Socialist Worker

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Issue No. 1798a

THERE WERE some results the media totally ignored—the significant votes for socialist candidates offering an alternative to the pro-privatisation, pro-business policies of all the mainstream parties.

The Socialist Alliance stood 230 candidates in wards around England—four times as many candidates as the BNP.

The results show that the Socialist Alliance is increasing its support as people begin to look for a positive left wing alternative to New Labour.

In many areas support for the Socialist Alliance has more than tripled since last year’s general election.

The percentages Socialist Alliance candidates received are difficult to calculate, as in most cases the Socialist Alliance stood one candidate in three-member wards.

But on average over 5 percent of voters in electoral wards where Socialist Alliance candidates stood cast one of their votes for the alliance. In a few wards that figure rose to over 10 percent.

In Burnley the Socialist Alliance got over 750 votes in three wards. Stephen Worden got 314 votes, Tess McMahon 273 votes and Ian Alderson 151 votes.

In Wigan some 21 percent of voters cast one of their votes for Socialist Alliance candidate Barry Conway, who got 326 votes.

In Walsall, Socialist Alliance candidate Cyril Leaker got 782 votes, 21.5 percent.

In Swindon Socialist Alliance candidate Andy Newman got 170 votes, more than the Liberal Democrat candidate.

In Pontefract Carol Ives, standing for the Socialist Alliance, got 285 votes—almost 10 percent of those voting gave her a vote.

In Hackney in east London, where the Socialist Alliance stood 13 candidates, there were some very good results.

Around a fifth of the electorate in Clissold ward—487 people—cast one of their votes for socialist campaigner and journalist Paul Foot.

In Hackney Downs ward Socialist Alliance candidate Polly Matcham got 356 votes.

On average Socialist Alliance candidates in Hackney got votes from 12.7 percent of those voting.

This level of support for the Socialist Alliance was repeated in some other London boroughs.

In Newham in east London Socialist Alliance candidates got votes of up to 15 percent.

In Camden in north London Alan Walter, a Defend Council Housing campaigner, got 376 votes, 16 percent.

In Tower Hamlets in east London another prominent Defend Council Housing campaigner, Mark Weeks, got 391 votes, 17.2 percent.

And in the Millwall ward, where the Nazi BNP’s Derek Beackon was elected councillor in 1993, the Socialist Alliance candidate Susan Gibson got 200 votes, 10 percent, just four votes less than the BNP’s 204.

In September 1993, when Beackon was elected, he got 44 percent of votes.

In Haringey in north London, where the Socialist Alliance stood 13 candidates, Simon Hester got 324 votes—more than the Liberal Democrat and Tory candidates.

The alliance did not receive such a high vote in every ward it stood in.

The result achieved largely depended on the scale of the campaign.

But overall there were very good results for the alliance, showing a growing number of people wanting a left alternative to the policies of the mainstream parties.

Join the Socialist Alliance: phone 020 7791 3138 visit

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Article information

Sat 4 May 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1798a
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