Brian Debus, Hackney and Islington TUSC convenor
Following a very short election campaign, Annoesjka Valent, Socialist Party member and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate for Hackney mayor, received a very creditable 1,265 votes, 3.42% of the vote.
We stood on a programme of building 100% council housing on land the council owns, and rent controls in the private sector to reduce the current housing crisis. We said: take over empty properties and house the homeless.
Since the advent of mayoral elections, Labour has always won with ease in Hackney. On this occasion it succeeded in halving its vote from 36,000 in 2022 to 18,474. Apparently half its vote was made up of postal voters.
With an electorate of over 180,000 this means only one in ten of the population voted Labour, in what is traditionally seen as a rock-solid Labour area.
Our campaign included attending two hustings meetings where our policies received widescale support, and organising a public meeting of 25, which raised close to £800 for the election campaign.
We displayed posters proclaiming: “Build council homes! Rent controls now! Restore youth services! Reverse all austerity cuts! Make government and the rich pay, not workers and young people!” into over 150 local shops and cafes.
We leafleted parents at local primary schools, some facing closure, which we totally opposed. We called for reduced class sizes, and more funding from central government.
We distributed 5,000 leaflets via campaign stalls in local shopping areas, canvassing local estates and outside transport stations.
This was our first outing in a mayoral election and we are very pleased with our vote, and more importantly, the opportunity for our socialist ideas and programme to be delivered to every household in the borough.