So the campaign and the election is over and its time to share a few reflections.
The two overwhelming feelings are, firstly, great pride in my amazing Green Team who produced the 18th best Green Party result in the country. Nearly 1 in 10 people in Bethnal Green and Bow who voted, voted Green. That is a fantastic result, saving our deposit by miles, multiplying our vote many times etc etc. So a big thank you to all those who voted for a Party they believe in. We will work hard to advance your views, opinions and interests in the coming months and years.
I congratulate Rushanara Ali who worked very hard and increased her majority. I have said before that I am very proud that a woman of Bangladeshi origin is representing our constituency. I will support her wherever I can, and hold her to account where I think that is necessary.
But second, obviously the overall result is a dark night for our country. Its not for me to offer advice to other parties. All I will say is this. Tactical voting has failed again. To all those people who would have liked to vote Green but believed that doing so would allow the Conservatives into power, you have wasted your vote again. You have not voted for a party you believe in and it has failed to stop the election of a Conservative government. Tactical voting is a failed strategy again. I understand fully the temptation, but please see that it suits both Labour and Conservatives to characterise these elections as a choice between Conservatives and Labour. I wish more of you would join those of us who see our votes as far too important to waste on a party which does not reflect our views. I promise you will better for doing so.
Plainly our voting system is now not fit for purpose (if it ever was). PR is back on the agenda. The campaign for PR is not wrong just because some unpleasant parties, like UKIP, support it. It is right despite that. Politics should be about standing up for what is right and fair, whether or not the result might bring help to those you disagree with or despise. It is simply wrong that the Conservatives (or anyone else for that matter) should have a majority of seats with only 36% of the vote. It is wrong that in Scotland the SNP (this is not an anti SNP message) should win almost all seats with just over 50% of the vote. The clamour for fair votes will only get louder, but I am doubtful it will be achieved because it is simply not in the interests of the Conservative Party, which is a ruthless political operation, nor Labour.
Of course here in Tower Hamlets we have an election for a new Mayor and a by election to fight, with voting on June 11. We have great candidates for both positions. We will be out putting our message about a united Borough fighting together against Tory austerity. Thousands have joined the Green Party since the election. Perhaps you should too.