Despite failing to win a seat, the Green Party is now the third party in Exeter, achieving a higher proportion of the vote than either the Lib Dems or UKIP. The Party’s lead candidate in St David’s and former parliamentary candidate, Diana Moore, came fifth in the ward.
Diana said: “Of course I am disappointed we didn’t win a seat but this was none-the-less a positive result and I am very grateful to the 655 people who voted for me. I am also hugely grateful to the dedicated team of members and supporters who supported the campaign. It was a privilege to speak to hundreds of people across the ward. Although we do not yet have any councillors, Greens are influential in the city. The Tories, Labour and LibDems have all signed up to food waste collections and we are now seeing solar panels on council buildings and car parks – policies the Greens have been pushing for years. As we are now the third party in the city we will continue to hold the Council to account and bring further fresh ideas to tackle the city’s most pressing issues.”
Greens have said their vote was badly affected by the negative campaigning of their main rivals, Labour and LibDems. Diana said:
“We ran a very positive campaign based on increasing openness and transparency and creating a vision of how Exeter can become a fairer and greener city. It is clear many people in St David’s and across the city support this vision. Sensing the threat we posed, it is disappointing both Labour and LibDems resorted to negative messaging about how voting Green would let in another Party. Nevertheless, many voters are independently minded, wanting strong candidates who will put their interests first.”
Diana added: “I’d also like to pay tribute to Stella Brock who served the former St David’s ward for 16 years; her dedication was highly appreciated across the ward.”
Mark Shorto, chair of Exeter Greens said: “The negative campaigning is the politics of yesterday and it is clear that mainstream Parties are finding it difficult to accept a changing political landscape based on multiple parties rather than cosy old-style two-horse race politics. With her vast experience of working with communities and councils, Diana would make an excellent ward councillor. People realised this which is why she secured the highest split vote. It also shows people do not want to be told how they should vote. It is clear that with electoral reform many more people would vote for what they believe in rather than what they fear the least. If we had a truly fair proportional system for local elections we would have several councillors.”