Category Archives: Gayle O’Donovan

Greens receive highest ever number of Green votes in Hulme, Manchester

For Immediate Release

Friday 7th May 2010 Manchester Green Party failed to win Hulme their target Ward in the local elections, finishing third in a tightly run contest with Labour and the Lib Dems.

Despite losing, Green candidate Gayle O’Donovan remains upbeat about the performance of the Greens commenting “with 1171 votes we have achieved the highest ever record of Green votes in Hulme or any other ward in Manchester since 1997 when the party first started campaigning in our local elections”.

Manchester Withington Green Party candidate in the General Election, Brian Candeland, also praised Green voters for voting on local issues rather than following national trends, saying “the popularity of the Lib Dems has surged since the televised leader’s debates leading to a squeeze on the local Green vote across the country, however in Hulme the Green vote actually increased”.

Following the announcement of the Manchester Withington election result in the Town Hall earlier this morning, Brian Candeland congratulated John Leech on his return to Parliament and reminded the successful Liberal Democrat candidate of the need for electoral reform, saying “Due to the inherent problems with the first past the post system your victory depended on many Green voters giving you their vote. Please do not ignore their demands for a Greener Manchester”.

Both Brian and Gayle also paid tribute to Caroline Lucas’ historic victory in Brighton Pavilion making her not only the first Green MP in the UK but also Europe’s first Green Member of Parliament elected without the use of proportional representation.

If you would like more information or an interview with either Brian Candeland or Gayle O’Donovan please contact Iain Hepworth on 07977488061 or email:


My Election Pledge to the Refugee Council, Liberty and Scottish Refugee Council’s Asylum

There is no place for racism and xenophobia in modern British politics. Nor is democratic debate advanced by the denigration of the most vulnerable in our country, including children and asylum seekers who do not enjoy the right to participate in elections.

I promise to remember the importance of refugee protection, even in free and wide-ranging debates about immigration policy. I will never play fast and loose with the proud tradition of a nation that must always offer succour to those in genuine fear of persecution.

Yours Sincerely,
Gayle O’Donovan
Parliamentary Candidate for Manchester Central

An evening with Mark Steel & friends in Manchester!

Sunday 25th April – starts 7pm The Dancehouse Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester

Proceeds go to these wonderful and very lovely Prospective Parliamentary Candidates:

Kay Phillips ( Respect Party – Blackley & Broughton )

Gayle O’Donovan ( Green Party – Manchester Central)

David Henry ( Hazel Must Go /TUSC – Salford & Eccles)

Tickets £10 are available online from
The Dancehouse Box Office. opening times. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. 4pm-7pm (0161) 237 9753 or

Scrabbling for the Green vote in the marginals

An article in the Independent (8th of March) (1) offered an interesting insight into the tactical thinking of the Conservatives as they try to win the general election by focusing on waverers in marginal constituencies.

This is what the Conservatives reckon, according to the Independent: that in thirty marginals where the Greens polled more than 2 per cent of the vote last time, Labour’s tactic will be to focus on stopping Green voters switching to Conservative. And one Labour councillor is quoted as saying Labour’s campaign “is based on green issues,” although he denies it’s just about vote-grabbing to thwart the Tories.

If the Independent’s right, I don’t think the Conservatives remotely understand what motivates Green voters, or that Labour understands why it loses votes and members and seats to the Greens. All evidence shows that the crossover between Green and Tory voters is practically non-existent. So if Labour in these places are basing their tactics on stopping Greens voting Conservative, they are definitely barking up the wrong tree. And the Tories are plainly out of theirs, if they imagine Cameron’s green posturing will woo Green voters.

Here’s why Green voters don’t vote Conservative: because Green Party social and economic policies are decidedly at the very least left-of-centre.

In fact, that’s why the Greens win more council seats off Labour than off any other party, and take more members from Labour than from any other party. Disillusioned Labour voters are very comfortable with the Green Party’s policies on investing government cash to create jobs. Disillusioned Labour voters love the Green Party’s policies on protecting the NHS, stopping PFI schemes, increasing the top rate of tax, opposing the privatisation of the Royal Mail, and improving public transport and social inclusion and maternity services and restoring free NHS dentistry.

These are what Green voters routinely vote for, so the idea of a switch from Green to Tory is ludicrous. And these are the policies that have allowed the Greens to take so many voters away from Labour. Let’s face it, the reason Labour are about to lose Brighton Pavilion to the Green Party’s leader Caroline Lucas has relatively little to do with environmentalism. It has far more to do with the fact that, with increasing numbers of Green councillors in office in Brighton, the voters there are accustomed to seeing the broad range of Green Party policies, not just the environmental bits. And the reason Labour’s Charles Clarke is so afraid for his Norwich South seat, in a city that has twenty Green councillors, is similar.

In these cities, where the Greens have outpolled all other parties in every election for several years, the ridiculous old stereotype doesn’t work, and the voters know the Greens stand for job-creation and resisting service cuts and improving the NHS.

So please let’s hear no more of this nonsense about Greens voting Tory. A far bigger switch, both historically and judging by recent opinion polls predicting a Green Party breakthrough in this election, is from disillusioned Labour supporters to the Green Party.

1. “The fight on the beaches,” Paul Vallely, Independent, 8.3.10,

Manchester Green Candidate proposes Robin Hood Tax motion

Gayle O’Donovan, Green Party candidate for Manchester Central in the coming general election, proposed to the Green Party’s spring conference in London that the Greens should support the Robin Hood tax campaign fronted by actor Billy Nighy (Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean) and supported by a large number of charities.

The Financial Transaction Tax would impose a very low tax on financial products such as stocks, bonds and derivatives but raise around £250 billion for investment in international development and climate change.

Gayle said: “This simple tax would have enormous global benefits and I was proud to be one of the proposers of a motion to the Green Party’s Spring Conference that the Greens should support the campaign.

“We have all watched as the banks suddenly get profitable again and start to award themselves huge bonuses, yet the rest of the world remains in financial turmoil. Aside from the urgent need to curb the bankers’ bonuses, there is a real opportunity to benefit those in most need around the world.”

Brian Candeland, Green Party candidate for Manchester Withington, who was also at the Party’s spring conference, added “The Green Party has been a long-time supporter of a tax of this nature; it’s good to see its growing support as more and more people realise the massive gap between the financial elite and the rest of us”.


  • The Green Party’s Spring Conference is in London from 18th to 21st February.
  • The motion was passed unanimously by the conference.