The Scottish Green Party today launched its manifesto for the 2010 Westminster election, highlighting the real chance of that Green MPs will be elected to Westminster for the first time. As the other parties admit that the general election is now 'wide open' and the chance of a hung parliament increases, these Green MPs could play a crucial role and would use every opportunity to tackle poverty, protect public services and promote new green jobs, as Green MSPs have at Holyrood.
Eleanor Scott, the party's candidate in Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said:
"This is the first time in a general election where pollsters, pundits and the bookies are predicting a breakthrough for the Greens. Over the last ten years, elected Greens have a made a real difference as local councillors and MSPs. We've combined a clear stance on the great global issues with a real desire to get things right locally - from winning votes against Trident to introducing cutting parking charges in Edinburgh for low emissions vehicles, from our recent crucial vote at Holyrood against new coal power at Hunterston, to strengthening the Scottish Climate Change Act.
"We can be trusted on the environment. We can be visionary and transformative on the economy. We can provide positive alternatives to the draconian cuts all other parties are so keen to make to our public services. Elected Greens have made a difference and we are ready for the breakthrough at Westminster."
Robin Harper MSP, the party's candidate in Edinburgh East, said:
"There is a strong possibility that Westminster will see its first Parliament of minorities for decades, and the time is right to take my experience of a tightly balanced parliament here in Scotland to Westminster and to bring about Green changes there too.
"We can negotiate honestly and effectively for Green ideas to be turned into positive, practical measures, like we have already with the Climate Challenge Fund and our home insulation scheme. We can work alongside government for legislation to be brought into law as we have with the Hate Crimes Bill. We can work co-operatively with others like we did to scrap tuition fees for good in Scotland. We can bring, and win, crucial votes like we did in the Scottish Parliament against the renewal of Trident.
"But we're never afraid to stand up and say no when the larger parties try to throw their weight around. Constructive when possible, challenging when needed. I can take all that experience to Westminster, and what a difference we could make. Our fresh and radical politics can help move on from the age of the political dinosaurs who have presided over economic failure, social inequality and an environmental crisis.
"We will breathe fresh life into the Westminster political scene and be a positive, effective political force for change. We will create an economy built around people - one that makes a priority of a living wage for all, not banker's bonuses; we will protect our public services from pointless cuts, instead ending the billions wasted on the renewal of Trident; and we will support new Green jobs and create an energy-saving and energy-generating democracy for the future."