Socialist Worker

The left and the election

Issue No. 2200

An overview of TUSC’s campaign

In some areas, TUSC activists tapped into the anger with mainstream politicians and ran good campaigns.

In areas like Tottenham, for example, TUSC supporters now know more people in the area and have a stronger basis to build activity against cuts and privatisation.

Tommy Sheridan, standing for TUSC in Glasgow South West, received 2.9 percent of the vote with over 900 votes while Dave Nellist won 3.7 percent in Coventry North East.

Yet in most areas the vote was disappointing.

TUSC is a very new organisation and the vast majority of voters had never heard of it before. TUSC was also squeezed by the two main parties, as were other left wing groups standing candidates. This even affected the Lib Dem vote, contrary to all predictions.

The key task for the left following the election will be to use the networks built up during campaigning – both electorally and otherwise – to build the fight against cuts.

Respect-able vote

Salma Yaqoob, standing for Respect in Birmingham Hall Green, won an impressive 12,240 votes – or 25.1 percent – but Labour won the seat.

George Galloway won more than 8,000 votes in Poplar & Limehouse but failed to win the seat.

In other areas where Respect is rooted, such as Bethnal Green & Bow, candidates received respectable votes.

But in many areas, like other left groups, Respect’s results were disappointing.

Breakthrough win for left Green

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas became Britain’s first Green MP when she won in Brighton Pavilion.

She said, “Green principles and policies will now have a voice in parliament.

“Policies such as responding to climate change with a million new ‘green’ jobs in low-carbon industries, fair pensions and care for older people, and stronger regulation of the banks will be heard in the House of Commons.”

Other notable votes for Greens included 7,095 for deputy leader Adrian Ramsey in Norwich South, where he finished fourth. The party had hoped to do better here and in other seats.

Too often when in office the Greens have acted just like the other parties. Let’s hope Lucas is different.

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