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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Greens ahead of the Lib Dems in Rochester & Strood

The Green Party is on track to beat the Liberal Democrats in the Rochester and Strood by-election, according to the latest polling. In Lord Ashcroft’s Poll, released yesterday, shows the Greens are polling in fourth (4%), two points ahead of the junior Coalition partners (2%). Only one in ten of those who voted Lib Dem at the last election told Ashcroft pollsters they would do so again next Thursday. 12% of 2010 Liberal Democrat voters naming a party said they would vote Green in the by-election.

On May 22 2014, the Greens comfortably outperformed the Lib Dems in the European parliament elections both in terms of total vote and MEPs returned. Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett, Co-Deputy Leaders Dr Shahrar Ali and Amelia Womack and MEP Keith Taylor have been on the campaign trail with Green candidate Clive Gregory in recent weeks.

Commenting Green leader Natalie Bennett said: "The Ashcroft poll is a strong result for the Green Party, showing us well ahead of the Lib Dems. This is a credit to the local candidate and team who are doing a great job getting out the Green Party message of a society that works for the common good. I also found when I visited Rochester and Strood that voters were really appreciating the fact that Clive Gregory and the Green Party nationally were speaking out against the dangerous, damaging, divisive rhetoric of Ukip on immigration, when other parties were either pandering to it or staying silent."

"The strong poll also reflects the continuation of the national green surge that sees membership of the party continuing growing at a tremendous rate and polling at record levels." Ms Bennett added.

Dr Ali, Co-Deputy Leader and the author of ‘Why Vote Green?’ said: "The people of Rochester and Strood deserve a better deal than that on offer from the other parties. Only the Greens will address the causes of a dysfunctional economic system that puts bankers ahead of local businesses. Only the Greens will put steps in place to protect the planet from the harms of unabated fossil fuel consumption. I am proud to be campaigning alongside Clive in this by-election and ask you to vote for our positive vision."

Commenting Amelia Womack, Co-Deputy Leader and member of the Young Greens’ programme said: "It's clear that people want change from the same old rhetoric of the main parties. But it's only the Greens who have fought for quality housing for all, only Greens who are pushing for a national living wage of £10 per hour and only Greens who will provide evidence based solutions to build a stronger and fairer society and environment. As a local campaigner, Clive is working to fight for the issues that affect residents of Rochester and Strood without blaming the most vulnerable in our society".

Looking beyond the by-election, the Green Party has – for the first time in a decade - polled ahead of the Lib Dems in General Election 2015 polls twice in recent weeks (With Ashcroft and YouGov). The Green Party’s average polling score ahead of the General Election with pollsters YouGov has risen by three percentage points in the last six months. Membership of the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) is also surging. Total GPEW membership has passed 25,000 (25,206) and is up 83% since the start of 2014.

Voting intention poll for Rochester and Strood by-election (changes from 2010 general election):

Conservative 32 -17.2
Labour 17 -11.5
Liberal Democrat 2 -14.3
UKIP 44 +44
Other 1 -0.5

Lord Ashcroft also polled the same people on how they will vote at the 2015 general election, changes also from the 2010 general election:

Conservative 36 -13.2
Labour 21 -7.5
Liberal Democrat 2 -14.3
UKIP 35 +35
Other 1 -0.5