Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2006

Increased votes for socialism in Lewisham

THE SOCIALIST PARTY councillors, Ian Page and Chris Flood, were both re-elected with increased votes in Lewisham’s Telegraph Hill ward.

Clive Heemskerk, Lewisham

Chris Flood was first elected, with 590 votes, in a by-election in December 2003. This time he polled 929 votes to secure victory.

Ian Page topped the poll this time, whereas in the last full council elections in 2002 he finished second behind one of the Labour candidates (see box). Moreover, his 1,118 votes were only bettered by five Labour candidates, out of 54, across the whole of Lewisham borough. It will be harder now for the (much-diminished) Labour group on Lewisham council to dismiss the socialist councillors as ‘unrepresentative’!

The only disappointment on the night was that New Labour managed to grab the third Telegraph Hill seat, despite a very good vote for Jess Leech in her first contest in the ward. The day-to-day work fighting for and alongside local residents obviously boosted the reputation of our sitting councillors, including amongst other parties’ voters. Some socialist voters were also confused about how many candidates they could choose, and only voted for Ian Page.

A re-designed ballot paper, as part of a Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) experiment with electronic counting, didn’t help. Also, two ‘early voting days’ at the Sainsbury’s superstore on the edge of the ward, another DCA experiment, benefited the main parties, with the wide publicity they get.

In contrast, we had to rely on door-to-door contact to get our message across and Socialist Party canvassers reported that many voters we spoke to after they had already voted, had been unaware that we were standing three candidates.

Another factor helping New Labour was the decision by the Green Party to stand against the Socialist Party councillors. In 2002, the Greens had only one candidate in Telegraph Hill.

The decision to stand three this time was contested inside the Green Party, with the 2005 Green parliamentary candidate for Lewisham West, Nick Long, issuing a personal endorsement of the Socialist Party candidates as best placed to defeat New Labour.

His approach was vindicated by the results. The Greens picked up council seats in Brockley and Ladywell wards but were not a serious challenge to New Labour in Telegraph Hill.

Across Lewisham Labour’s vote flatlined, with the main beneficiaries of a slightly higher turnout being the Liberal Democrats and the Greens, leading to a council with no overall control – the first time Labour hasn’t ruled in Lewisham since 1971.

In Telegraph Hill, however, there wasn’t the same ‘easy option’ available to unseat Labour. So it was a great sign for the future that so many voters backed a clear socialist alternative to the establishment parties.

Consolidating the socialist vote

IAN PAGE was first elected as a Labour councillor for the Telegraph Hill ward area in 1990 but was expelled from the Labour Party in 1995 for opposing cuts in council jobs and services.

In London boroughs, unlike most other parts of the country, councillors are only voted in once every four years, with three councillors elected per ward. In the first full council elections Ian contested as a Socialist Party councillor, in May 1998, he lost, polling 836 votes to an average Labour vote of 1,200. Fortunately, one of the Labour councillors soon resigned and, in June 1999, Ian won the subsequent by-election.

In the full council elections that followed, in 2002, Ian was re-elected with 1,065 votes, but a Labour candidate topped the poll with 1,132 votes.

This time, for the first time ever, the Socialist Party came top of the poll in Telegraph Hill.

Telegraph Hill result:

Ian Page, Socialist Party – 1,118 (37.4%)

Labour – 997 (33.3%)

Chris Flood, Socialist Party – 929 (31.1%)

Labour – 856 and 829 (28%)

Jess Leech, Socialist Party – 821 (27.5%)

Greens – 440, 427 & 413 (14.2%)

Lib Dems – 303, 248 & 202 (8.4%)

Tories – 235, 192 & 178 (6.7%)

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 11 May 2006:

Socialist Party election analysis

Victory for NHS campaign

Huddersfield: voters choose a socialist and a fighter!

Third socialist councillor elected in Coventry

Increased votes for socialism in Lewisham

Stoke - BNP wins close-run election

Excellent results for the Socialist Party

Local elections: A death blow for Blair?

Dangers in Respect's development

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Stop the threats to the NHS

International socialist news and analysis

Female factory workers in Russia start hunger strike

Venezuela: Fight for socialism

Iraq - the nightmare continues

Germany: 'Unity' at the expense of the working class

Morales takes on 'Big Oil'

Socialist Party workplace news

Postal union rejects pay offer

Student union leaders hide truth about lecturers' action


Home   |   The Socialist 11 May 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSchools and teaching: A perfect storm of cuts, underfunding, excessive workloads and low pay

triangleLewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleLabour MP attacks local student over anti-austerity art project

triangleSouth-East London Socialist Party: Grenfell fire - No justice, no peace!


triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Young people need socialism!


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleTories torn - bin them now

Socialist Party:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

Chris Flood:

triangleGaining momentum in Lewisham

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice