Hackney Green Party slams ‘unfair’ voting system after failing to win a single seat – despite getting a sixth of all votes

PUBLISHED: 16:27 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 10 May 2018

Alastair Binnie-Lubbock. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

Alastair Binnie-Lubbock. Picture: Lucas Cumiskey

Lucas Cumiskey

The Green Party in Hackney has expressed concern about local democracy after both Labour and the Tories seized even more seats on the council than they had four years ago.

Alex Armitage. Picture: Emma BartholomewAlex Armitage. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

While the Conservatives won 11pc of the overall vote, the Greens won 17pc and yet have no councillors because of the first-past-the-post voting system. Labour has 52 seats and the Tories have five. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems lost all three of their seats and the Greens failed to win any either.

In Dalston, the first round of counting left Alex Armitage (Green) just one vote behind Labour’s Peter Snell. But a recount saw him lose by 21 votes after all. 
“It wasn’t quite as close as it first appeared, so I don’t feel so bad,” he told the Gazette afterwards.

“It was galling to lose by such a narrow margin but we have to keep the faith.”

He added: “Watching the count, it was clear to see so many people split their votes and chose candidates from different parties. People in Dalston are crying out for change, but this was not delivered by the voting system that we have.”

Alastair Binnie-Lubbock (right) looks on at the tense Hackney Downs count on Friday. He lost out on a seat by a few dozen votes. Picture: Ken MearsAlastair Binnie-Lubbock (right) looks on at the tense Hackney Downs count on Friday. He lost out on a seat by a few dozen votes. Picture: Ken Mears

The Greens had also hoped to pick up a seat in Hackney Downs where mayoral candidate Alastair Binnie-Lubbock was standing.

But the three Labour candidates there – Michael Desmond, Sem Moema and Anna-Joy Rickard – pipped him to the post, with Sem beating him by just 90 votes. In the mayoral election he came third behind Imtiyaz Lunat for the Tories.

Alastair said: “Hopefully, our strong performance will show Labour they shouldn’t take the electorate for granted. But Hackney is ready for some positive change and we’re ready to help deliver it.

“We are still the second party of Hackney and it’s a shame that the make-up of the council doesn’t reflect this.

The Hackney council elections taking place at the Britannia Leisure CentreThe Hackney council elections taking place at the Britannia Leisure Centre

“I feel that the relatively poor and right-wing opposition that the handful of Tory councillors will provide will not encourage Labour to be as dynamic and progressive as Green councillors would have.

“Our campaign reached communities we’ve never engaged with before and illustrated the benefits independent Green councillors could bring to Hackney.”

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