So near, yet so far (the continuing story of the UK Green party in Europe)

Oh well.

Despite the better press coverage, despite the 44% increase in the vote and despite details such as the party beating Labour into 5th place in the South West and polling the highest amount of the vote in areas such as Brighton and Norwich, the Green Party of England and Wales is still left with just 2 MEP to keep up the party's good work in the European Parliament.

It is a shame that we have lost out on at least one seat due to the fact that the number of MEP's this time round was cut from 78 to 72, meaning that the South West area now only has 6 MEP's instead of the 7 MEP's it had before the elections last week. I say it is a shame because if the number of MEP's for the South West had remained at 7 then the 7th MEP would have been the first Green party candidate for the South West, Ricky Knight.

It is a shame that the party missed out on a seat in the East of
England by (if my calculations are right) 1% or 15,945 votes.

It is also a shame that the party missed out on a seat in the North West by 0.4% or 4,961 votes (This is the seat in the North West that went to the BNP).

The news gets worse. If the votes for the European Parliament was taken as a whole nation instead of region by region the Green Party would have got 6 MEP's instead of 2 (as illustrated at the site

So what good news can be taken from this.

Well, as already mentioned, the party increased it's share of the vote by 44% from the 2004 election results. That's a big deal and something the party can build on in the run up to the next General Election which has to take place within the next 12 months.

The other big thing to take from these results is that the Green Party won the biggest share of the vote in Brighton and in Norwich, which puts the party in the best position it has ever been in to win seats in these area's in the General Election, and as we have seen, with the exemplary work of Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert, it only takes a few good people to make a positive and substantial difference.

The other positive thing to take from all this is the success the party had in the local elections.

In my own neck-of-the-woods in Gloucestershire, we now have a Green councilor on the county council and the Green party have added significantly to their numbers in areas such as Lancaster and Norwich and now have 123 councillors on 42 councils in England and Wales.

The party is making progress and needs to keep up the hard work. It is easy to look at the European elections and be downcast that the number of MEP's didn't increase this time round, but it will happen as long as the hard work continues.