Jeremy Corbyn's victory in the Labour leadership contest on the back of a left-wing surge in support shows that the centre ground in British politics is shifting towards the Green Party, according to Natalie Bennett. The Green leader, in the second half of her in-depth video interview with IBTimes UK, described the 66-year-old's election as "very exciting".
"What's very exciting is the state of British politics now. Jeremy Corbyn's election showed a couple of things: one, how fast things can change...but also it demonstrates that we are moving away from neo-Thatcherite, neo-liberal politics," Bennett said.
The former journalist, who took the top Green job in 2012 and more than tripled the party's share of the vote to 3.8%, claimed the politics of "austerity" is failing and Labour's shift to the left will leave the Tories "isolated".
"Politics is finally acknowledging where the British public are," Bennett argued. She cited the Green policy of renationalising the railways and the public support for such a policy as evidence for the shift. With anti-nuclear, pro-green Corbyn at the helm of Labour, would Bennett consider any electoral pact at next year's local elections across England and Wales?
The Green leader does not rule out such a move, but Bennett stressed the party would concentrate on the assembly elections in London and Wales in 2016, where the Green-friendly proportional representation voting system will be used. "In terms of council elections, I don't know of any plans for any kinds of pacts – I don't see that. We are looking particularly at Bristol, Liverpool and Sheffield to see gains there," she added.
Bennett also said the one-MP-party would continue to campaign for electoral reform to change the first-past-the-post voting system used in local and general elections. "It's very clear that the current system isn't working, it's failed. Many people feel utterly disenfranchised. If you live in a safe seat – wherever that seat is – and you are of another political persuasion, you can be voting for your lifetime and always feel like it is hopeless and pointless," the Green leader said.