Socialist Worker

Left vote squeezed by main parties

Issue No. 2099

The left’s ability to make an impact in the London elections was hampered by the closely fought battle between Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.

While the media gave little attention to anyone apart from the two main candidates, many left voters were scared into voting Labour out of fear of a Tory victory.

This squeeze hit the Left List. It polled just 0.92 percent (22,583 votes) in the London-wide assembly list and 0.68 percent (16,796 votes) in the mayoral election.

It is undoubtedly true that the split in Respect damaged the left as a whole. It created confusion both in the campaign and at the ballot box, with both Left List and Respect appearing on voting papers.

Although the Left List’s London votes were disappointing, in areas outside the capital Left List candidates picked up some creditable results.

In Preston Muktar Master won 37 percent in the Town Centre ward, while in Sheffield the Left List’s Maxine Bowler came second with 23 percent.

Left List candidates won 15 percent in both Cambridge and Bolton, and polling 13 percent in Manchester.

The best results came mostly in wards where we have stood before. This shows that where the left has been able to build a consistent base, it can find support at the ballot box.

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