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.