Becoming an Oxfordshire Green Party General Election candidate: a brief guide
Candidates at UK General Elections receive a profile and opportunities bigger than at any other election in the UK. Becoming a General Election candidate for the Green Party in Oxfordshire will give you a unique chance to help and advance green politics in the county and beyond.
To be a candidate, you do not necessarily need any prior political experience although this obviously helps. However, as soon as candidates are selected, you can begin to use your position and status, long before any election date is set, to help champion green politics. You should be aware of how you can use the position to most effectively promote the party and what it stands for, and what you will need to do in order to make the most if it.
What will be expected of a candidate by the party
- You should be able to represent the party in public, particularly through public speaking
- You should be able to develop a relationship with the local media so that they know who you are and may seek you out for comment
- You should be able to proactively seek out opportunities to promote yourself, such as in the media, public meetings, and by contacting local organisations to speak to
- You should be familiar with current political issues and with party policy (in particular the main themes in the draft manifesto once it is drawn up)
- You should keep track of what the MP in your constituency is saying and doing so that you can respond or comment when appropriate
- You should be able to drive your campaign forward, and help get a team together to run it
What the party will do for the candidate
You will have the support of the party’s staff (the Local Party Manager and the Elections Coordinator) and its resources (such as the RISO printer and our website, canvassing and communications software). The national party (the Green Party of England & Wales) will also coordinate support and training for candidates through its regional field officer, and run a scheme to print each candidate’s main ‘Freepost’ election leaflet.
Oxfordshire Green Party will help fund your campaign through money it raises. The Elections Committee has overall strategic responsibility for elections, and will brief you on overall strategy and give advice and support on campaign goals and the campaign plan. The Elections Coordinator will help sort out meeting any legal requirements.
Being a good candidate inevitably involves some commitment to the role and a desire to make the most of the opportunity. The amount of time that you can spend on it is difficult to quantify, but activity and planning can begin as soon as you are chosen; it is not something that can be largely left until the election date is announced.
If interested, sign up on our candidates wanted page.
OGP Elections Committee
We need more Green councillors in Oxfordshire
Could you follow in the footsteps of our Green Party councillors in Oxford, and stand for election? You could improve the quality of our councils by representing the people and views that the governing parties ignore.
Or you could help organise events and campaigns in your ward. Could you get local people to come out and join the campaign?
In May 2020 there will be elections for 2 councillors in each of the new Oxford City wards, and 1/3 of the counclllors in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire district councils. Then in 2021 there will be elections to Oxfordshire County Council right across the county.
We need candidates to start right now, preparing for the elections in 2020 and 2021. Voters like to vote for people they have heard from over time, rather than those who just turn up in the last few weeks.
We will arrange meet a Green councillors sessions, where you can find out what Green city, town and parish councillors do and how they got elected.
What you need to do to stand as a candidate
Do you want to win, or just to stand? If you just want to give people in your area a chance to vote Green, rather than being forced to vote for another party, you just need to get your name on the ballot paper. On the other hand, if you want to help people as an elected councillor, you need to run a serious campaign as a candidate in a target seat.
There are places where we cannot win in the next election. It takes time to grow the Green Party in a ward until there are enough local supporters to run a campaign to win. In those areas we need a candidate to stand, while a ward organiser can run a few events and campaigns on local issues until the Green Party and the candidate are better known.
All you have to do as a non-target candidate is:
- Get nominated. You need to get 10 voters in your ward to sign a form saying they think you should be allowed to stand. They don't need to vote for you, or be Green supporters. They can be friends, family, or just neighbours.
- Supply a photograph suitable for the web site.
- Write a short election statement for the web site. A bit about yourself, and a bit about what you would do if elected.
If you are interested, sign up on the candidates wanted page.
There are a number of seats where we have won, or came close to winning in the past. If you don't know what a councillor does, take at look at this councillor role description.
Obviously, such a campaign needs more work than just getting nominated. Candidates are expected to take an active role in their election campaign, including:
- join a campaign team, including a campaign manager, and senior roles to manage volunteers, publicity, data and fundraising,
- work with your team to implement a campaign plan,
- talk to hundreds of voters on the doorstep and at other events,
- taking part in campaign team decisions, including campaign messages,
- respond to voters questions and concerns.
Candidates selected for target seats who commit to work hard enough to win will get support from the Oxfordshire Green Party, including guidance, opportunities for training and mentoring, technical support and funding.
We are committed to supporting people stand for election. If you have support needs to allow you to stand for election—from childcare to disability support needs—please discuss these with us soon so we can arrange support. Being in the Green Party means we are committed to work as a team, no one has to do anything alone, we will find a way to help in any aspect of campaigning and when people become Councillors.
David lives in East Oxford with his two daughters. He works as a water engineer for the employee-owned consultancy Mott MacDonald, focusing on the upgrade of large treatment plants in the UK, and helping bring clean water and sanitation to low-income urban areas in developing countries.
He was elected as a Green Party councillor in 2014, and became the leader of the Oxford City Green Group in 2017. During his time as a councillor he has focused on tackling low pay, homelessness, rough sleeping, food poverty, air quality, social inequality, and the viability of local businesses.
For several months in 2010 David found himself homeless. He was fortunate in finding a room in a hostel on Cowley Road. This experience formed the basis of David's tireless campaigning to fight for the rights and the dignity of the homeless.
David has the independence, drive and empathy to speak up for those without a voice, and the strength and experience to hold the city's ruling Labour Group to account. "With the Labour-run council dragging its feet on solving St Clement's shocking air pollution problems, and steamrolling through unpopular plans to sell off half the East Oxford Community Centre site, St Clement's needs Green Party representation now more than ever," he says.
His main priorities are:
“I would be honoured to be elected as your representative to serve St Clement’s
Everyone who wants to stand in a council target ward, must complete this questionnaire. If you just want to get your name on the ballot paper so that voters can vote for the Green Party in your ward (a non-target candidate) you do not need to complete this questionnaire.
There are 15 questions in all, the first of which you see below. They cover eligibility, your selection statement, how much time you can contribute and what help you need from the party.
If you have any difficulties completing the questionnaire, email the Oxfordshire Green Party Elections co-ordinator with the same information, and any questions you have.Take the survey
Cheryl Briggs, selected Green Party candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon.
As you may know, for the first time in over 30 years we’re not contesting the seat of Oxford West and Abingdon. However, we’ve not given up – far from it, we are contesting all the other parliamentary seats in Oxfordshire.
The Conservative Party looks set to return to government, aiming for a hard Brexit, cuts to schools and elderly care, and other policies that will hit ordinary people very hard.
We have the chance to defeat the Conservatives here. Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat candidate, is a progressive who can win back the seat that they held until 2010. For this reason I agreed to step aside, after consulting local members.
We are sorry not to give voters the chance to Vote Green this time. But the Green Party feels that on this occasion the best way to advance Green values is to ask that voters back Layla Moran to be their next MP.Send feedback
I’ve been living in Barton since 2015. I was disgusted when Labour and LibDem councillors on Oxfordshire County Council voted with the Tories for heavy cuts to social care, children’s centres, public transport and other vital local services.
The Green Party gives people across Oxfordshire a chance to vote against these vicious attacks on people’s livelihoods. We have a costed and affordable budget that will keep Oxfordshire running without austerity.
As well as standing for the County Council, I am also the Green Party candidate for a by-election to the City Council. The two councils have different responsibilities, but the same principles guide me in both cases.
To vote for me is to vote for:
- Decent, well-funded social care.
- Affordable, sustainable housing, with housebuilding linked to local services to reduce pressure on roads.
- Good comprehensive education for all – not grammar schools, private schools or academies.
- A pedestrian-friendly Oxford, with efficient and accessible public transport.
- The right of EU citizens – such as many staff in our local hospitals – to live and work in Britain.
As your councillor you can expect to see me around the area – in the street, in the shops, at the doctor’s surgery and in Barton chippy. I teach in various parts of Oxfordshire for the Workers’ Educational Association, while also working part-time for the Peace Pledge Union. I have been involved in grassroots campaigning since I was a teenager, over 20 years ago.
My political values were formed when I was growing up in the Midlands in the 1980s. Living in a council house as Thatcher attacked the working class, I saw the effects of inequality all around me. Now it’s even worse. Austerity is an outrage in one of the richest countries in the world. Much of the world's wealth is in the hands of a tiny number of people. The Tories pursue the interests of the super-rich at the expense of the rest of us. The Labour Party fails to stand up to them.
This is of course a local election, not a national one. But the same principles apply: we need to share resources, not leave them for the few at the top. Capitalism is not the only way. For too long, we’ve been following the wishes of the rich and powerful. I think it’s about time we stopped.Send feedback
I’ve lived in West Oxford for 25 years and am passionate about building stronger communities and tackling climate change. Here are some of the things I’ve been involved with locally
- Chair and member of West Oxford Community Association for 10 yrs.
- Whilst Chair of WOCA, I set up the first Zipcar, installed solar panels, and outsourced the café. These still provide regular income for the centre.
- Co-Founder of the charity, Low Carbon West Oxford in 2007 and the social enterprise, West Oxford Community Renewables in 2009.
- Director of Artweeks.
- Friend of West Oxford School for 10 years and organised the first Christmas Bazaar.
- Helped to organise Harley Road Street Party for the past 24 years.
- Set up Hogacre Common in 2010, leasing the land from Corpus Christi College for a jar of honey/annum.
- Founding member of West Oxford Panto Assoc. in 2010. Made scenery, props, directed.
10 things I will do when you elect me:
- Fight to improve Air Quality in Jericho/West Oxford
- Fight to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians
- Oppose new council policies that criminalise boaters, buskers and the homeless
- Oppose privatisation of NHS and public services
- Push for more affordable homes and fairer rents
- Protect community assets like Port Meadow for future generations
- Work to reduce Oxford’s Carbon Footprint
- Support Jericho Community Association in their plans for new canal-side development
- Support local small businesses
- Oppose academies
Robert Paynter is a father of two and a science researcher; he has been a Green Party member for over twenty years.
Fair is worth fighting for is key to the decisions that must be made to avoid exploitation of others. This applies at all scales: protecting rights of individuals or protecting the world from rampant resource use and damage, ultimately this is exploitation of future generations. For generations exploitation has been included in daily life as a matter of course — this can change.
Robert will bring these principles to the table when representing Chalgrove and Watlington. His primary interests are to support improvements in housing, transport and jobs.Send question