The Socialist Unity Network

RESPECT call for help in by-elections

To all Respect members and supporters,

Respect candidates will be standing in both the Leicester South and Birmingham
Hodge Hill by-elections, called for Thursday 15th July, just two and a half
weeks away.

In Leicester South journalist Yvonne Ridley, who led our European list in the
North East, was selected on Friday. In Birmingham Hodge Hill John Rees, who led
our list in the West Midlands, was selected on Sunday.

We built up a strong base in both constituencies during the European election
campaign. In Leicester South we gained most of the 9.2% of the vote we got in
Leicester as a whole. Observers at the count confidently estimate this must have
been over 20% of the vote in the constituency, with Respect topping the poll in
some wards. In Hodge Hill we obtained 26% of the vote in one ward in the

The Greens are not going to stand candidates in either by-election and the
Liberal Democrats are now in coalition with the Tories in both cities. Respect
is therefore clearly in a strong position to rally the vote against the major

To maximise our chances of good results in the two elections which will be very
fiercely contested by New Labour and Lib Dems and even the Tories, it is vital
we get as many campaigners as possible into the two constituencies over the next
two and a half weeks.

We are asking members and supporters from across the country to go to Birmingham
if you're on the west side of the country, and to Leicester on the east side,
next weekend and the weekend after, and on any day you can get there in the
final four days of the campaign, and particularly election day the 15th.

We need to get our tabloid and other leaflets to all of the 45,000 households in
each constituency and to do as much canvassing as possible. The Lib Dems created
the momentum which gave them the safe Labour seat of Brent East last Autumn by
inundating the constituency with leaflets and campaigners. NOW WE NEED TO DO THE

Transport to Leicester and Birmingham is being organised by local groups across
the country. If you want to go to campaign next weekend, or at any other time,
but you are unsure of travel arrangements, please contact the national office
tomorrow on 020 7170 4030.

If you want to go to Birmingham to campaign at times other than those for which
transport is being organised locally, please phone Andy on 07748 264668 or
Perviz on 07904 293 164.

If you want to go to Leicester to campaign at times other than those for which
transport has been organised locally, please phone Fayyaz on 07956 119044 or
Mike on 07960 229186.

We also hope to post campaign diaries for both elections on the website from
early next week.

Finally, can I appeal again for members and supporters to send us emergency
donations for the two elections if possible as soon as possible. Cheques should
be made payable to 'Unity Political Fund'. Please indicate when sending
donations that they are for the by-elections.

Many thanks for all your support,

Rob Hoveman, Respect National Office


July 2004


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