The Greens may be in the middle of a national ‘surge’, with more than 50,000 members, but in one part of the country, their brand isn’t particularly trendy. In Brighton, the Greens on the council aren’t the best advert for the party - something our leading article picks up on this week. Indeed, such are the tensions between the party on the council and the local MP, Caroline Lucas, who faces a tough fight to keep her Brighton Pavilion seat, that she joined the picket lines to protest pay cuts introduced by her own party.
Now I’ve come across some of Lucas’s campaign literature which suggests that she’s not always keen to mention that she’s actually a member of the Green party.
Lucas's website has no mention of the Greens at all above the 'fold' (the portion of the website that appears at the top of computer screens before the user has to scroll down)...
...and in fact you have to scroll all the way down to the footer of the page to find a logo right in the bottom right-hand corner, and two links to the Green party and the local Greens.
Here is an advert for Lucas’s surgery from November:
Yes, it does have green on it - but only in the form of a colour rather than a party logo. Not all MPs put logos on their surgery literature - indeed if it's funded from a certain pot, they can't, but I have been told that there is a deliberate strategy of keeping Lucas's personal brand at the fore and putting the Green brand a little further back to stop voters connecting the MP with the council.
And this leaflet does have a green logo on it, but it’s muddled up in a picture - though this may simply be because the person who designed the leaflets didn’t realise what they’d look like when printed.
Lucas is reasonably well-recognised, which means that like many MPs, especially Liberal Democrats, it’s often wiser to campaign with scant or no reference to what party she represents. But it's clear that while the Greens might be feeling pretty trendy in certain parts of the country, they're not quite as valuable to their only MP.