Respect did well in two local elections on Thursday of this week.
Respect member Carole Vincent came third in Leyton by-election in Waltham Forest, east London, winning 7.31 percent of the vote and beating the Tories into fourth place. Labour lost the seat to the Liberal Democrats.
On the same day, Respect’s Barry Hill polled 6.8 percent in the Tulketh ward council by-election in Preston. Labour narrowly held the seat after a close-run fight with the Lib Dems.
In both areas, Respect members were contesting the ward for the first time and campaigners in both wards say that in the course of the election they have made serious inroads in building new local networks.
Speaking from the election count, Carole Vincent told Socialist Worker, “Labour got a hammering in the election. This shows that people are sick of Labour’s privatising agenda. On this occasion the Lib Dems picked up most of the protest votes, but Respect has also made a big step forward in an area where we haven’t stood before.
“The fact that we came third means that we are now the real opposition to both Lib Dems and Labour, who together make up the ruling coalition of the council.
“I want to thank everyone who came to help in the ward. We have put down local roots and made sure people know what Respect stands for nationally and locally.”
Leyton ward, Waltham Forest
|Winnifred Smith||Lib Dem||1,360||56.45|
Tulketh ward, Preston
|Rick Seymour||Lib Dem||400||32.39|