Greens field candidate for MP

ron meldrum

Ron Meldrum has been selected to stand as the Green Party candidate for Eastleigh.

He has a degree from the University of Essex, runs his own business and is married with three children. Although he currently lives in Southampton, Eastleigh was his home for almost 30 years.

He is only the second  Green Parliamentary candidate to stand in the constituency, previously Martha Lyn stood in 2001 when she received 1.3 per cent of the vote.

This time around, Meldrum believes things will be different. In a press release he said:

“People have become much more aware since 2001, and they are aware that politics has not changed to vehemently challenge the biggest problems in society as is required. People are more disillusioned with politics than ever, which is where we come in. We are the only party that offers something other than the status quo, and the voters are starting to see that.”

The Greens say their membership is surging.

This time last year they had 15,000 members in England and Wales, last week they claimed to have 54,000 – more than either Ukip or the Liberal Democrats.

The Greens aim to have candidates in 90% of seats in the UK – in Hampshire they are fielding candidates in 16 of the 18 seats and say they are finalising the remaining two.

Party leader Natalie Bennett appears to have survived a train-wreck radio interview last week  – the latest Sun/You Gov opinion poll put the Greens on 6% while the Lib Dems have slumped to 5%.

The Greens seem to be picking up the votes of disillusioned Lib Dems having outpolled them in the Euro Elections where the Greens gained an extra MEP while the Lib Dems lost all but one of their 12 MEPs.

The Greens are hoping they can triple their number of  MPs in the General Election by gaining seats in Bristol and Norwich – assuming their sole MP Caroline Lucas can retain her seat in Brighton.

Labour are also worried that the “Green Surge” could cost them dear, but three MPs does not mean government.

At last weeks Green campaign launch in Westminster when I asked Caroline Lucas if all the Greens could accomplish in seats like Eastleigh,was to split the ‘progressive’ vote, she responded with a fiery attack on Labour’s record in opposition:

“We are going to put progressive policies on the table that simply wouldn’t be there otherwise.

“One of our critiques of the Labour party is that they simply aren’t providing the opposition that it should be, a policy as popular as bringing railways back into public ownership for example, why isn’t labour championing that? Why aren’t they championing a ban on fracking? Why aren’t they saying that spending a £100 billion on Trident nuclear weapons is morally obscene? Why aren’t they challenging austerity? Why did Labour party MPs troop through the lobbies behind George Osborne when he proposed his charter for budget responsibility?

“We stand for progressive policies and we are putting them on the table”.

 Meldrum said that if elected he would like to help Eastleigh become a greener town as well as ensure the issues residents are most concerned about are voiced in parliament and added that he joined the Green Party because it is “the only party with sustainability and social justice at its heart”.

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  9 comments for “Greens field candidate for MP

  1. Rosie
    March 5, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Good news, but if Mr Meldrum wants to stand a chance of being elected, he needs to realise that “Eastleigh” in election terms isn’t just “Eastleigh Town” (where many residents are likely to be more townies than “green” anyway!) but also comprises a huge semi-rural, but heavily populated, area stretching all the way to the River Hamble border with Fareham Borough Council and including Bursledon, Hamble, Netley, Botley, Boorley Green, etc.
    He would be wise to target the votes of the residents living in those areas, as they are losing most by having a Lib Dem MP who is happy to support Eastleigh Borough Council Lib Dems in destroying our best (and little remaining) countryside with thousands of mostly “executive” houses, whilst claiming to be protecting the countryside.
    We could have done with a Green candidate at the last by-election, when the Draft Local Plan had caused much opposition to the Lib Dems in the area (and a very strong UKIP candidate, hence UKIP being able to almost take the seat, despite the Lib Dems’ claim that it was a two-horse race between the Lib Dems and Conservatives).
    Mr Meldrum needs to look at (and oppose!) the ongoing planning applications being steam-rollered through (even though the Draft Local Plan has been thrown out!), to see how much of our countryside will soon be covered in houses which mostly won’t satisfy local needs for more affordable and social housing, but which will attact in yet more commuters, especially from London.
    Hants County Council are also ignoring the fact that all these developments will bring our roads (M27, A27 and all our local roads) to a total standstill, especially with the huge numbers of houses planned for Whiteley and Fareham, whose residents use the same roads.
    There are a lot of angry people locally looking to vote for someone other than a Lib Dem, and a lot of people in the Borough with “green” views, so let’s hope Mr Meldrum steps up to the challenge and targets the right people for his votes!

    • Sue
      March 5, 2015 at 8:59 am

      yes Rosie this is what I dislike about the housing we get here. It simply attracts commuters and local people still struggle to afford to stay here.

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    March 5, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Sun YouGov published another Poll last night Greens still on 6% but Lib Dems up to 8%.
    I reckon they are going to be switching places around those figures all the way up to General Election and of course national polls don’t always reflect sentiment in this constituency.

  3. March 5, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Eastleigh could be very interesting if the Green Party take a lot of votes from the Lib Dems.

  4. Sue
    March 6, 2015 at 9:15 am

    My son will be voting for the first time in this election and he says he is voting Green. I read that in the 18-24 age group the Green Party is the most popular.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      March 6, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Journalism Students at Winchester University are sampling the 8,000 strong student campus every week.
      Greens were most popular hitting 35% but following last week’s launch balls-up they slipped back leaving Conservatives as most popular party.
      Conservatives, Labour and Greens all very close at around 30% with this age group – Ukip and Lib Dems languishing at 3%.
      Seems support for Lib Dems in Student population has collapsed for some reason (Hmmmm…wonder why?).
      People from all over the country are at WInchester Uni and from many different backgrounds so I think they are pretty representative of age group as a whole.

  5. March 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    That’s an interesting one Stephen.

    I suspect that many peoples views change slightly as they leave the student phase, get older, start working full-time, pursue a career/business , have a family, go through various life changes such as unemployment divorce etc, see the world for what it really is and eventually retire….

    So I’m not sure the Winchester University Poll is representative of anything other than the student vote.

    It would be very interesting if the students polled people in Winchester City Centre as well as on the campus, keeping the samples separate and see what difference there is in the results of the two polls…

    • March 7, 2015 at 10:31 am

      I think the student poll is generally representative of young people aged 18-24 – many of whom are in full-time education.

      You are suggesting people get more conservative and less liberal as they get older?

      The University poll shows strong support for conservatism among 18-24 y-olds (much to my surprise) they are the single most popular party on campus.

      But it is clearly the “progressive conservatism” of David Cameron they are drawn to not the more pre-maastricht quasi-libetarianism of Ukip.

      But the student population is still overwhelmingly more left leaning than conservative but here the vote is split between Labour and the Greens – the Greens being the principal beneficiaries of student disenchantment with the Lib Dems.

      In alienating the youth vote the Liberal Democrats have lost a vital part of their natural constituency – but hard to say if it will make a difference in Eastleigh.

      Eastleigh doesn’t conform to National polling trends

      I have a hunch middle class voters may still vote LD locally because they are happy with council record on Council Tax and services but might punish them in the GE for saddling their kids with tuition fee debt but on other hand local polling suggests Lib Dem vote is holding up well here.

      Anyway, yes you are right, political allegiance is generational and younger people see the Greens as offering something fresh.

      Support for Ukip is also generational and it seems it is predominantly by the over 50s – who are bothered about the EU and immigration – of course this age group are more inclined to vote…how many of the Green supporting 18-24 y-olds will make it to the ballot box?

  6. March 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    whether it’s progressive conservatism or socialism ,they must be almost the same thing, just don’t mention the economy because no party has a coherent strategy

    If Ukip were even quasi-libertarians that would make the tories , in their pro europe moments quasi socialist , but whatever the criticisms of EU bureaucracy they fall just as neatly on westminster , and UKIP actually promote nationalism and parliamentary power.

    I think I’m saying UKIP are not at all libertarian, libertarians do not stop people coming into the country, UKIP represent a higher order of power whereby the UK takes on the powers of the EU , not a repealing of those powers and a corresponding boost in freedom, they will not be giving us more rights.

    UKIP if they gained power would probably create a department of eu disintergration , that would intermediate in the existing arrangement , rather than dumping statute they would bring in a new raft of isolationary add-ons to UK statute that supercede EU stuff.

    Libertarians , even quasi ones, would like the idea of making half of state employees redundant overnight, libertarians don’t like state power,they are not nationalist ,and they believe in the freedom to work. A libertarian may well say good luck to the eastern europeans – they work harder!

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