Britain’s first-ever Green MP elected

Historic win for Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion.

Caroline Lucas has just become the first-ever Green candidate to be elected to Westminster. Until now, Britain was the only country in Europe that had never had a Green MP.

The leader of the Green Party gained 31.3 per cent of the vote. It's a momentous step for the party long seen as the archetypal wasted vote, and a fitting conclusion to months of increasing momentum and lively campaigning. She won with a 9.4 per cent swing against Nancy Platts for Labour.

It's also a great step for progressive politics, in an election where the only fringe party that the national media have been concerned with has been the BNP. In their campaign, the Greens made a concerted effort to move away from solely environmental issues. Their manifesto endorses left-wing policies such as taxes on bankers' bonuses and retributive justice in prisons. Such proposals may be unfettered by the realities of power, but are appealing nonetheless.

Even though it is only one seat, it is worth remembering that, if things remain as they are, and we end up with a coalition or a minority administration, single MPs will have an important role to play.

That the Green Party managed to get elected under the first-past-the-post system could lend weight to any subsequent calls for electoral reform, as the argument that fringe parties are acting only out of self-interest will be slightly negated.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

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