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Coventry by-election helps build socialist alternative to cuts
Lenny Shail, Coventry Socialist Party
The Socialist Party reaffirmed its strong position in Coventry, coming third in the Lower Stoke ward council by-election on Thursday 6 October on 254 votes (10.06%).
The Socialist Party finished ahead of the racist BNP (149 votes, 5.9%), Greens (114 votes, 3.13%) and Lib Dems (79 votes, 3.13%). On a 18.5% turnout, 2,525 overall votes, Labour retained the seat on 1,366 votes (54.1%) ahead of the Tories on 563 votes (22.3%).
In what was a short campaign period a total of three leaflets and three weekly canvases went out across the ward for Rob McArdle, the 'Socialist Alternative' candidate. Only our day-glo posters could be seen in the ward, thanks to the many discussions that took place on the doors (the only party to do so!) and the concrete work that the Socialist Party and its councillor Dave Nellist have done over many years in defending jobs, homes and services across Coventry.
The Unite union convenor of one of Coventry's last motor manufacturing factories, London Taxi Company, was one of the people who nominated and displayed a poster for Rob.
The pre-election public meeting attracted 40 people to hear Rob and Dave speak, and inspired people to join the Socialist Party.
On election day, Socialist Party teams were out all day leafleting, campaigning on stalls, knocking doors and driving round in a loud-speaker equipped car.
The result and work done in the by-election is an important step forward for the anti-cuts movement in Coventry and support for socialist ideas.