General Election 2019: Green Party candidate in Northampton South calls for electoral reform

The Green Party candidate for Northampton South has called for the country's voting system to be reformed.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 1:16 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 5:48 am
Scott Mabbutt talks to James Averill

Scott Mabbutt's comments came after a 10pm exit poll predicted a large Conservative majority after voters headed to the ballot box yesterday (Thursday December 12).

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said: "Whatever happens in this election our voting system needs to change. It constantly produces terrible results. The one thing getting hammered down to me was that people felt their vote was being wasted if you voted Green. It's very dispiriting to hear that and the only way to solve that is electoral reform."

The exit poll has projected that the Conservatives will gain a majority of about 80, and Mr Mabbutt says he believes that will largely have been down to the party's stance on Brexit.

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He said: "My first thought is that the Tories were serving up Brexit and that's what people are voting for. It's the only explanation. I don't think they have had any strong policies on anything else.

"But it's what they led on and they hammered it home and I think it's won the day for them."

Asked about the Green Party's own performance, he added: "They have had us down to retain Brighton Pavilion, which was the priority. But it doesn't look like we are going to get the two to three seats that we wanted. But perhaps the share of the vote will go up and we might save some more deposits. So there are some reasons to be optimistic."

Both Conservative and Liberal Democrats at the count, which is being held at Lings Forum, say they felt that people believed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was 'unelectable' when they spoke to residents on the doorstep.

But while the national picture looks bleak for those of a red persuasion, narrow majorities in both Northampton North and South are offering them some hope. The Conservatives however, have said they are confident they will keep all seven seats in Northamptonshire blue.

Addressing the criticism of Mr Corbyn's campaign, Mr Mabbutt - who is a doctor at Northampton General Hospital - said: "I think he's been divisive from the start and maybe 2017 was a chance for him, but they didn't prove themselves and it appears like he's unelectable."