4 May 2012
Local Greens were pleased at good progress in the local elections in Weymouth and Portland, polling 14% of the vote in the wards in which they stood.
In Melcombe Regis, Lib Dems, Labour and the Conservatives all saw their share of the vote decline, the Lib Dems drastically so, losing the seat to their national coalition partners, the Conservatives. The Greens received a solid 19% for their candidate, local GP, Jon Orrell. He just pipped Labour's candidate, pushing Labour back into fourth place in Melcombe Regis.
In Weymouth West it was the turn of the Lib Dems to get beaten by the Greens, with Brian Heatley receiving 13% of the vote, the Lib Dems down to just 5%.
In Westham East, Jane Burnet did even better with a very creditable 15% in a ward that the Greens had never before contested. Also of note, the turnout in Westham East increased by 5% over the last local election here in 2008. This was the only significant increase in turnout against a backdrop of falling turnouts across almost all wards, vindicating the Greens' efforts in Westham East.
Finally, in Weymouth East, David Smith received 11% of the vote, up from the 4% the Greens received the last time they contested Weymouth East in 2007.
Nationally, the Greens upped their share of the vote from 8 to 9%, whilst locally in Weymouth, the Greens improved on this to 14% of the vote in the wards in which they stood.
All in all, it was a good night for progress.
Councillor Andrew Cooper, Chair Association of Green Councillors, said the national results showed the party was gaining wider appeal and that where Greens have got elected and stand on their record, voters like what they get and re-elect them.
"This is a party coming of age, which is showing that when it gets stuck into local issues like housing, it can actually make gains and then hold on to them despite the swings of the big three parties."
The results for the 4 wards the Greens stood in:
Melcombe Regis: Peter Farrell (Con) 431, Howard Legg (LD) 375, Jon Orrell (Green) 243, Stewart Pearson (Lab) 239.
Westham East: Jane Burnet (Green) 133, Mike Byatt (Lab) 307, Oz Kanji (LD) 248, Andrew Manville (Con) 209.
Weymouth East: John Birtwhistle (LD) 362, Michael Frost (Lab) 201, David Smith (Green) 109, Geoffrey Smith (Con) 322.
Weymouth West: Brian Heatley (Green) 180, Colin Huckle (Lab) 656, Nigel Reed (Con) 481, Richard Shrubb (LD) 75.
The full set of results can be seen here on the council website.