Wales Green Party


The Wales Green Party (Welsh: Plaid Werdd Cymru) is a semi-autonomous[14] political party within the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW). It covers Wales, and is the only regional party with semi-autonomous status within the GPEW.[14] The Wales Green Party puts up candidates for council, Senedd, and UK Parliament seats.

Wales Green Party

Plaid Werdd Cymru
LeaderAnthony Slaughter
Co-Deputy LeadersDuncan Rees
Lauren James
General SecretaryAnn Were
Founded1991;
30 years ago
 (1991) (Semi-autonomous)[1]
Preceded byGreen Party (UK)
HeadquartersThe Gate
Keppoch Street
Cardiff
CF24 5TR[2]
Youth wingWales Young Greens
LGBT wingWelsh Green Pride
Membership (2018)1,500[3]
IdeologyGreen politics[4]
Eco-socialism[5]
Progressivism[6]
Self-determination[7]
Pro-Europeanism[8][9]
Political positionLeft-wing[10][11]
European affiliationEuropean Green Party
International affiliationGlobal Greens
UK Parliament affiliationGreen Party of England and Wales (Semi-autonomous)
Cooperate with (but are independent from) the Scottish Green Party and Green Party in Northern Ireland
Colours  Green
House of Commons
(Welsh seats)
0 / 40
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
0 / 60
Principal councils
1 / 1,264
Community and town councils [12][13]
2 / 8,000
Website
wales.greenparty.org.uk

Organisation, leadership and representation


The Wales Green Party elects a Spokesperson and two Deputy Spokespeople every 2 years, as well as electing council members on an annual basis to make day to day decisions between AGMs. All elected roles in the Wales Green Party are voluntary. The current Leader of the Wales Green Party is Anthony Slaughter, with Duncan Rees and Lauren James as Deputy Leaders. Wales-wide decisions are taken by the Wales Green Party Council which is composed of the spokespeople, elected officers, and a representative from each local party.

Party Leader
Portrait Name First elected
Anthony Slaughter December 2018
Co-Deputy Leaders
Name First elected
Duncan Rees December 2018
Lauren James April 2020

The Wales Green Party is currently represented internally within the GPEW by Louise Davies and Kathryn Driscoll.[15] on the Green Party Regional Council (GPRC).

Since 2014, the Wales Green Party's Amelia Womack has served as GPEW Deputy Leader.

GPEW Deputy Leader
Portrait Name First elected
Amelia Womack September 2014

Leadership history

Pippa Bartolotti became Wales Green party leader in January 2012. She stood (unsuccessfully) for the leadership of the GPEW later that year.[16] After four years of leadership, Bartolotti decided against standing for a further term as leader in the 2015 Leadership election which was won by Alice Hooker-Stroud, while Hannah Pudner became deputy leader. Alice was then re-elected in 2016 along with Grenville Ham and a returning Pippa Bartolotti as deputy leaders.[17] Alice resigned in 2017 stating that her position had become "untenable" due to the voluntary nature of the role.[18] Alice was succeeded in early 2017 by Grenville Ham. Grenville defected to Plaid Cymru in late 2018 citing the party's vote to remain a part of the Green Party of England and Wales rather than to become an independent party (as the Scottish Green Party had previously done) as his reason. Like Alice, Grenville described his position as "untenable".[19] Mirka Virtanen was elected deputy leader in 2016 to begin in 2017, replacing Pippa Bartolotti, and Benjamin Smith was co-opted to the vacant deputy leader role in July 2017.[20]

Anthony Slaughter (former deputy leader) was named the current leader of the Wales Green Party in December 2018, beating Mirka Virtanen (deputy leader at the time) and Alex Harris in the leadership election. Duncan Rees was elected deputy leader. Mirka was co-opted back into the deputy leader role until December 2019. Lauren James was selected to replace her in April 2020.

Leadership history
No. Portrait Leader From To
1 Martyn Shrewsbury 2004 2006
2 Ann Were 2006 2008
3 Leila Kiersch 2008 2009
4 Jake Griffiths[21] 2009 2012
5 Pippa Bartolotti[22] 2012 2016
6 Alice Hooker-Stroud[23] 2016 2017
7 Grenville Ham[18] 2017 2018
8 Anthony Slaughter 2018 Incumbent

Membership

The Wales Green Party had around 1,500 Members, as at July 2018.[3] As at 31 December 2019, the Green Party in England and in Wales had a combined 49,013 Members (2018 - 38,707).[24]

History


Pre-1990

The Green Parties in the United Kingdom have their roots in the PEOPLE Party which was founded in 1972, which became the Ecology Party in 1975, and then the Green Party in 1985.[25]

In 1973, three Welsh Green candidates (P. Jones, W. Jones and V. Carney) won seats in the inaugural Welsh district council elections in the Gadlys and Town wards on Cynon Valley Borough Council. The party narrowly missed out on a fourth seat to the Labour Party.[26][dubious ]

Early years (1990s)

In 1990, the Scottish and Northern Irish branches left the UK Greens to form separate parties. The English and Welsh parties became the Green Party of England and Wales, with the Welsh branch being semi-autonomous.[14]

In 1991, Marcus Hughes and Brian Stringer were elected to represent the Bynea and Dafen wards on Llanelli Borough Council[27] In 1995, both then stood unsuccessfully as 'Independent Green' candidates, losing their seats to Labour on the new Carmarthenshire County Council. In 1993, the Party won a county council seat on Ynys Mon after a sitting councillor in the Aethwy ward had joined the Greens, but the Party did not defend this seat or stand any other candidates at the 1995 Isle of Anglesey County Council election two years later.[28]

At the 1992 general election, local Greens entered an electoral alliance with Plaid Cymru in the constituency of Ceredigion and Pembroke North. The alliance was successful with Cynog Dafis being returned in a surprise result as the MP, defeating the Liberal Democrat incumbent by over 3,000 votes.[29][30][31] The agreement broke down by 1995 following disagreement within the Welsh Green Party over endorsing another party's candidate, though Dafis would go on to serve in parliament as a Plaid Cymru member until 2000, and in the National Assembly of Wales from 1999 until 2003. Dafis later stated that he did not consider himself to be the "first Green MP".[32]

On 29 August 1997, the Wales Green Party issued a joint declaration with the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru, supporting the 'Yes for Wales' campaign and the establishment of a new National Assembly for Wales in the 1997 Welsh devolution referendum.[33]

Devolution (1999–present)

In the 1999 Welsh local elections, Klaus Armstrong-Braun became the first Green Party councillor to be elected to one of Wales' twenty two unitary councils, winning a seat on Flintshire County Council.[34]

In 2011, the Green Party campaigned in support of a yes vote in the 2011 Welsh devolution referendum[35]

In 2013, the Wales Green Party archive at the National Library was damaged in a fire with some historical material either destroyed or permanently damaged.[36]

In 2015, the Party agreed to support as many powers for Wales as possible, ‘up to and including independence’. In October 2020, party members voted that they would campaign to support Welsh independence if a referendum was called on the matter, with party leader Anthony Slaughter arguing that many green policies could not be implemented in Wales without further devolved powers or independence.[37]

In the 2017 Welsh local elections, the Wales Green Party had their first county councillor elected to Powys County Council, for the Llangors ward.[38]

In July 2018 the party held a vote on whether to split from the GPEW to form a separate organisation. Of those members who voted, 65% voted against the proposal, despite the leader Grenville Ham campaigning for independence.[39]

Policies


While associated mainly with environmentalist policies, the party has a history of support for communitarian economic policies, including well-funded, locally controlled public services within the confines of a steady-state economy, is supportive of proportional representation voting systems and takes a progressive approach to social policies, including a universal basic income and a four day working week.[40] It also supports the devolution of further powers to Wales as part of a long term vision which advocates Welsh independence.[41] In October 2020, the party announced that it would campaign for Welsh independence should a referendum be held.[42]

The party is strongly opposed to nuclear power, with an emphasis instead on expanding localised renewable energy projects. Other policies within Policies for a Sustainable Society in Wales include phasing out waste incineration, improving public transport and supporting new safestanding areas in Welsh sports stadiums.[41] The Green Party also support ending the role of the monarchy as an office of government and giving members of the royal family the same civil rights and tax obligations as other citizens.[43]

Wales Young Greens


Wales Young Greens is the youth and student branch of the Wales Green Party. Its current Co-chairs are Andrew Creak and Ramona Sharples.

Welsh Green Pride


Welsh Green Pride is the LGBTIQA+ Liberation group within the Wales Green Party which runs alongside but separate to the GPEW group LGBTIQA+ Greens. Its current Spokesperson is Ash Jones, and it has two deputy spokespeople Mike Whittall and Michael Cope. The group started a UK wide review of the discriminatory blood ban against men who have sex with men.

Electoral performance


Local elections

YearVotesShare of votesSeats wonSeats contested[44]Additional Information
1991[44]10,8041.2%
2 / 1,364
31Two councillors elected to Llanelli Borough Council (Bynea and Dafen wards). Last election to thirty seven district councils before 22 new unitary councils established.
19934,0780.6%
1 / 502
31Councillor elected to Gwynedd Council (Aethwy ward, Ynys Mon). Last election to eight county councils before 22 new unitary councils established.
199510,1611.1%
0 / 1,272
57First elections to 22 new councils under Local Government (Wales) Act 1994.
19998,3280.8%
1 / 1,270
31First seat elected to Flintshire County Council (Saltney Stonebridge ward).
200410,7991.2%
0 / 1,263
65
20086,5680.7%
0 / 1,270
37
201210,3101.2%
0 / 1,235
68Results include 21 out of 22 councils. No Green candidates stood for the 30 seats in the delayed 2013 Isle of Anglesey County Council election.
201712,4411.3%
1 / 1,271
79The party's highest number of votes in a Welsh local election. First seat won on Powys County Council (Llangors ward).
A Figures do not include community or town councils.

Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament

YearConstituency VotesShare of votesSeats contestedRegional VotesShare of votesSeats wonPositionOutcomeAdditional Information
19991,0020.1%1/4025,8583.6%
0 / 60
5thNo seatsFirst election to the Senedd Cymru - Welsh Parliament, initially known as the National Assembly for Wales. Only Green candidate was in the Ceredigion constituency.
2003N/AN/AN/A30,0283.5%
0 / 60
5thNo seats
2007N/AN/AN/A33,8033.5%
0 / 60
7thNo seatsThe party's highest number of regional votes in a Welsh general election.
20111,5140.2%1/4032,6493.4%
0 / 60
6thNo seatsOnly Green candidate was in the Ceredigion constituency.
201625,2022.5%36/4030,2113.0%
0 / 60
7thNo seatsThe party's highest number of constituency votes in a Welsh general election.

UK Parliament

YearVotesShare of votesSeats wonSeats contestedAdditional Information
19925,273
1 / 38
11Seats contested exclude joint Plaid Cymru - Green candidates. Three joint candidates are referenced on the UK Parliament website, whilst five (Ceredigion and Pembroke North, Islwyn, Monmouth, Newport West & Torfaen) are recorded on wikipedia.[31][45]
19971,7180.1%
0 / 40
4
20013,7530.3%
0 / 40
6
20057,1440.5%
0 / 40
11
20106,2930.4%
0 / 40
13
201538,3442.6%
0 / 40
34
20175,1280.3%
0 / 40
11
201915,8281.0%
0 / 40
18The Vale of Glamorgan seat was contested as part of the Remain Alliance.[46]

Police and Crime Commissioners

The party did not field candidates in the 2012 or 2016 police and crime commissioner elections in Wales.

European Parliament (1994–2019)

YearVotesShare of votesSeats wonAdditional Information
199419,4132.0%
0 / 5
First election contested by the Green Party of England and Wales. Result reversed gains from the 1989 election (11.1% and 99,546 votes).[47]
199916,1462.6%
0 / 5
200432,7613.6%
0 / 4
200938,1605.6%
0 / 4
201433,2754.5%
0 / 4
2019 52,660 6.3%
0 / 4
Last election before Wales left the European Union.

Election campaigns


Local elections

2022

The 2021 Welsh local elections were postponed until 2022 to avoid a clash with the 2021 Welsh Parliament election, with the future electoral cycle also changed from four to five years by the Welsh Government.[48] The Green Party were defending one council seat in Powys.

Senedd Cymru - Welsh Parliament

2016

In September 2015, Amelia Womack, Deputy Leader of GPEW, announced her intention to stand in the National Assembly elections for Wales Green Party. An ITV article titled "Green deputy leader wants to switch to Welsh politics" wrote of Newport-born Womack's intention to stand in the Welsh elections saying; "She's seeking the nomination for the Cardiff Central constituency and – more significantly – hoping to be top of the Wales Green Party's regional list for South Wales Central." Notably the article went on to say "Opinion polls have occasionally suggested that the Greens could gain a list seat in the Senedd".[49]

10 February 2016 Welsh Greens abandoned progressive alliance negotiations a few months before the Senedd elections.[50] The manifesto included plans to scrap the M4 relief road, build 12,000 new homes a year and provide free childcare to every child in Wales.[51]

Regional list

Region Number
of votes
Proportion
of votes
Change Candidates
Mid and West Wales8,2223.8% 0.3%Alice Hooker Stroud, Grenville Ham, Pippa Pemberton, Frances Bryant, Brian Dafydd Williams
North Wales4,7892.3%Duncan Rees, Martin Bennewith, Petra Haig, Gerry Wolff
South Wales Central7,9493.4% 1.8%Amelia Womack, Anthony Slaughter, Hannah Pudner, Chris von Ruhland
South Wales East4,8312.5% 0.2%Pippa Bartolotti, Ann Were, Chris Were, Katy Beddoe, Andrew Creak
South Wales West4,4202.6%Lisa Rapado, Charlotte Barlow, Laurence Brophy, Mike Whittall, Russell Kennedy, Thomas Muller

Constituencies

A DNS = Did not stand.

UK Parliament

2019

The Wales Green Party entered an electoral pact in eleven Welsh seats with Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats, as part of the Remain Alliance. As a result of this agreement, the party did not contest ten Welsh seats and instead supported pro-European Plaid Cymru or Liberal Democrat candidates. In the Vale of Glamorgan constituency, Anthony Slaughter stood for the Green Party as the Remain Alliance candidate but was not elected. The 2019 manifesto was titled If not now, when? and included various commitments, including taxing frequent flyers, creating more energy-efficient homes, decommissioning North Sea oil rigs and phasing out the UK’s coal industry.[52][53]

2017
2015

The Wales Green Party fielded their highest number of UK general election candidates and achieved their best UK election result in Wales.

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