Greens will ‘never support Tory government’

Caroline Lucas with her husband at the polling stationImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Caroline Lucas has campaigned for a “progressive alliance”

The co-leader of the Green Party has promised to “never support a Tory government” after the exit poll raised the possibility of a hung parliament.

The poll suggested the Conservatives would be the biggest party, winning 314 seats but without securing a majority.

Caroline Lucas – the party’s only MP before the election – said she “hardly dare hope this is right”.

The Greens have 457 candidates standing across the 650 constituencies in the UK.

Throughout the campaign, the party has called for a “progressive alliance”, writing to Labour and the Liberal Democrats in an attempt to do deals and oust the Tories.

Although the parties shunned the idea nationally, some local activists have supported it and seen candidates step aside for one another.

In Ms Lucas’s own seat of Brighton Pavilion, for example, the Lib Dems stepped aside, whilst the Greens decided not to contest Labour-held Ealing Central and Acton, and Brighton Kemptown.

Some prominent figures have also backed the plan, including Lib Dem Sir Vince Cable, who is seeking re-election in Twickenham.

But after the exit poll was published, former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell told the BBC that the difference in approach to Brexit between the Lib Dems and Labour would stop any progressive alliance being formed.

Jonathan Bartley, Ms Lucas’s fellow co-leader of the Greens, tweeted that he was waiting to see what the results would bring.

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He added: “In the next few hours we’ll find out if @TheGreenParty leadership around a progressive alliance has yielded results.”

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