The Greens’ success in the River poll, finishing in third place with 16 per cent, came as no surprise to their candidate, Clare Keogh, who believes they offer a completely different narrative to the main three parties.
Keogh thinks this popularity is partly due to the party’s robust presence on social media, but also feels the Greens resonate with young people who feel ignored by mainstream politics.
“We are the only major party with policies designed to speak up for and defend the forgotten youth.
“Only the Greens fully support free education, prioritise affordable housing with a cap on rents and have proposed a minimum wage of £10 an hour by 2020 for anyone over 16, including apprentices,” said Keogh.
The parliamentary hopeful was at Freshers’ Fayre and was encouraged by the enthusiasm from students.
“Several people came to the fayre just because they had heard we were there and there was a real buzz both around the stall and in the society meetings since.
KU Young Greens President Siobhan Cockram believes the rise of right wing parties like UKIP, which polled at 5 per cent amongst students, has provoked people to think again and created the need for strong opposition throughout the UK.
The Green Party are often viewed as a single issue party, a perception Keogh is determined to overcome, the would-be MP agrees that beyond environmentalism many people do not know much about the party.
“The belief that we are a one-issue party really couldn’t be further from the truth, things are changing though and the word is getting out,” said Keogh.
“There has been a rapid surge in Green membership- up over 64 per cent this year, we beat the Liberal Democrats into 5th place during the European elections.”
However the former Kingston student Keogh, who moved to Surbiton in 2009 and studied Politics and English Literature, was disappointed that Kingston had fallen 19 places in People and Planet Green League ratings for sustainability.
She said: “I certainly hope these ratings will act as a wake-up call, the Green Party base on campus has really kick-started this year and I am sure that from here on in we can have a real impact on these sorts of issues.”