THE dust is still settling on what was a historic washout election for the Tories.  

Fourteen years of a nasty, divisive and downright mean government at Westminster has finally been brought to an end.  

I had long looked forward to watching as the blue dots of conservatism vanished one by one from the election night map, and in that sense, it did not disappoint.  

All this joy was guaranteed, however, as we have known for months that the Tories would be toast, and Labour would walk it.

But is their victory the result of inspiring policies and transformational leadership?  

It’s very unlikely. Polling from YouGov in the last days before the poll showed that almost half of people voting for Labour were primarily doing so in order to remove the Tories, with only a meagre five per cent saying they were voting because of Labour’s actual manifesto.  

Few of us in Glasgow will have shed tears for Rishi Sunak on election night, but even fewer will celebrate if the result is five more years of the same policies that have already done so much damage.  

Over the course of this election, I knocked on doors all across our city and our country. Lots of people told me they were voting Labour, often for tactical reasons, but very few of them told me they were enthusiastic about the prospect of Keir Starmer as Prime Minister or Labour as a government.  

It’s easy to see why. Their manifesto was one of the least ambitious in living memory. It had very little for our climate and nothing that will truly tackle the vast inequality that has been allowed to grow so much over the last 14 years.  

It’s also hard to know how much of it we can take seriously. When Keir Starmer replaced Jeremy Corbyn back in 2020 he laid out a slate of promises that he said would define his approach to politics, and, in the four years since, almost all of them have been scrapped.    

There was a commitment to defend free movement in Europe, but that was dropped in 2022 with Starmer claiming that it was meant to be a temporary position until the Brexit negotiations.

Then there was his guarantee to scrap tuition fees for students, which was ditched only six months later.  

He also promised a return to public ownership of mail, energy and water and subsequently ditched the commitment to all.

The call to nationalise energy was replaced with the promise of a new company called GB Energy, but no two MPs seem to be able to agree on what it will do and if it will even produce any energy.  

The fact that the new Prime Minister has such a long legacy of broken promises before he had even set foot in Downing Street should concern all of us.  

How can we possibly trust and believe that this man will tackle the climate emergency, or the cost-of-living crisis when his policies on major issues seem to change every few months?    

During the campaign, his Scottish leader, Anas Sarwar, told us that austerity would be over, but Starmer is refusing to even lift the cruel two-child benefit cap that has plunged thousands of families across our city into totally avoidable poverty.

Will he now commit to doing that, and will he commit to restoring the funding that has been taken away from Scotland by the Tory government?  

The next five years will be crucial for our country and our climate. We can’t settle for business as usual.

That’s why, every day, the Scottish Greens will continue to stand up for the bold and progressive politics that are so essential if we are to leave a prosperous and liveable planet for future generations.  

Despite the unfair and undemocratic voting systems we use in Westminster elections, we saw record votes for Green candidates across our country, including here in Glasgow where we had a full slate of candidates who ran fantastic campaigns, achieved great results, and cemented our position as the third biggest party in our city.  

Those votes didn’t come from nowhere. They are the result of years of campaigning and are a springboard for us going into the 2026 Holyrood elections.

Even more importantly, they are part of a much wider and growing movement for climate action and for the kind of transformative policies that can make a difference to people’s lives.