The two left-of-Labour candidates who have the best chance of victory in the general election are Salma Yaqoob (Respect) and Caroline Lucas (Greens). It's good to see both of them getting some mainstream press coverage. In the print version of The Guardian this article about Salma Yaqoob's campaign in Birmingham took up more than a page. Amongst other things it provides a sense of why Salma stands a genuine chance of winning.
While the Guardian acknowledges the possibility of Britain's first Muslim woman MP, today's Independent on Sunday comments on the prospect of the country's first Green MP. This neatly sums up the significance of a Green victory in Brighton Pavilion: 'It would be a breach in the wall of Westminster, through which genuinely alternative policies might flow. Nick Clegg has had formidable success in painting himself as the "alternative" candidate to the two "conventional" parties and their leaders, but, as a glance at their manifesto shows, Caroline Lucas and her party, whether you approve of them or not, are offering the truly radical choice. Compared to the Greens, Nick Clegg's yellow-rosetted Lib Dems are every bit as conventional as the party of red and the party of blue.'
Precisely the same could be written about Salma Yaqoob. A victory for either - or, even better, both - would be a step forward for anyone wanting to break the cosy Westminster consensus.