Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/157/7805
Putting socialists on the map in Carlisle
ON 4 May we celebrated getting 24.5% of the vote (305) in Botcherby ward in Carlisle in our first election campaign.
Paul Wilcox (Candidate), Craig Johnston (Election Agent), Louise Van Der Hoeven (Branch Secretary)
On election day we had 60 placards all over the ward. On the main road into Carlisle you would come across the sign saying welcome to Carlisle and beside it was a placard saying Vote Socialist.
We also noticed some Labour posters were coming down towards the end of the election and ours were going up. We leafleted over 2,500 homes with six different leaflets on issues such as pensions, council housing and the NHS. We canvassed three-quarters of the ward and got 600 promises, we gave out over 200 vote Socialist stickers to local kids on the estates and got a higher percentage of votes than 14 other mainstream candidates in other wards in the city.
Last year people didn't have a choice. This year we gave them an alternative a working-class, socialist alternative. But it does not stop after elections, we are now launching a defend council housing campaign.
At the election count one of New Labour's workers said brashly that we had only got 305 votes. We replied to him that "it has taken you over 100 years to achieve over 400 votes it's taken us four weeks to get over 300. We have only just begun".
In The Socialist 12 May 2000: