing public awareness of the environment and global warming, the Greens have been stubbornly stuck in single figures in the opinion polls and have so far only managed to get one MP into the House of Commons.

But the party is going into this election feeling very confident, especially in the East.

Over the past 10 years it has strengthened its presence on the region’s local councils, particularly in Norfolk and Suffolk, giving it a large base of activists who can go and knock on doors and allowing it to portray itself in those places as the main alternative to the Conservatives.

And in its target seats, which include Waveney Valley, it has spent several years preparing for this election.

However, our first past the post voting system is a challenge, and there is a real danger they could get squeezed in the battle between Labour and the Conservatives.

But this election is probably the best chance the Greens have ever had of making an impact.

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