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Last days before election day

Jim Jepps


There are only days to go before the crucial June 10th elections.

 

Crucial for the government who desperately want to demonstrate people are for their project. Crucial for the Tories who need a success to point to to help them launch their bid to win the next election (fat chance?) and crucial for the Liberals who hope to capitalise on those who despise both Thatcher's old mate and Thatcher's young pupil.

 

It is also a crucial time for the minor parties, and it appears that the 'others' will do very well this time round as more and more people feel disenfranchised by respectable political circles.

 

UKIP hope to make a break through at this election, although it is hard to see what they have done with their surprise three MEPs that won in 1999, apart from draw the fat salaries that is.

 

The BNP have been digging for victory over the last few years and have a record number of councillors. However, the tide may have turned for these repulsive little Hitlers. Not only has there been consistent opposition to them where ever they raise their head (despite the BBC insisting on allowing them airtime and opportunity to spread their message of hate) they are also being headed off at the pass by UKIP who will undoubtedly draw away many a potential BNP voter.

 

The Greens are making a strong showing and hope, through a combination of the reputation of their well respected MEPs, their consistent anti-war stance and a long term profile that they can make gains at these elections. It could be a struggle as the reduction in the number of seats could hit the Greens fairly hard, but anecdotally their support seems to be holding, if not growing.

 

And of course RESPECT hope to make a strong showing and prove that it is possible to create a broad progressive organisation committed to peace and opposed to privatisation. If RESPECT can achieve a respectable vote it will ensure the possibility of the continuation of the project and the  prospect of a chance to shift some of the political debate to the left.

 

This of course is not to discount the scattering of brave socialists who are standing in the local elections. Ian Page who is standing in the GLA elections for instance for the Socialist Party will be hoping for a good vote, if not to win, and a number of socialists, under a variety of banners are flying the flag on the estates and local areas where we all need to build.

 

This last week is all of our opportunity to make a final push to make sure that we maximise the left vote through leafleting, last ditch press work and last but not least, voting for real change.

 

 

June 2004

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