Friday, May 06, 2005

Over to our resident psephologist

Although of course, at this stage, we are not concerned with the number of votes we get at an election but with how much and how effectively contesting allows us to get across socialist ideas, the result both in number of votes (240) and percentage (0.6) terms is the "best" (relatively speaking) we have had in London since 1970, also, coincidentally, when we contested the seat into which fell our head office at 52 Clapham High Street (then called Clapham Wandsworth). In between, in the 1974, 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992 and 1997 general elections (we didn't stand in London in 2001) our vote and percentage was only half this.
By way of comparison, the result for the other candidates calling themselves "socialist" (but actually standing for reforms and state capitalism) in the area covered by the South London Press was: Scargill Labour Party 149 (Dulwich & West Norwood) and 132 (Camberwell & Peckham); "Workers Revolutionary Party" 127 (Streatham) and 113 (Camberwell & Peckham) ; Councillor Ian Page of the "Socialist Alternative Party" 742 (Lewisham & Deptford); and Respect 700 (Tooting), no doubt mainly Muslim votes.
We make this point to show that there is nothing to be gained even in terms of votes by having an attractive programme of reforms. We contested this election (as we do all elections) on a straight socialist programme of common ownership and democratic control of the means of life, with production to satisfy people's needs not profit, and distribution "from each their ability, to each their needs", with the disappearance of the market and money. They promised higher pensions, minimum wage, etc, etc. Yet they don't do any better in terms of votes, probably because if people want reforms they're going to vote for a party that they judge has got some chance of being able to implement them.
Another example of this was in Swindon North, where there was an independent candidate, Ernie Reynolds, standing on an "abolish money now" platform (even if, confusedly, only in Britain). He got 195 votes compared to 208 for a "Socialist Unity" candidate (rump of the old "Socialist Alliance" after the SWP dumped it) offering the full range of reforms that Trotskyists always do.
So we shall continue to plug away, in between as well as during elections, at putting across the case for socialism and nothing but.


matttherat said...

Comradely greetings,
Congratulations on keeping up the struggle for socialism and nothing less.I hope you keep the blog going.
Matt Culbert West lothian

Manfarang said...

Pie in the Sky!

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