Green Party

Over recent years, the politics of the UK has evolved to support the emergence of alternative UK political parties. The rise of smaller parties, such as the Green Party, has exerted greater political pressure and influence on the two major UK political parties (The Conservative Party and Labour Party) and therefore has had a significant impact on the UK political system. 

Get started Sign up for free
Green Party Green Party

Create learning materials about Green Party with our free learning app!

  • Instand access to millions of learning materials
  • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams and more
  • Everything you need to ace your exams
Create a free account

Millions of flashcards designed to help you ace your studies

Sign up for free

Convert documents into flashcards for free with AI!

Table of contents

    As the name suggests, the focus of the Green Party centres on the protection of our environment. Therefore, in the face of the ongoing climate crisis, the Green Party represents a topical political party in the UK's political landscape.

    With this in mind, join us as we explore the history of the Green Party, its policies and organisational structure.

    Green Party UK

    The Green Party of England and Wales is a left-wing environmentalist party based in London. They are known for their focus on environmental policies that will help protect and sustain the planet. In terms of economic policy, they are known to be left-wing, by supporting funding for public services; in terms of social policy, they are known to be progressive.

    The Party describes itself as 'a party of social and environmental justice'1.

    UK politics is known to be dominated by the Labour and Conservative parties, but there was an increase in 'third way' voters in 2019.2

    History of the Green Party UK

    Unlike other political parties the establishment of the Green Party happened quite recently. The Green Party was established in February 1972 in Coventry, Warwickshire as the PEOPLE party, this name was later changed to the Ecology Party in 1975 and finally in 1985 it was named the Green Party.

    Later in 1989, the Scottish branch split and became its own independent Scottish Green Party and after an independent Northern Ireland Green Party. In 1989, the Green Party won 2.3 million votes in the European Parliament election which made them gave them the third largest vote share, which was said to be due to the increasing environmental awareness in the south of England. However, due to the first-past-the-post voting system they were unable to obtain any seats.

    Although they did not win any seats, many used this achievement to try and push the party to become a bigger success. The group behind this push was known as 'Green 2000'. This group wanted to restructure the whole party, which led to the Party losing more than half of its members in the early 1990s and achieving disappointing results in the 1992 General Election. As a result, they focused on local elections and building alliances by endorsing other parties such as Plaid Cymru in Wales.

    In 1999, the first European Election took place under the proportional representation system, which led to them winning two seats. In addition, in the first London Assembly election in 2000, they won three seats and later in 2010 won their first seat in the House of Commons.

    Green Party Manifesto UK

    For the UK general election in 2019, the Green Party wrote a new manifesto.3

    The Green new deal for energy

    One of its most prominent and consistent policies relates to energy. Their main aim is to stop burning fossil fuels as soon as possible. They believe that the renewable energy already produced within the UK, such as wind energy, needs to be invested in so it can provide energy on a much larger scale while reducing the UK's reliance on non-sustainable energy.

    They want to increase support and incentive for energy produced via solar, geothermal and tidal means, as well as working with the Crown – which owns most of the UK's coastline – to open the coastline for offshore wind and marine energy.

    The Green new deal for transport

    The Green party recognises that most transport relies on fossil fuels, and this not only harms the environment but can also cause heavy financial burdens, with their main aim being to reduce the use of cars. The Green Party proposes to spend £2.5 billion on building cycleways and footpaths using sustainable materials, reducing the cost of public transport and running train lines on electricity.

    Green Party UK Policies

    In addition to these key manifesto pledges, it is important to explore the Green Party's position on a number of significant policy areas, such as foreign policy, economic policy, social policy and environmental policy.

    Green Party: Foreign Policy

    The Green Party campaigns for indigenous rights around the world and proposes that financial assistance should be given through grants instead of loans which will prevent an increase in debt. Green Party policies tend to focus on sustainability issues throughout the world.

    In relation to armed conflict, the Green Party opposed UK military intervention in Iraq, Libya and Yemen. The Green party argued that having external parties getting involved with domestic matters, especially using military forces, is unlikely to solve issues and instead they should be focusing on peaceful methods. In terms of weapons, the Green Party believes in having only what is necessary.

    During the 2015 General Election, where immigration policy was a salient political topic, Green Party candidates adopted the slogan ‘Standing Up For Immigrants’. Under this banner, the Green Party advocated for an increase in rights for asylum seekers, removing restrictions on foreign students and abolishing rules on family migration. These ideas were also in their 2019 manifesto, in which they advocated for reforms to the immigration system and the abolishment of immigration detention centres.

    Green Party: Economic Policy

    The Green Party advocate for an economic system ‘that works for all’. They want to increase the minimum wage so that it is a 'living wage', a four-day working week and a universal basic income, which would give all adults regardless of their employment status a set amount of money. In addition, the Green Party advocated for an increase in corporation tax so large companies do not become too powerful.

    Green Party: Social Policy

    The Green Party has a very progressive approach to social policy. They advocate for animal rights, drug policy reform, LGBTQ+ rights and an increase in civil liberties. The party has a division called the LGBTIQA+ Greens. The aim of this division is to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ rights and address issues individuals within the community are facing.

    In the 2015 and 2017 General Election, the Green Party manifesto included a pledge to train teachers on LGBTQ+ issues and in 2019, they advocated for improving mental and physical health care for the LGBTQ+ community.

    Green Party: Environmental Policy

    The Party aims to phase out fossil fuel-based energy and also close coal fired power stations as well. They want to remove the benefits given to nuclear power agencies and then phase out nuclear energy with the eventual aim of the UK becoming carbon neutral. It is important to note that this is the main and most important policy for the Green Party as it is an issue they have been advocating from the beginning.

    Green Party Leader UK

    Councillor Carla Denyer, Green Party, StudySmarterFig. 2 - Councillor Carla Denyer

    Unlike other UK political parties, from the start of the Green party, a group of 6 people called the Principal Speakers were elected annually to lead the party. It was not until 2008 that the party had a single leader like other political parties. The table below shows all the previous Green Party leaders since the creation of the post.

    Green Party Green Party leaders between 2008 and 2021 StudySmarterFig. 3 - Green Party Leaders 2008 - Present

    Current representatives of the Green Party

    Local Government (Councillors)

    Out of 19,698 seats, the party has 542 seats.

    Welsh Assembly (AMs)

    The party has 0 seats out of the 60 seats in the Welsh Assembly.

    Scottish Parliament (MSPs)

    Out of the 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament, the party has 0 seats.

    London Assembly (AMs)

    In total, the London Assembly has 25 seats and the party has 3 seats.

    House of Lords (Peers)

    The party has 1 seat out of the 783 seats in the House of Lords.

    House of Commons (MPs)

    With a minority of seats in the House of Commons, the party has 2 seats out of the 650 seats.

    Green Party - Key takeaways

    • The Green Party of England and Wales is a left-wing, environmentalist party based in London.
    • The Green Party was established in February 1972 in Coventry, Warwickshire as the PEOPLE party. This name was later changed to the Ecology Party in 1975 and finally in 1985 it was named the Green Party.
    • In 1989, the Scottish branch split and became its own independent Scottish Green Party and after an independent Northern Ireland Green Party.
    • Green 2000 was a group that wanted to restructure the whole party which led to the party losing more than half of its members in the early 1990s.
    • In terms of economic policy, they are known to be left-wing, by supporting funding to public services and in terms of social policy, they are known to be progressive.
    • From the creation of the party a group of 6 people called the Principal Speakers were elected annually to lead the party. It was not until 2008 the parts had a single leader like other political parties.

    References

    1. The Green Party, The Green Party's Core Values, 2013
    2. 2019 general election: Greens increase vote share by 60 per cent, Green World, 2019
    3. If not now when Manifesto 2019, The Green Party, 2019
    4. Fig. 2 - Councillor Carla Denyer (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Councillor_Carla_Denyer_(48591425037)_(cropped).jpg) by Bristol Green Party (https://www.flickr.com/people/140746060@N06) licensed by CC-BY-2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en)
    Frequently Asked Questions about Green Party

    Who are the Green Party

    The Green Party of England and Wales is a left-wing, environmentalist party based in London.

    Who is the leader of the Green Party?

    As of October 2021, Carla Denyer.

    Is the Green Party left-wing?

    Yes, they are regarded as a left-wing party. 

    What is the origin of the Green Party?

    The Green Party was established in February 1972 in Coventry, Warwickshire as the PEOPLE party, this name was later changed to the Ecology Party in 1975 and finally in 1985 it was named the Green Party.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    In which election did the Green Party have the third largest vote share?

    What was the first name of the Green Party?

    How many seats did the Green Party win in the first European Election?

    Next

    Discover learning materials with the free StudySmarter app

    Sign up for free
    1
    About StudySmarter

    StudySmarter is a globally recognized educational technology company, offering a holistic learning platform designed for students of all ages and educational levels. Our platform provides learning support for a wide range of subjects, including STEM, Social Sciences, and Languages and also helps students to successfully master various tests and exams worldwide, such as GCSE, A Level, SAT, ACT, Abitur, and more. We offer an extensive library of learning materials, including interactive flashcards, comprehensive textbook solutions, and detailed explanations. The cutting-edge technology and tools we provide help students create their own learning materials. StudySmarter’s content is not only expert-verified but also regularly updated to ensure accuracy and relevance.

    Learn more
    StudySmarter Editorial Team

    Team Politics Teachers

    • 9 minutes reading time
    • Checked by StudySmarter Editorial Team
    Save Explanation Save Explanation

    Study anywhere. Anytime.Across all devices.

    Sign-up for free

    Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.

    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App

    The first learning app that truly has everything you need to ace your exams in one place

    • Flashcards & Quizzes
    • AI Study Assistant
    • Study Planner
    • Mock-Exams
    • Smart Note-Taking
    Join over 22 million students in learning with our StudySmarter App
    Sign up with Email

    Get unlimited access with a free StudySmarter account.

    • Instant access to millions of learning materials.
    • Flashcards, notes, mock-exams, AI tools and more.
    • Everything you need to ace your exams.
    Second Popup Banner