On course for a Green MP...

The Green Party's Caroline Lucas responds to their performance in the 1 May local elections

Any election count is a rollercoaster ride, and this one has been no different. But as the final results come in, the Greens are five seats up, and have gained enough firsts and new records in Norwich to make Charles Clarke extremely nervous.

Norwich City Council is the first in the country to have a Green opposition, with parliamentary candidate Adrian Ramsay leading the second-biggest group on the council, two seats behind Labour. In the popular vote, Labour have fallen in Adrian’s target Norwich South constituency to third, with the Greens 2000 votes ahead. Greens are also leading in vote share across the whole city.

This is a very similar story to my own constituency of Brighton Pavilion. In each case, Labour votes have collapsed at the almost exactly the same rate as the Green vote has advanced, and since the last general election, we have overtaken Labour in both.

Interesting parallels can also be drawn between today's excellent result in Cambridge, where Margaret Wright has won the city's first ever Green councillor seat, and my council win back in 1993 when I became the first Green councillor in Oxford - and only the second Green county councillor to be elected in the UK. It would be great to think that the Cambridge win might spark a surge of voter interest in the party of the kind witnessed in Oxford in recent years, thus breaking the mould and moving towards greater Green representation.

Last night Labour lost out to the Tories in almost exactly the same way as they did in 2004, before going on to win the most boring general election in modern history. So far so inconclusive. But the real story for the sharp election-watcher is the clear indication that the Green Party is on course for its first gains at Westminster.

Caroline Lucas is the MP for Brighton Pavilion.

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Donald Trump vs Barack Obama: How the inauguration speeches compared

We compared the two presidents on trade, foreign affairs and climate change – so you (really, really) don't have to.

After watching Donald Trump's inaugural address, what better way to get rid of the last few dregs of hope than by comparing what he said with Barack Obama's address from 2009? 

Both thanked the previous President, with Trump calling the Obamas "magnificent", and pledged to reform Washington, but the comparison ended there. 

Here is what each of them said: 

On American jobs

Obama:

The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift.  And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.  We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.  We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.  And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

Trump:

For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.

Obama had a plan for growth. Trump just blames the rest of the world...

On global warming

Obama:

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

Trump:

On the Middle East:

Obama:

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. 

Trump:

We will re-enforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

On “greatness”

Obama:

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned.

Trump:

America will start winning again, winning like never before.

 

On trade

Obama:

This is the journey we continue today.  We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth.  Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began.  Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week, or last month, or last year.  Our capacity remains undiminished.  

Trump:

We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our product, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.

Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland