Holding our ground

In the Scottish election of 5 May 2011, the Greens were the only opposition party not to lose seats in the face of a tidal wave of SNP support but it's of course disappointing that expected gains did not materialize.

Green support grew in Glasgow and Lothian, and I retained my seat and Alison Johnstone joined me, replacing retiring Robin Harper as an MSP. In Highlands and Islands, the party was less than 400 votes short of returning former MSP Eleanor Scott to Parliament. The Green vote also increased in Mid Scotland and Fife and in North East Scotland but we fell a bit short of gaining new MSPs for those regions

While Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats all lost seats, the Greens remain on two, but our final vote share of 4.5% was disappointing in light of a succession of polls predicting the Green vote at 6-8% and up to 8 MSPs.

I think we ran our most professional campaign to date, and we had both great candidates and hard-working local teams. I am pleased to be back in Parliament, with Alison, making sure the Green voice is heard loud and clear. But I am also disappointed that we weren't able to capitalise on the opportunity to improve our position at Holyrood.

However, even in those areas where we have fallen a bit short, we have done some excellent ground work for next year’s council elections when I am confident we will see more Green councillors elected across the country. A wee break - just this weekend probably! - and then it's back to the hard work.