The national council elected at Respect’s annual conference last year met last weekend, joined by branch representatives from around the country. The main subject of discussion was the elections held earlier this month.
Despite the damaging split caused by George Galloway’s Respect Renewal late last year, there was satisfaction that Mukhtar Master came second to New Labour by a narrow margin in Preston’s Town Centre ward.
Maxine Bowler also came second in Sheffield’s Burngreave ward while Left List candidates came third in Cambridge’s Romsey ward and Rusholme and Gorton South in Manchester.
Our inability to use the Respect name on the ballot paper because of a legal technicality hampered our vote in London and we could not win recognition for the Left List in so short a space of time.
The London election saw all the other parties squeezed as it became a “Boris versus Ken” show. Again while the overall vote was disappointing the results in a number of wards were highly promising and reflected our ability to win support across a wide range of the capital’s working class.
The success in securing two executive members of the National Union of Students, plus a number of full-time positions in local student unions, was warmly applauded.
It was felt that overall the results, plus the withering away of New Labour’s vote, provides a platform for contesting next year’s European elections.