In percentage terms this is how the vote breaks down:
Lib Dems 7.4%
Green Party 1.6%
Plaid Cymru 0.5%
If you are prepared to add in Sinn Finn, Alliance, SDLP, National Health Equality and Women's Party the total for progressives goes over 53%.
When it comes to the regressive alliance the numbers are as follows:
Ulster Unionist 0.3%
The numbers don't add up to 100 because of all the small parties, some of which, like the Yorkshire Party were actually very progressive in their policies. Yet whatever way you add the figures the margin of votes was significant. More than 7%. Way higher than the referendum margin.
So we are being governed by a coalition of regressives that lost the popular vote. Even worse the far right tail of that dog is the DUP. It got hundreds of thousands fewer votes than the Green Party that I stood for. Yet it got 10 seats with 0.7% of the vote whereas we got one seat with 1.6%.
There is an obvious conclusion to draw from this. We need some form of PR. The slight problem is that neither of the two biggest parties has the remotest intention of ever granting that. So the next tempting illusion is that if we can secure a progressive alliance then we can utterly defeat the right next time round.
There is also a slight problem with this theory. The leading party on the left has absolutely no intention of taking part in any progressive alliance at national elections. Locally Labour Party people tend to be very open minded about sensible avoidance of standing against people they respect in local elections. I would not have won my council seat without such an arrangement quietly taking place in a seat that Labour couldn't win. When it comes to national elections this common sense approach doesn't apply. The Green Party stood aside in a whole series of seats to help the Labour Party. Indeed if you add up the number of marginal seats won as a result it was the Greens who made sure May had no majority. In return for this largesse the Green got ....... absolutely nothing. Every concession the Greens made to help Labour was one way traffic. In not a single seat did Labour offer to stand aside in return.
By contrast some small payback deals were struck with the Liberal Democrats. They didn't stand in Brighton and also withdrew in my own seat of Skipton and Ripon. As a result I got the fifth best Green result in the country and my excellent neighbouring Lib Dem candidate got a 2,000 increase in her vote.
So the question has to be asked. What is the point in trying to strike Progressive Alliance deals with Labour if their theory is the Green Party should go away in every marginal seat, but the Labour Party must stand everywhere? You can't have an alliance with a party that won't ally with you and thinks it can absorb all your voters and drive you out of existence. The harsh reality is that the success of Corbyn isn't going to result in the Labour Party recognising that it would have won the election if it had gone all out for a Progressive Alliance. It is going to result in them thinking that they can get rid of the threat from the Green Party once and for all because when push comes to shove most people who want to vote Green hate Conservative policies more than they love the Green Party.
So the Green Party has to decide. Does it wish to carry on being nice and being taken for a ride? If it does then it is in effect deciding to slowly go out of business. People on the left will say very kind things about us. As we dwindle into obscurity.
Which logically leads to the question: "Is there any need for the Green Party to continue to exist?" If it is just trying to be a grouping on the left of the Labour Party that thinks up good policies and then persuades the Labour Party to adopt them then what is the point? Better to do that inside the tent. If it is trying to persuade voters that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party isn't sufficiently left wing and they need to vote for something more radical then, once again, what is the point. It simply isn't going to succeed. There isn't much space available on the traditional left of Labour.
But I think the Green Party very much does need to exist for two reasons. The first, and by far the most important, is that there needs to be a strongly independent political force making the case in the mainstream of British politics that we are being utterly irresponsible towards the environment and the price of not taking action will only go up. No other political party is articulating the scale of the changes that need to take place to our economy and society in order to make it genuinely strong and stable. We need our society to be rooted in long term sustainable economics and disinterested scientific knowledge not precariously propped up by burning fossils fuels and dumping plastic into the oceans. That is not some fringe view. It is going to be the central harsh reality of the next decades.
The second reason the Greens need to exist is that there needs to be a party that articulates the importance of liberty and of community every bit as strongly as it argues for equality. Both the Conservatives and the Labour Party claim to do that neither has that approach deep within their bones. The Green Party does.
These are issues that plenty of people in the Labour Party care about. But they have never been the central concern of Labour Party policy makers. I think Jeremy Corbyn has done a great job of moving the Labour Party away from cynical Blairite focus group politics and he is articulating a politics of conviction that has deservedly won over a lot of supporters. I do not believe he is leading a party that sees the environmental challenge as anything more than a little side issue that they might do something nice about after they have finished nationalising the commanding heights of the economy.
I therefore believe that the Green Party has to be brave enough to stand up and declare that the environmental challenge isn't a sideline. It is the issue of the day. And we are being left behind on it whilst China is investing billions on changing its economy over to renewables as rapidly as it can. The UK risks entering a gentile spiral of decline as two parties argue about the best way to chase after reviving an outdated economy. What we actually need is leadership with enough vision of the future to get ourselves at the forefront of the new economy.
The Green Party needs to be there as the strong clear voice of the future. The one party that is taking a responsible attitude to an enormous web of environmental crises and putting forward policies that will enable us to tackle them. We need to stand at every seat in the next election and articulate that case.
Unless, of course, our determination to do that brings other parties to their senses and enables us to do deals which help both sides rather than only one! Put simply we have reached the point where there is only one way to secure an effective progressive alliance with the Labour Party nationally. That is to forget about it and assume that it will never happen. Maybe then someone will approach us with a realistic offer instead of a very nice request to stand aside please so they can win and we can disappear.