Here are some of the questions that people ask us.
Q5: I usually vote Liberal Democrat, as I like the idea of a balanced, central policy, between left and right, but I am desperately worried about climate change and biodiversity; why should I vote Green in Somerton and Frome?
You should vote Green with both your heart and your head, because:
- The Conservatives are at their lowest ebb in the polls. They have selected a candidate from outside of the constituency and face vote splitting from both The Reform Party and UKIP. Their vote will crash. Reporters from the media are saying that they can’t find anyone who says that they will vote Conservative. There are few posters up. They may even finish third or fourth.
- Labour have surprisingly selected a candidate from outside of the constituency instead of the highly popular previous candidate, who has publicly resigned, openly criticising the party. They face a vote split with an Independent Socialist. Few people in the street are suggesting they will vote Labour. The party is prioritising its resources on other by-elections that will be held on the same day.
- The Liberal Democrat campaign has focussed on squeezing the Green vote, but voters are telling us they resent negative politics and neutrals are swinging to us. We hear of Conservative voters who see what we’re doing to protect them from dirty rivers and unnecessary quarry expansion, turning directly to the Green Party, rather than lending their vote to their old adversaries.
- Journalists are reporting that people are openly declaring for the Green Party in straw polls across the constituency, and they have noted the numbers of Green posters that they have seen. In Frome, but also in the rest of the county, there has been a huge swing towards the Greens in recent local elections, and that is continuing.
- A by-election in July is likely to attract a low turn-out, and this can be to our advantage. With 30- 40,000 electors, could mean a winner being declared with only 8,000 to 10,000 votes. If our core vote holds up, we could reach that figure.
- Tactical voting won’t change the government in a by-election.
The final big reason to support the Green Party is in laying a solid foundation for the next General election. We will no longer be in Somerton and Frome. The western side of the constituency will be amalgamated with the Glastonbury area, whilst Frome will be the central point of a new constituency with Radstock, Midsomer Norton and Bruton. Both new areas present a far stronger winning opportunity for the Green Party. Doing well now, with an increased vote, will enable us to campaign with confidence and credibility at the General Election next year.
A2: To support working people in Somerton and Frome, Martin would back local businesses, which are the backbone of our local economy, through business rates and VAT reform, supporting employee wellbeing, and the creation of Virtual High Streets – you can read more about these measures here: https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2021/12/06/small-business-saturday-2021/. Martin would also support other businesses of the right kind – sustainable, and those that properly support their workers – to base their offices in the constituency, and to recruit people locally. He would also push for a fair wage for key workers, and salaries that rise in line with inflation. Back to questions.
A3: The Green Party is passionate about social justice and the happiness and prosperity of people, not just the natural world. A Green vote upholds your basic principles as well as being a strong statement on climate change and biodiversity. Back to questions.
A4: If the world continues as it is now, and climate change continues to escalate, then not only will your grandchildren suffer ecological disaster, but also societal breakdown and economic collapse. Yet, behind the right leaders, we can avert catastrophe. The British people showed that they could beat seemingly insurmountable odds in two World Wars. Vote Green to start the fight against the defining challenge of this century . Back to questions.
A5: The Green Party does not stand for the block power of the Unions, but nor will it tolerate the cruelty of austerity. It is a genuinely new voice of hope in an increasingly stale and desperate political world. And only a Green vote is an unequivocal stand against climate change and loss of biodiversity. The other parties may “greenwash” their manifestoes, but experience shows that nature is swept aside as soon as they get power. Back to questions.
A6: We feel strongly that the only candidate that will truly address the issues facing our constituency is Martin. We don’t believe that people should have to vote tactically – especially not when doing so leaves no chance of them being represented by someone they believe in. Martin Dimery has twice beaten the Liberal democrats by over 30% in Frome in Somerset elections and is a very high profile candidate. We have four Green councillors on Somerset Council from 6 Frome seats. We know there is a huge affinity for Green policies in this constituency. We hope voters will vote with their heads and their hearts on 20th July. Back to questions.
A7: We’ll hold developers to account, making sure that genuinely low-cost and affordable homes are a part of any plans (and we’ll make sure that any plans for development are in the right place, not on green spaces that need protecting). We’ll push for more social homes across the constituency. We’ll also make sure the community infrastructure is in place for new housing. We’re concerned that as things stand developers are allowed to chase the biggest profits and ignore local needs. Too many villages and towns have seen large-scale developments take place without the community infrastructure expanded alongside, such as GP surgeries, bus services, cycling and walking networks and nurseries and schools. We’ll also campaign for an end to Right to Buy, which reduces the amount of social housing available locally. The Green Party has a Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price charter to beat the housing crisis and ensure green spaces are protected: you can read more at https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2023/04/05/greens-call-for-right-homes,-right-place,-right-price-charter-to-beat-housing-crisis-and-protect-green-spa.
Back to questions.
A8: Our view is that education must be fully inclusive. We know that access to SEND support has been a massive challenge for children and parents. Martin has been campaigning for this for some years; he personally intervened as a Somerset Councillor to try to prevent the redundancies of numerous SEND support staff in 2018 with some success. We believe government should be accountable for their failure to properly fund SEND provision, and local councils must listen to and include the experience of parents when determining the offer of support. Children deserve an education that they can thrive in. Back to questions.