New Labour won the Ealing Southall by-election on Thursday of last week, but its majority was slashed almost in half. The Tories came a humiliating third.
The extremely short election campaign time disadvantaged the smaller parties. Respect came fifth out of 12 candidates, with 1.6 percent of the vote.
Salvinder Singh Dhillon, Respect's candidate in Ealing Southall, told Socialist Worker, 'Our vote was squeezed by the mainstream parties but there was a shift.
'People are still moving away from Labour. And any fears that the Tories were on their way to power have been shown up.
'The Liberal Democrats capitalised on the mood to finish second. This is the way the system sometimes works – a mainstream party capitalising on the feeling against the other mainstream parties.
'Respect raised awareness about our campaigns. With the Greater London Assembly elections next year, we need to get more contact with our support base and with working people. They need to know Respect stands for them.'
For more on the by-elections, see Alex Callinicos: » By-elections offer no good news for the big three parties