View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
21 January 2015updated 05 Oct 2023 8:20am

The Green Party continues to surge in popularity, as shown by three polls

It's bad news for Labour, as three separate pollsters show a split in left-wing voting intentions.

By Anoosh Chakelian

Time for the Greens to whack the celebratory curly kale on the hob, as they storm ahead in three separate polls.

– An ICM poll for the Guardian yesterday found Natalie Bennett’s party to be on 9 per cent, the highest in two decades from that particular pollster.

– Confirming the “Green Surge” by lifting the party into double figures, Lord Ashcroft’s latest polling earlier this week put the Greens on 11 per cent.

– A YouGov poll for the Sun out this morning gives them its highest rating ever from that pollster, 10 per cent.

Graph by Harry Lambert of May2015

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

What does this all mean?

Green shoots of success

It’s undoubtedly good news for Bennett’s party, which has been pushing the narrative of a “Green Surge” for a while, as its membership figures have rocketed. Although the momentum is unlikely to last simply because of three individual polls confirming a recent boost in popularity, it provides the Greens with yet further ammo to propel their case for being included in the televised leaders’ debates, and in general to be taken seriously as a political party.

Labour blues

The bigger story behind the Green rise is Labour’s poor show in recent polls. The Greens seem to be splitting the left-wing vote. In what the Sun labelled a “triply whammy” for Ed Miliband, Labour’s lead has fallen in all three of these recent polls, dropping to 30 per cent (two points behind the Tories) in the latest one.

Labour figures still appear to be formulating their response to the Green threat, which is likely to focus on dismissing its politics as an “upper middle-class lifestyle choice”, and they will have more to go on in terms of criticism with the Green manifesto now out there. However, with the Greens being the only party to fill the lefty protest vote role, it will be tough for Labour to counter its populist anti-austerity messages. “They have the luxury of not having to balance too many competing interests,” one shadow minister tells me of Labour’s concerns about tackling the Greens.

Green not-so-crap

The Tories will be particularly cheerful about the Greens’ success in the polls. David Cameron has made no secret in wishing to play up the Greens’ influence, in order to eat into Labour’s vote, by refusing to appear in TV debates unless Bennett is also invited to take part. The Conservatives’ pro-Green tactics, focusing on the party’s exclusion from the debates, and some Tory MPs suggesting left-wing voters in their constituencies vote Green instead of Labour, has clearly worked – at least in the short term.

All this from the PM who is said to have dismissed environment policy as “green crap” not so long ago. Will voters buy the Tories’ utter cynicism? And do the Greens appreciate their unlikely cheerleaders? The question is how long their Tory-induced joy is likely to endure.

Content from our partners
Inside the UK's enduring love for chocolate
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU