Jonathan Bartley (second-left) has blamed Labour's refusal to join an Alliance for the Conservative victory in the General Election

Dulwich and West Norwood election results: Green Party leader slams Labour

By Matt Verri
December 13 2019, 09.00

Jonathan Bartley has cited Labour’s refusal to join a Remain alliance as a major factor in the Conservative’s election triumph.

Mr. Bartley came second in the Dulwich and West Norwood vote, 51 votes ahead of the Conservative candidate Jane Lyons, with the Liberal Democrats having stood aside to boost his hopes in the constituency.

And Bartley, the co-leader of the Green Party, has criticised Labour failing to join similar alliances across the country, which he felt could have damaged Conservative hopes.

“Labour has to reflect on how it can work with other parties,” Mr Bartley said.

“Labour lost this election, that’s the fact, and they will keep lining up the next Conservative government unless they change.

“A Conservative majority will have dire consequences for this country over the next four and a half years, so it’s a very disappointing night for anyone in a progressive party.

“In 2017, we reached out to Labour and the Lib Dems and got nowhere, but we were thrilled to get somewhere this time.

“There is a progressive majority in this country, but Labour has to play its role.”

Despite the alliance between the Greens and the Lib Dems, both parties failed to make a significant impact on the election.

The Greens were unable to add to Caroline Lucas as their only MP, but Mr Bartley insisted his party’s election campaign was still a success.

“Zac Goldsmith has been unseated as part of our Unite to Remain movement, and that’s a massive win for us to be part of getting rid of a Conservative,” Mr Bartley added.

“The alliance with Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems was a one-off around a specific issue, and we’ve been showing leadership where other parties have failed to do so.

“What the country lacks more than anything is hope, and the Greens have provided it more than any other party in this election.”

But Bartley himself could have little impact in Dulwich, where Labour’s Helen Hayes held her seat with a majority of over 27,000, her third comprehensive election victory in the last four years.

That success was not mirrored across the country, but Ms. Hayes downplayed the suggestion her party should have stepped aside to aid other parties across the country.

“I said throughout the campaign that there were certain seats where it might have been appropriate to think tactically,” Ms Hayes said.

“But I don’t think that would have made the slightest different to the overall result.

“What we’re seeing in large areas of the country is so overwhelming that tactical voting would not have been the solution.”

And Ms. Hayes has admitted it is a long road back for the Labour Party after such a disappointing night.

“I had hoped and I had worked for a Labour government, and this is a devastating night for our communities,” Ms Hayes added.

“We have to figure out why we’ve lost that trust and confidence across the country, so it’s now a process of building the party back and that’s a complicated story.

“I now have to stay close to my constituency with my fresh mandate to represent them, and stand up for the community every single day in the face of whatever horrors Boris Johnson delivers to us.”

Related Articles