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 2019 there will be elections for evrery councillor in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse and 1/3 of the counclllors in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire district councils. Then in 2020 there will be elections for 2 councillors in each of the new Oxford City wards.
We need candidates to start right now, preparing for the elections in 2019 and 2020. 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 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 a worse 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 need 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 or build a campaign team, including a campaign manager, and senior roles to manage volunteers, publicity, data and fundraising,
- work with your team to produce 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.
The Green Party has been making its mark in Oxford ever since the first Green councillor, Caroline Lucas, was elected back in 1993. Greens bring fresh ideas into the council chamber: there is no party whip that tells councillors how to vote, and Green councillors are free to speak up, champion causes, demand transparency and accountability, and expose wrong-doing. Greens are proud to help fully represent Oxford’s diverse, vibrant and caring communities.
In the elections to the city council on 3 May, the party is campaigning on the following key issues:
Ending the homelessness crisis
Oxford is the least affordable place to live in the country and this, combined with benefit cuts, has led to a 400% rise in the number of rough sleepers since 2012. Green councillors have campaigned against the closure of city centre homeless hostels, successfully overturned measures to criminalise rough sleeping, stopped the city council from threatening to fine homeless people £2,500, and forced a Labour councillor who branded homeless ‘a disgrace’ to apologise. The party is campaigning hard to increase the supply of social housing, push for fairer rents, improve services for the homeless, and oppose those economic policies which place further demands on Oxford’s housing supply. More information can be found here.
Tackling air pollution
It is estimated that about 80 early deaths are attributable to air pollution each year in Oxford. The Greens first suggested the idea of a zero emission zone to protect public health, and we will make sure that the council follows through with its proposals to implement one. We will also expand the proposed zone to include the most polluted streets in east Oxford and explore innovative ideas for low emission public transport and invest in making cycling safer. More information can be found here.
Protecting our environment
Greens have a long track record of action on climate change and environmental protection in Oxford. We have pushed for greener building standards to be enforced, greater investment in energy efficiency and local renewable energy, expanded doorstep recycling, improved street cleaning, and ensuring the council does not invest its funds in fossil fuel businesses.
Greens have opposed the council’s costly £4m plans to double the size of the Park and Ride site at Seacourt – which would entail building on the flood plan – and instead put the money into community facilities, measures to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, and better facilities for the homeless. More information can be found here.
As an international city, more than one in four Oxford residents was born outside of the UK. Green councillors helped ensure the city council committed to ‘Remain’ in advance of the Referendum, and commission a Council study that looked at the local impact of Brexit.
Oxford is particularly affected by the pro-Brexit polices being pursued by Tories and Labour, and we are already seeing the impact: a rising number of NHS vacancies, the threat of a ‘brain drain’ from our universities, and the loss of millions of pounds of EU grant funding to the city council and other Oxford organisations.
The Green Party is calling for a people’s vote on the terms of any Brexit deal, as we believe that the EU referendum of 2016 should be seen as the start of a democratic process, not the end of it. More information can be found here.
Saving our community facilities
Oxford City council are planning to sell-off several sites owned by the city: the East Oxford Games Hall off East Avenue, the building currently occupied by Film Oxford in Catherine Street, the Chinese Community Centre and a slice of the East Oxford Community Centre site, both on Princes Street.
Greens are challenging the council to think again about their sell-off plans and are campaigning to get the Council to retain the Chinese community Centre and East Oxford Community Centre land. To help meet the need for more affordable housing, we would seek to sell off a larger plot of vacant land on Cave Street instead. More information can be found here.
While these are the party’s key priorities in this election, the party also has a manifesto laying out the full range of policies.
Holding your council to account
There is one other aim that the Green Party has in the elections: to ensure that the council reflects the range of views in the city and doesn’t become a one-party state. Such is their current strength that after 3 May the Labour Party will continue to run Oxford City Council with a comfortably majority, whatever the result in many wards. However, it is not right that one party should hold nearly 75% of the seats when it achieved less than 50% of the votes in the last city elections in 2016. Oxford is a diverse and varied city, and the council chamber should reflect it. Electing more Greens will help give a better balance to the council and allow the city’s many voices to be better heard.
Voting Green also shows what values people hold. So, if you want to see our communities put first, vote Green. If you want to see public services in public hands, vote Green. If you want to see housing of a decent standard and at affordable cost, vote Green. If you want to oppose Brexit, vote Green. And if you want to ensure green voices are properly heard in the council chamber, then vote Green. Even just one more Green councillor can make a world of difference.
Let's make everyone in Oxfordshire aware of the Green Party. Let's put up posters everywhere where there are elections.
We have small A4 posters you can put in your window, bigger A3 posters for large windows or to put on a garden stake, and some large Green Party boards that can be seen from a distance.
Tick the types of poster you can display, then leave a comment saying how many you need.
Or if you just want one or two posters, print this PDF.Become a volunteer
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 have lived in Oxford for the last six years, and Littlemore for the last year and a half. I also work in the city, for a small charity offering rehabilitation services to prisoners. I have run and participated in many arts events in Oxford and write poetry and novels in my spare time. I joined the Green Party last year, as they were the only party representing the fairness and meaningful change I'd like to see.
I want to be councillor of Littlemore because I'm passionate about representing the people of Oxford and making sure their needs are met. I want to defend the most vulnerable members of our community and safeguard much needed services for Northfield Brook residents.
When elected I will present a solid left wing voice on council. I will oppose any austerity measures introduced, and particularly work to secure and maintain decent social housing, fight the closure of Oxford children's centres and defend the NHS from further cutbacks. I will champion green policies, and those that welcome migrants into Oxford.
At both the recent local and Euro elections the Greens polled second, behind Labour, across Oxford City clearly establishing themselves as the City's second party.