The Green Party is to contest the Berwick constituency for the first time in 28 years, following the formation of a local branch of the national party.
A group of 20 people from the north Northumberland area met in Alnwick just before Christmas and agreed to form a local branch, with the urgent aim to ensure that there is a locally-based Green Party candidate on the ballot paper in May.
A statement from the party reads: “The Green Party is delighted to announce the formation of a local branch of the national party, to represent the interests of the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency and to give voters in north Northumberland a wider range of choice than ever before at the forthcoming General Election.
“Green Party membership in the UK has doubled within the last nine months: As people seek alternatives to the three mainstream parties, the Green Party is the one option that presents a sustainable and collaborative vision for all sections of society, but, for the last 28 years, has not had its name on a General Election ballot paper for the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency.”
Green candidate Nigel David Pamphilion earned just 0.9 per cent of the vote as Alan Beith retained his seat with a 52 per cent share in 1987.
The statement adds: “Almost 3,000 young people in the constituency, who have reached 18 since the last General Election, will be voting for the first time this year: A recent poll has revealed that among these first-time voters, three times as many intend to vote Green as vote Liberal Democrat (and six times more than intend to vote UKIP).”
The Green candidate would be the fifth name on the ballot paper so far alongside Nigel Coghill-Marshall (Ukip), Scott Dickinson (Labour), Julie Porksen (Liberal Democrat) and Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative). There was talk about SNP politician Christine Grahame, who represents Midlothian South, Tweeddale & Lauderdale in the Scottish Parliament, contesting the seat, but that was ruled out by the party executive in December.