Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/392/4449
Big vote for socialism in Bolsover
SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE candidate Jon Dale received nearly 26% of the vote standing in the Bolsover SW and Scarcliffe division of Derbyshire county council. Jon told the socialist:
"Where there was no chance of a Tory winning as a result of Labour voters switching to socialist, large numbers showed their anger at the Labour government by doing so. Some people told us that they weren't going to vote at all until seeing that we were standing in the county council election.
There were also many others who sympathised with our views but showed their feelings for Blair by staying at home on the day.
Our campaign highlighted two local issues - a lack of youth facilities being responsible for some anti-social behaviour, and the need to clean up the polluted local Coalite site, where a coke and chemical plant closed last year. We also exposed the privatisation agenda and low pay that Labour now promotes.
Our vote reflects years of campaigning in the area on many issues. In a small town it is easier to get known than in cities with more mobile populations. But boundary changes cut our vote by taking out a third of the town and adding outlying villages where we have not campaigned in the past.
The BNP stood in the neighbouring division, getting 750 votes (13%) in a three-way contest. It shows that socialist ideas can get far more support than their racist programme in a working class community devastated by pit and factory closures, despite the national publicity they receive.
Many local people saw the Socialist Party as a viable alternative to Labour. This result shows the potential a new mass workers' party could have, if it had the authority of nationally known trade union leaders behind it."
In The Socialist 12 May 2005: