Page last updated at 11:19 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 12:19 UK

Election: Green Party gain first MP with Brighton win

Caroline Lucas: "It is the start of a new political force in Westminster"

The UK has its first Green Party MP after Caroline Lucas won the seat of Brighton Pavilion, with a majority of 1,252 over Labour's Nancy Platts.

Ms Lucas, the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said voters had made history by electing her to Parliament on a swing of 8.4%.

"Thank you so much for putting the politics of hope above the politics of fear," she told them.

"I pledge that I will do my very best to do you proud," she said.

"For once the word historic fits the bill."

The Green Party stood in more constituencies in England and Wales than ever before, fielding more than 300 candidates.

Although Ms Lucas is their only MP, the Scottish branch of the party has two MSPs in the Parliament at Holyrood, while there are two Green members of the 25-strong London Assembly.

One of their MSPs - Patrick Harvie, who represents Glasgow and is co-leader of the Scottish Greens - said the result "changes everything".

Richard Savage and Caroline Lucas
Caroline Lucas celebrated with her husband after being elected as an MP

"The whole party will be over the moon to see Caroline Lucas's triumph in Brighton," he added.

"Westminster was always going to be the toughest nut to crack, and Caroline has made an extraordinary breakthrough."

He said the House of Commons would now have "a real voice speaking out against the cuts to public services, for equality and for a greener and more sustainable economy".

Ms Lucas has described the prospect of a hung parliament as "interesting", saying it may increase the chances of securing "a fairer electoral system, so that people's voices are properly heard".

It would also be important in "giving the Greens that bit more influence", she told BBC News. "So, I think these are pretty exciting days ahead."

The party had had 200 people campaigning in the seat of Brighton Pavilion on Thursday to ensure those who had said they would vote Green did so, she said.

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