Our 2022 local election campaign

June 2022 Forums World Socialist Movement Our 2022 local election campaign

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    Despite our Annual Conference taking place at the same time, election activity continued in Clapham yesterday. We covered a “day of action” by local campaigning groups in Windrush square. The were half-a-dozen stalls but not many takers. After giving the stallholders a leaflet we moved on to outside Brixton tube station where (amongst the Christian and Muslim religious fanatics who are always there) we gave out leaflets to the many passers-by.

    There are now only 300-400 leaflets left.

    There are quite a few Latin Americans living in the area. We met two with contrasting political views. One, from Venezuela, was hostile to the word “socialism”. The other, who came to Britain as a child when Pinochet overthrew the Allende government in 1973, took a leaflet to give to her daughter who is an elector in Clapham East ward.


    Kent & Sussex branch are planning to finish distributing the election leaflets in Tunbridge Wells this Sunday 1 May. Anyone wishing to help, text or phone 07971 715569 about where to meet up.


    A comrade in a nearby ward in Clapham where we don’t have a candidate has distributed about 700 leaflets as part of the QR experiment. They only have less than 200 left which will be distributed before polling day in 5 May.

    There are also less than 200 left at Head Office which the branch hopes to distribute tomorrow.


    Here is a blow by blow account in a local online paper of the online hustings last Saturday from which we excluded:

    Housing, inequality and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods all feature in online hustings ahead of Lambeth Council local elections in May

    The following comment has been submitted:

    “You state that the parties contesting the elections were all represented. This is not accurate. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, which is fielding a candidate in Clapham East, was not only not represented but was deliberately excluded. The organisers even refused to read out a one-minute statement saying we were standing. Adam Buick, Election Agent for Danny Lambert.”

    We have also sent the Brixton Buzz the exchange of emails with the organisers to back up what we stated in the comment.


    Members of Kent & Sussex branch finished distributing leaflets throughout the ward on Sunday and Monday. Quite a few left over. Waiting to see if there will be any coverage tomorrow in the local free paper The Times of Tunbridge Wells, also online.


    No mention in today’s local free paper of us standing in Tunbridge Wells.


    How MyLondon reported the list of candidates standing in Clapham East ward:

    “Clapham East: Andrew Collins (Lab), Bobbie Craney (TU & Soc), Jake Freeman (Con), Tim Gingell (Green), Nicholas Hattersley (Green), John Hindson (Con), Daniel Lambert (Socialist), Jessica Leigh (Lab), Iestyn Williams (Lib Dem).”

    It is wrong as the nomination of one of the Green candidates was not accepted but it is right in identifying our candidate as the Socialist candidate.



    Pantiles & St Mark’s Ward

    Gavin Barras (Liberal Democrats) 1386 58% Elected

    Dogan Delman (Conservatives) 715 30% Not elected

    John Anthony Hurst (Green Party) 132 6% Not elected

    Lorna Blackmore (Labour) 130 5% Not elected

    Shannon Phineas Trahern Kennedy (The Socialist Party (GB)) 11 0.46% Not elected

    Voting Summary
    Seats 1
    Total votes 2374
    Electorate 5264
    Number of ballot papers rejected 12


    If you stood as Mr Blobby you probably would have got more votes.

    I wonder why you guys still think it’s worth contesting elections in the current climate? Surely there are better, and more cost effective ways of getting publicity? Like paying for a leaflet drop when there isn’t an election for example.


    The only reason Mr Blobby would have got more votes is because he once appeared on the front cover of the Socialist Standard.

    That aside, DJP makes a fair point which I happen to agree with.


    Here is the result for the Clapham East ward of Lambeth council.

    Leigh (Lab) 1127
    Collins (Lab) 1073
    Hattersley (Green) 411
    Willians (LD) 224
    Freeman (Con) 215
    Hindson (Con) 193
    Cranney (TUSC) 38
    Lambert (Soc) 31

    As electors had 2 votes the way to calculate the percentage is to compare votes with the 1744 ballot papers returned. 31 is 1.8 percent of this.

    Turnout was 23 percent.


    “I wonder why you guys still think it’s worth contesting elections in the current climate? Surely there are better, and more cost effective ways of getting publicity? Like paying for a leaflet drop when there isn’t an election for example.”

    Why would it be “more cost effective” to pay for a leaflet drop when there isn’t an election than when there is an election?


    Bijou Drains

    I’ve always been a little confused when members/sympathisers say, why don’t you do this/that/the other, with regard to various activities that the party undertake. Over the years I’ve seen comments like, why do you organise debates when we should arrange cooperative forums? Why do you have election campaigns as opposed to leaflet drops? Why do you arrange paper sales at left wing rallies as opposed to anarchist book fairs? Etc.etc. etc.

    The thing is, none of these things re mutual exclusive. We can do leaflet drops and also do elections, we can attend left wing rallies as well as anarchist book fairs. We can do all of these things (the fact is, we SHOULD all do all of them, it’s not like we are short of a bob or two)

    That some members think that it is worthwhile for them to carry out election campaigns, does not stop the critics of that type of activity from undertaking the kinds of activity that they think we should undertake. I cannot perceive the EC or the Party at large blocking the critics from undertaking the activities that are suggested. To those comrades who criticise this activity, go out and do it the way you think it should be done, no one is stopping you.

    I do not wish to be harsh, but to reiterate “the critics” are not being prevented from doing what they suggest.
    We are not some Leninist clique that needs to have some prescribed way of campaigning. We have the funds (within reason) for individual groups and members to do whatever they chose to do. If you’re not happy with election campaigns and think that we should do something else, what is to stop you organising and doing that activity yourself? The Party at large and the democratic structures of the Party are not stopping you!

    With regard to the campaign and the results, congratulations to all of the party members that got involved with the campaigns. In term so of results, the result that the Possibilist candidate received more or less the same number as the Impossiblist candidate, is pretty significant!

    I acknowledge that it is difficult to extrapolate from small numbers but, if we got a 1.5% result in a General Election, in the way that we got in Clapham East, based on the last election turnout, that would give us 480,212. I for one would be ecstatic with that!


    Entering candidates in local authority elections is free. The only expense is the printing of the leaflets and their distribution of leaflets is also free, accomplished by the voluntary labour of members themselves, and that activity results in a certain bonding with other members.

    National elections are another issue. They entail expensive deposits for each candidate we stand but leafleting to each constituent is performed free by Royal Mail, although we do pick up the cost of the leaflets as with council elections.

    It was 40 years before the Party even engaged in a General Election so it is not, for the moment, at least, the be-all and end-all


    In Clapham East the local branch spent £265 (from its own funds) on 4000 leaflets. The printer delivered nearly 4700. Nine branch members and sympathisers took part in distributing the leaflets, 6 through letter boxes and the others from street stalls.

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