Covid-19 and Democracy

*update* 21/12/2020

Latest guidance on campaign activity for Green Party members can be read here (membership log-in required).

Earlier in the year we hosted with our friends and colleagues in Lambeth Green Party a series of events with leaders from the Green Party under the banner: Beyond Covid-19. I am sure that most of us at the time assumed that months later we might indeed be beyond the pandemic, or at least closer to the end than we are. Nonetheless, with positive news about a vaccine, perhaps we are close to the beginning of the end?

And what about democracy in the time of a pandemic?

The London Assembly and Mayoral elections were due to take place in May 2020. These elections were postponed, now go-ahead in May 2021 and campaigning has begun again. This important election will impact many aspects of our city and provides an excellent opportunity for our Green Party candidates.

  • National Co-leader Siân Berry is candidate for London Mayor and captured excellent polling ahead of the postponement
  • Two Assembly Members – Siân and Caroline Russell – were elected in 2016 via the Proportional Representation element of the vote for London-wide representatives.
  • The ambition is to re-elect Siân and Caroline and to increase the Green representation to at least three and beyond, with Zack Polanski and Benali Hamdache third and fourth respectively on the Green Party list.


Teams in Southwark and across London have been out distributing campaign literature to Londoners – but is this safe or advisable during the pandemic?

Evidence-Based Decisions

As a party that prides itself on evidence-based decision-making, we are following the science and official guidance from Public Health England. What this means broadly is:

  • Voters can be confident that receiving campaign literature does not present a risk
  • Door-knocking is not authorised
  • All campaigners are briefed on ‘safe’ leafletting, which means it needs to be done alone, with a mask on and with regular application of hand sanitiser
  • Distributing leaflets is a volunteer activity and therefore is permitted during lockdown

Our guidance is regularly updated but for the time-being, the right type of campaigning is on. Across the borough dedicated campaigners are making a significant contribution to the London-wide campaign. The ambition of this campaign is to reach several hundred thousand voters with multiple rounds of campaign messaging. A massive thank you to those making this happen and for observing the guidelines.

Should you wish to join them, there are always opportunities to do so – the more of you, the better to spread the load. Let us know via [email protected] and we will let you know where and when. Equally, if you have been campaigning and have any concerns or questions, please raise them with your co-ordinator or via the central email.

Information for Voters

If you are reading this as someone who has received campaign literature from us and have questions or concerns, we welcome hearing from you.

For those voters who are vulnerable or who are nervous about voting in person in May, it is useful to remember the option to cast your votes by post or by proxy. Details are available from the Southwark Council website here.

Finally, remember that British, European and Commonwealth London residents can vote but you must be registered to do so. If you or members of your household are not registered to vote, you need to visit here.

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  • Bartley Shaw
    published this page in News and Views 2020-11-17 22:34:53 +0000