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Respect councillors help to break new ground in Preston

Issue No. 1950a

Michael helped to organise this Make Poverty History event

Michael helped to organise this Make Poverty History event

Michael Lavalette, a Respect councillor in Preston, Lancashire, won 6.8 percent of the vote standing as the parliamentary candidate for the city.

Michael said, “Preston is a very typical, mainly white, working class town. Only 11 percent of the population are Asian.

“In European terms, our result is what other serious left parties such as the Portuguese Left Bloc and the Italian Rifondazione Comunista get. The Preston result shows we’re on track to establish a real left of Labour alternative.”

Michael is one of two Respect councillors in Preston and Respect now has a solid base in some wards.

But, he pointed out, “In this election we were going out to a big swathe of Preston where we’ve never stood before.

“We’ve been into areas where people haven’t even heard of us—big, working class estates. And we’ve managed to get double the votes that UKIP got.”

Michael has also raised concerns about the levels of voter registration in Preston.

He said, “Around 16,000 people have been taken off the electoral register in Preston.

“It’s quite clear that they disproportionately come from the Asian community.

“The problems are noticeable in some of our heartlands.

“In certain streets we’ve been knocking on doors and found that every second house will have people who have not got a vote and have not received their voting cards.”

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Sat 7 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1950a
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