Steff Wright (Edited)

Sustainable entrepreneur and Climate Party Chair urges East Midlands to vote tactically

Steff Wright, Chairman of the Climate Party, is urging local residents to vote ‘tactically’ in the 4 July General Election to ensure they can influence which party gains power in Westminster.


Wright is also the Founder and Chairman of East Midlands business Gusto Group and a prominent figure in the transition towards net zero. Founded in 1992 and with an annual turnover of £25 million, Gusto Group was an early pioneer in sustainable construction and manufacturing in the UK. But existing legislation does nothing to incentivise investment in low carbon manufacturing and the development of carbon neutral homes.


This lack of legislation threatens to reduce the region's ability to capitalise on the opportunities available by transitioning to a green economy and for the UK as a whole to meet its net zero target.


Wright says: “The government is not embracing the building of low carbon homes when it should be a priority as we aim to transition to a zero-carbon economy. 


“We need a government in place that takes climate change seriously, and it is imperative that businesses play their part in enriching the communities that they serve. 


“As things stand, though, there is insufficient incentivisation or support for sustainable businesses, and the main parties are not putting forward policies which will make a difference.


“But more than that, we need a government that listens to voters and is truly representative of the people. Whether you’re prioritising sustainability in the upcoming election or not, it’s important that you get your voice heard. If everyone votes tactically, this becomes possible.”


The UK voting system currently operates as a First Past the Post (FPTP) system. The party candidate with the most votes of the available candidates in a geographical constituency gets elected to Parliament. However, this can mean that the people elected to Parliament do not represent the country’s most popular party. 


For example, one party may receive a high number of votes over several constituencies in a region, but be outvoted by candidates from other parties in individual constituencies. The first party may receive a higher proportion of overall votes regionally, but not win a seat, resulting in no representation in Parliament. What’s more, voters may be unable to opt for preferred smaller parties that don’t operate in their constituency, forcing them to vote for a second, or third choice.


Instead, Wright advocates for proportional representation, in which each party gains seats according to the percentage of people across the country who have voted for that party. 


The entrepreneur explains: “Proportional representation allows people to vote for policies and parties they believe in knowing that their vote will count. That’s real democracy. What we have now can never properly represent the British people.


“Under the current system, voting tactically is the best way to influence which party wins the election until we can change the voting system. It’s about voting for a candidate you wouldn’t normally vote for to stop another from winning, or agreeing to swap your vote with another voter in a different constituency to help them get their candidate elected while they vote for your preferred party. 


“We can then continue to lobby the next government to change the voting system to make it truly fair and representative. 


“Once this change happens, I can vote for a party that I know supports sustainable business and represents my values, and you can vote for a party that represents yours. Both these parties, under proportional representation, will be able to advocate for us properly.


“There are several active campaigns which can advise you on which candidate in your constituency you can tactically vote for who would make the most difference in Parliamentary representation according to your priorities. I encourage everyone who can vote to research tactical voting and consider taking action on election day on 4 July.” 




About Gusto Group

Gusto Group is the parent company of a group of organisations in the East Midlands that are committed to a sustainable future. The Group comprises companies in the manufacturing, construction and architecture sectors, as well as plant-based food, football, a coworking space and a variety of partner organisations across multiple sites.

Since its foundation in 1992, Gusto Group has been pioneering and implementing sustainable practices that are innovating the sectors in which it operates. From Gusto Construction being one of the first companies in the UK to make sustainable housing commercially viable, to the acquisition of rotational moulding leader Rototek in 2010 and its vision to innovate with electrically powered smart manufacturing processes, the Group is committed to enriching the communities that it serves.

Gusto Group achieved B Corp status in November 2023 as part of this ongoing commitment to people, planet and purpose, rather than purely profit.


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