Respect in the elections
The first thing to note about yesterdays local elections is that Respect is here to stay. Labour wanted to cast us as a single issue party, a flash in the pan that benefitted from the war but couldn't hang around. They poured resources into Preston hoping to unseat our sitting candidate. Except it didn't work for them. Michael Lavalette was not only re-elected, but with more votes than the other candidates combined. Meanwhile we've won at least two more councillors, in Birmingham and Bolsover, got excellent seconds in Birmingham and Preston, as well as thirds in Cambridge, Coventry, Manchester, Essex and Bristol. Michael's re-election is vindication of the fantastic effort he has put in to the ward over the past few years, and proof of what a Respect councillor can do where we have them.
It's important to state this, since the rest of the press doesn't seem to be bothered. According to the Guardian it was a bad night for small parties. It seems like it was a relatively bad night for the Greens, and the BNP, and, unfortunately, the left in Scotland.
There're a few results yet to come in, including Leicester and Luton, where I've been hearing some optimistic things. Finally a note of congratulation for Tom Woodcock, our candidate in Romsey ward in Cambridge who I spent most of my time campaigning for. Tom upped his vote from last time round by about 100, pipping the Greens to third place. On the doorsteps it was clear that people now take us seriously, as an alternative to the pitiful Lib Dem council.
In Romsey, in Preston, in Birmingham and in a host of other local areas, Respect is here to stay.