Greens launch general election campaign promising 'real hope and real change' in bid to woo disillusioned Labour voters

The Green Party has accused Labour of failing to offer "the real change" voters need as it launched its general election campaign in Bristol.

Green co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay set out their stall to voters saying it was only their party that offered "real hope and real change".

Mr Ramsay said the current polling suggested "we are going to see the back of the Conservatives", whom he accused of presiding over a "chaotic and disruptive" government over the last few years.

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During her campaign launch in Bristol Central - one of the Greens' four core target seats - Ms Denyer sought to emphasise the difference between her party and Labour in a bid to appeal to voters disillusioned with Sir Keir Starmer.

She said voters had been "disappointed" that the Labour leader had "backtracked" on key issues including green investment - where it dropped its flagship pledge to spend £28bn-a-year on environmental schemes - housing and the NHS.

She told party activists: "We've got something to offer that no other party has - real hope and real change.

"We have the practical solutions to the cost of living crisis, building new affordable homes, protecting our NHS from creeping privatisation, and cleaning up our toxic rivers and seas.

"That's why it's so important that when Labour form the next government, they are pushed beyond the timid change they are offering."

Greens set sights on four key seats

Both the co-leaders are hoping to pick up seats, including against Labour's Thangam Debbonaire in Bristol Central where Ms Denyer is standing, and against the Conservatives' Richard Rout in Waveney Valley, where Mr Ramsay is standing.

The other two seats they hope will return Green MPs are Brighton Pavilion, where their former sole MP Caroline Lucas is standing down, and in North Herefordshire, where Ellie Chowns, a former Green Party MEP, is standing.

Read more on the Green Party:
Who are its co-leaders?
A guide to its policies and key election targets

Ms Denyer's hopes of picking up Bristol Central have been buoyed by the fact it has been redrawn from the former larger seat of Bristol West, where Ms Debbonaire won a majority of 28,219 votes in the 2019 general election. Ms Denyer came second in the seat, beating the Conservative candidate in third and the Brexit Party (now Reform UK), who came fourth.

The Greens also increased its number of councillors to 34 in Bristol, against Labour's 21, in the 2024 local elections, although the local authority remains under no overall control.

The deadline for candidates to run in the 4 July general election is 4pm on Friday 7 June.

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Policy battle continues on campaign trail

Among the Green's key pledges are promises to reform the tax system, as well as plans to build homes "for the right price in the right place", clean up the UK's waterways, ensure a strong publicly-run NHS and stop the "backsliding" on tackling the climate crisis.

Ms Denyer said voters were "excited that they have a genuine choice", adding that "incremental change Labour have put on the table just isn't going to cut it".

Elsewhere today, the Labour Party has launched its election campaign in Wales and has also focused its efforts on plans to tackle anti-social behaviour, while the Tories have been speaking about the economy by trying to force Labour into ruling out any rises in VAT.

Meanwhile, SNP leader John Swinney was out meeting activists before facing First Minister's Questions in Holyrood at midday, while the Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ed Davey, has been in Somerset to highlight his party's call for a mental health professional to work in every school.

Reform leader Richard Tice also launched his party's immigration policy, arguing there should be an "employer immigration tax" to encourage firms to employ British workers.