Image from the Guardian
Congratulations Caroline Lucas! Leader of the Green Party in the UK for the last 2 years, she has won her seat in Brighton Pavilion and will be the first Green Party Member of Parliament ever elected in the UK. The Green Party already has representatives in the Scottish Parliament, Europe and a number of local councils
It's a thrilling moment for someone who has worked so hard and for so long to finally win, bringing success for herself and her party. She won her seat by 1,252 votes. In her winning speech she said: "I pledge that I will do my very best to do you proud, for once the word historic fits the bill."
Image from the Independent
All the results of the election are not in yet, but the Conservatives have 307 seats, Labour 261 and Liberal Democrats 54. While the Greens have supported Labour on many issues historically, she said that her platform will remain fairness, social justice and environmental protection.
Lucas has had a formidable career before this historic win. She joined the party in 1986, has been on local Oxfordshire council and has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999. Britain was the only major European country which has never had Greens in its national legislature. In her speech she said:
"Thanks to the confidence that the voters of Brighton Pavilion have shown, Green principles and policies will now have a voice in Parliament. Policies such as responding to climate change with a million new 'green' jobs in low-carbon industries, fair pensions and care for older people, and stronger regulation of the banks will be heard in the House of Commons. I will also use my influence as an MP in the city of Brighton & Hove to push for affordable housing for the city, a new secondary school for the city, and greater backing for the city's creative industries."
Brighton is considered the country's "most alternative city" with a real bohemian feel and many middle-class commuters to London. The party is very popular in the sea-side town and many local celebrities supported her campaign including Joanna Lumley, Greta Scacchi, best-selling author Philip Pullman and comedian Alistair McGowan.
The Green Party mounted their biggest-ever general election campaign this year with candidates in 335 constituencies, at a total cost of just under £400,000. Compared to other parties it's not much, but for a party with fewer than 10,000 members it was a huge gamble.