Open letter to YouGov from Telford candidate Peter Hawkins

21 April 2015

Green Party: For the common good

Dear YouGov,

I'm the Telford parliamentary candidate for The Green Party, not, as you've labelled us, 'Other'. (For reference, the logo and name are above). There are only five parties standing in the 2015 General Election in Telford but, after the onerous task of counting up to four, you've given up and stuck me down as 'Other' – getting 20% of your candidates wrong is not a great starting point for accuracy.

Do you have trouble displaying the colour? I don't think so, because you recognise that nationally the Greens are at 5%. Sure that's not a government-shaking figure, but it is an important first step in not burning funds up by losing deposits.

The party has been the third biggest in England and Wales by membership since the beginning of the year, perhaps read a newspaper once in a while. Even the Daily Mail recognises us, if only to write horror stories about us. Or maybe check the TV: we also took part in the leadership debates – that was Natalie on the Green Party podium, not 'Other'.

Unlike my Lib Dem counterpart, who lives more than 40 miles out of the constituency and was chosen barely 24 hours before the deadline closed, I actually live in the area, turn up to debates and campaign. You'll note you're polling us at almost exactly the same level, but yet he has been given a party name, even if none of his opponents (and constituents) have ever met him.

I don't believe in conspiracies. I work in media so I'm quite happy to write this down to laziness or incompetence, which I know are present in abundance. That, or it could be you're using the same rules as Sky News, who won't even recognise the Greens even when they poll ahead of the Lib Dems. Either way, consider this evidence served that I am not standing for 'Other', nor for this casual attempt to write us off.

In a way I should thank you - every attempt to squeeze the Greens out of the political debate seems to lend us a bounce in membership or in the polls.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Hawkins

Green Party parliamentary candidate for Telford