The Green Party has renewed its calls for electoral reform after two close results in Hackney Downs and Dalston, attacking the “archaic, unfair first-past-the-post voting system”.
Green candidate Alastair Binnie-Lubbock, who came third in the mayoral contest, lost by just 90 votes in his home ward of Hackney Downs.
He lost to Labour incumbent Sem Moema, an advisor to Mayor Philip Glanville, with Binnie-Lubbock receiving 1,597 votes to her 1,687.
Green candidate Alex Armitage, a junior doctor, lost by just 21 votes in Dalston ward after a dramatic recount, having lost by just one vote in the initial tally.
He was narrowly defeated by Labour incumbent Peter Snell, who won with 978 votes to Armitage’s 957.
In a statement after the results, the Hackney Greens said they had “won 17 per cent of the vote across Hackney, compared to just 11 per cent won by the Conservatives, and yet have no councillors due to the archaic, unfair first-past-the-post voting system”.
They added: “We won 37.9 per cent of the vote in Hackney Downs and 33.4 per cent in Dalston.
“The Green Party welcomes working with parties who are outside the Labour-Tory cartel to campaign for a fairer democratic system.”
Binnie-Lubbock, reflecting on his loss, said: “Our campaign reached communities we’ve never engaged with before and illustrated the benefits independent Green councillors could bring to Hackney.
“We are still the second party of Hackney and it’s a shame that the make-up of the council doesn’t reflect this.”
He added: “I feel that the relatively poor and right-wing opposition that the handful of Tory councillors will provide will not encourage Labour to be as dynamic and progressive as Green councillors would have.
“Hopefully, our strong performance will show Labour they shouldn’t take the electorate for granted.”
Alex Armitage said: “It was galling to lose by such a narrow margin in Dalston but we have to keep the faith.
“Watching the count, it was clear to see [that] so many people split their votes and chose candidates from different parties.
“People in Dalston are crying out for change, but this was not delivered by the voting system that we have.”
He added: “With such limited campaign resources Dalston, we were forced to be creative in the way that we got our message across to voters.
“There is such a richness of humanity in our wonderful community and I’m sad to have narrowly lost out on the opportunity to represent people here.”