House of Lords result: Green Party picks its candidates

Remarkably, I beat one of the panel’s chosen ‘top 5’ on 1st preferences. An unprecedented achievement in Green Party Lords candidate-selection contests.

Irritatingly, I then apparently slipped narrowly below him on transfers… Boo to AV. Bring back FPTP! 😉 [Just joking, obviously — if one lives by AV, then sometimes one will suffer from it, too… That’s democracy.]

Thanks so much to all those who supported me, and congratulations to my fellow 6 ‘selected’ candidates. If the Coalition stick to their word (Don’t hold your breath! (Would you buy a 2nd-hand car from Nick Clegg?)), we 7 will become Lords…:Here’s the relevant passage from the Coalition agreement:

“We will establish a committee to bring
forward proposals for a wholly or mainly
elected upper-chamber on the basis of
proportional representation. The committee
will come forward with a draft motion by
December 2010 [Note: Obviously the timetable has slipped].
It is likely that this will advocate single long terms of office. It is
also likely that there will be a grandfathering
system for current Peers. In the interim,
Lords appointments will be made with the
objective of creating a second chamber that
is reflective of the share of the vote secured
by the political parties in the last general election.”

(Page 27 of

In other words, the Coalition agreement COMMITTED the ConDems to giving (presumably) those Parties who won seats at the 2010 election a proportional number of seats in the Lords, up to the time when House of Lords reform occurs. THIS WOULD MEAN THAT THE GREEN PARTY SHOULD GET 7 SEATS.

[AT PRESENT, WE HAVE ZERO. Note: Given that, presumably, only Parties elected to the Commons will count, so there won’t be any Lords seats, on this basis, for UKIP nor for the BNP, etc.]

Here are the final results; Counted: 8/9 April 2011:

1. Jenny JONES
2. Emma DIXON
4. Shahrar ALI
6. Rupert READ
1st reserve: Jessica GOLDFINCH
2nd reserve: Rebecca JOHNSON
3rd reserve: Stuart JEFFERY

Here are the candidates’ 1st preferences:

Jenny JONES 692
Emma DIXON 439
Shahrar ALI 328
Rupert READ 202
Jessica GOLDFINCH 94
Rebecca JOHNSON 72
Larry SANDERS 50
David AHERNE 49
Stuart JEFFERY 46
Nic BEST 44
Hazel DAWE 31
Tony SLADE 27
Stephen PLOWDEN 19

Re-Open Nominations 27

Total Valid Vote 2,713

Yes: #AV IS a ‘moral crusade’

Great #Greenwordsworkshop -ish stuff here: Fantastic from our reframing point of view:


Alternative Vote backed by senior Church of England bishops

Supporters of electoral reform laud bishops’ intervention but NO campaign warns against turning referendum into ‘moral crusade’.

…Yes: It’s immoral to perpetuate a blatantly undemocratic system like FPTP.



Clarity begins at home: An open letter to Labour NO.

If AV is a good enough system with which to elect the Labour Leader (and Ed M. wouldn’t have become Lab Leader without it), isn’t it a good enough system with which to select our MPs? Here’s a real challenge for Labour NO supporters: Put your money where your mouth is, and if you are so against AV, then propose that future Lab Leadership elections take place by FPTP
And what a bad joke that would be, were it to happen, and were Labour members to have to decide whether (to take the example of the Leadership election we have just had) to ‘tactically vote’ or not. E.g. Diane Abbott supporters would have had to decide whether or not to abandon her and just vote straight for Ed, without being able to vote for who they really wanted, or whether to risk David winning…
I put it to you, everyone in Labour NO, that this thought experiment pretty thoroughly demolishes the case for a NO vote on May 5. It is clear that FPTP is a broken system, in multi-Party / multi-candidate contests. It really is quite hopeless, to try to defend it, outside of a 2-Party system context.
Clarity begins at home. If you are so clear in your own minds that AV is a bad system, you need to draw the logical conclusion: you need to get rid of it for your own internal elections. That I hear no-one proposing to do so speaks volumes to me: in your hearts, you know that AV is a better system than FPTP for a modern plural democracy.
So join us: There’s still time! Declare for a YES vote on May 5.

Winning the AV debate: A straw in the wind

Just debated John Flack, at a Sixth Form in Wymondham, who like me narrowly missed being elected to the Euro-Parl in 2009 (in his case, for the Tories). He is Regional Head of No2AV here in the East. Before the debate: 20 in favour of Yes, 40 against, 26 undecided. 🙁   After the debate, 44 in favour, 42 against. 🙂  A hopeful straw in the wind? If we get our arguments right, YES people, we can WIN. 

I suspect that crucial to my success was hammering away with the fact that ‘If you want Nick Griffin to wake up with a big smile on his face on May 6, then you need to vote NO’, and explaining clearly why the BNP were campaigning for a No vote. (Incredibly, Flack genuinely seemed unaware that the BNP were on the No side! As were most of those in the room, before I informe them.) But also crucial was being positive: calling for those in the room to lead the way for Britain to get a new voting system fit for the 21st century, for for a multi-party political system. One student nicely responded to Flack’s schtick about AV only being used by 3 countries by saying that if that kind of argument had been used in 1832 (and of course it was!) then the Great Reform Act would never have been passed into law… I argued passionately that AV was the next step forward toward a truer democracy…