Party news: Tories again win London
The Tories retained control of the Greater London Council in the elections on 9 April. Once again over three-quarters of a million electors had a chance to vote directly for Socialist candidates. As expected, in a low poll, only a thousand or so did.
This was the first large-scale election in Britain where Party names appear (not loo prominently however) on the ballot papers. Our 14 candidates used the description “The Socialist Party of Great Britain”. We were in fact the only people to use the word “socialist” at all, a fact which should help our campaign to stop the Press and Tories referring to the Labour Party as such. A Party spokesman was also interviewed for three minutes on Thames Television on 24 March. This was the first time the Party case has been presented on television in London, though it had been put a number of times in other regional programmes. We have yet to be allowed a formal Party Political Broadcast or even an appearance on a national television programme.
Two other incidents are worth recording. In Camden, at a meeting on transport held on 23 March, the Labour candidate, Luke O’Connor, was the first to protest when he was mistakenly introduced by the chairman as the candidate of “the socialist party”. At another meeting in Ealing on 2 April, in which all the parties in the election there took part, the candidates of the so-called Communist Party and Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement sat next to each other. This contrasts with the attitude the Communist Party adopted towards a meeting at Bristol University on 23 January which their candidate at the Swindon parliamentary by-election refused to attend on the grounds that the general secretary of the Union Movement had also been invited. It would seem to show that the Communist Party has come to realise that, as our speaker at the Bristol meeting pointed out, debating with fascists in no way condones their views but is in fact a way of opposing them.
In Haringey a group of anarchists put up six candidates for the three seats under such labels as the “Bread and Circus Party” and the “All Night Party” in order to demonstrate their mistaken view that elections are a fraud and a farce. Their candidates are shown as A in the results below; HBR means “Homes Before Roads”, a single-issue reform group:
CAMDEN: O’Connor (Lab) 26,265, Collins (Lab) 26,140, Kazantzis (Lab) 25,731, Lemkin (C) 24,416, Townsend (C) 24,346, Mansel (C) 24,047, Calmann (L) 2,565, Peacock (L) 2,252, Benad (L) 2,208, McLennan (Comm) 1,692, Peacock (HBR) 1,311, Walker (HBR) 1,249, Jacka (HBR) 1,037, Cox (Soc) 391, Davies (Soc) 323, Grant (Soc) 299, Elliott (UM) 195.
EALING: Dobson (C) 43,219, Farrow (C) 43,130, Patterson (C) 42,904, Young (C) 41,608, Hughes (Lab) 35,206, Eckles (Lab) 34,983, Mason (Lab) 34,955, Newson (Lab) 34,299, Lewisohn (L) 3,195, Davies (L) 3,165, Hankinson (L) 3,026, Bailey (L) 2,804, Foley (HBR) 2,010, Greeves (HBR) 1,683, St. George (HBR) 1,626, Spence (HBR) 1,594, Tank (Comm) 1,190, George (Soc) 735, Wilson (UM) 708, Buchanan (Soc) 695, Rose (Soc) 392, Sawyer (Soc) 293.
HARINGEY: Bains (C) 26,716, Gilbey (C) 26,471, Malynn (C) 26,156, Chaplin (Lab) 25.625. Morrisey (Lab) 24.949. Gurr (Lab) 24,890, Fox (L) 1.997, Parker (L) 1,928, Edwards (L) 1,910. Morris (Comm) 1,337. Ramsay (Comm) 982. Hicklin (HBR) 461. Phillips (HBR) 458, Carter (Soc) 443, Buick (Soc) 374. Thompson (HBR) 353, Cooper (A) 234, Waite (Soc) 212, Borowski (A) 212, Whittaker (A) 154, Kibble (A) 149, Summers (UM) 145, Kerner (A) 133, Hood (A) 77.
LAMBETH: Geddes (C) 34,111. Grieves (Lab) 33,936, Crofton (C) 33,918, Livingston (C) 33,868. Gumbel (C) 33,774, Jones (Lab) 33,738, Chesworth (Lab) 33.645. Ponsonby (Lab) 33,045, Delaney (L) 1,952. Beaven (L) 1,847, Larkin (L) 1,784, Barker (L) 1,781, Grier (HBR) 1,186, Keelan (HBR) 1,100, Luckett (HBR) 1,004, Thomas (HBR) 956. Hope (Comm) 888, Styles (Comm) 745, Garnham (Soc) 620, Phillips (Soc) 536, Boaks (Ind) 366, Sansum (Soc) 337, Simkins (Soc) 295. Archer (UM) 293.