Green gains mean Tameside target as Lib Dems hail campaign

THE CLOCK is ticking until Tameside has Green Party representatives in its council after its general election performance.

That is the view of Robert Hodgetts-Haley, who polled more than 2,700 votes in the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency.

And, almost inevitably, the proposed Godley Green Garden Village development was an issue.

Robert Hodgetts-Haley Green Party candidate

Nationally, the Green Party has four MPs after co-leader Carla Denyer unseated the shadow culture secretary, Thangam Debbonaire, in Bristol Central.

She was joined by the other co-leader, Adrian Ramsay, who took Waveney Valley on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, while Ellie Chowns took North Herefordshire and Sian Berry held on to Caroline Lucas’ seat of Brighton Central.

And Mr Hodgetts-Haley believes that showed how a new Tameside representative is possible.

“It won’t be long,” he said. “If you look at the statistics across the country, it’s a grassroots movement. There are bigger and bigger vote shares across the board.

“We’re making more gains and the more things you see Green councillors doing, the more people are voting for us.

“Godley Green was a very big issue. Seemingly, nobody wants it.

“No-one wants their green spaces being trampled on and houses that aren’t fitting for the community.

“At the end of the day, we need houses that is purpose built for their communities in places that aren’t going to disrupt eco systems.

“Once they get built on, they don’t get regreened.

“Now we can really stay on Labour’s coattails and say what we need, proportional representation.

“And locally I noticed more support, especially online including many messages from Labour supporters.

“But this win was not on Labour’s merits, it was because the Conservatives did so badly.”

Another big story was the resurgence of the Liberal Democrats, who now have more than 70 MPs.

Dominic Hardwick Liberal Democrat

And Dominic Hardwick, who polled 1,411 votes in Ashton-under-Lyne, believes that was a result of leader Sir Ed Davey’s campaign approach.

He told The Correspondent: “I was pleasantly surprised by the number of people who put their faith in me. Nobody was negative towards me, which was nice.

“But actually, there is a gain from people not being ice. It’s important to knock on every door to try and make sure they have their voice heard.

“Ed was relatable, He’s a real human, not some sort of political automaton and he was good at getting our message across.

“While he was seen to be having fun, there were also important messages carried.

“While he was falling into the water, he was talking about the sewage in our rivers and poor quality of our bathing waters.

“If he was a boring political robot, people just wouldn’t have listened to him.”

Six independent MPs, including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, will take their seat in the House of Commons.

Stalybridge and Hyde candidate Ian Owen had no such luck, losing his deposit after getting 1,214 votes.

But there are no regrets as he said: “I can take that. That is of little consequence to me.”


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