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Posted on 9 May 2011 at 15:25 GMT

Overwhelming rejection of Con-Dems in Leicester

"Red Leicester" is how Radio Leicester was describing the city during the vote count last Friday. We might dispute how red it really is, but there has been an astonishing transformation of the council.

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

Before the last council elections four years ago the Lib Dems controlled the city with Tory support.

Every single one of those Lib Dem councillors has now lost their seat!

The Lib Dems and Tories are reduced to one seat each compared to Labour's 52. Even the sole Lib Dem councillor was a Tory a few weeks ago and has just defected to them! The Labour vote needed weighing rather than counting.

In one ward the Labour candidates got over 6,000 votes each - astonishing for a local election. In the mayoral vote - happening for the first time - Labour got 46,500 votes, with the Tories second on 9,600 and the Lib Dems pushed into fourth by an independent.

In the Leicester South parliamentary byelection Labour won with an increased majority. This landslide represents an overwhelming rejection of the coalition government and its public sector cuts and attacks on working class people.

If ever Labour had a mandate to oppose the Con-Dem cuts it would be now. If the mayor and the council were to reverse Labour's council cuts and begin a campaign to force the government to come up with more cash, they would get overwhelming support.

However, they do not plan to do this. Instead, they will push ahead with cuts such as closing old people's homes, shutting day care centres for the disabled and destroying many other services.

As these cuts start to have an impact on more and more people, Labour supporters will want to know why they are doing this. That is why it was so important for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) alongside others in 'Vote Against Cuts in Leicester' to stand anti-cuts candidates and put forward an alternative to just accepting the government's cuts.

In this slate there were 13 council candidates, including nine Socialist Party members and four from 'Unity For Peace and Socialism' (UPS), plus the mayoral candidate.

Considering how widely stretched we were we were extremely pleased with our results. In the multi-seat wards where we stood a full slate of candidates we got 5.3% for TUSC in Braunstone, and 4.5% and 4.3% for UPS in Evington and Coleman respectively.

Mohinder Farma, for UPS, got 1,944 votes for mayor. We had significant donations and support from a wide layer of trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners and broadened our support into new areas.

Above all we feel that an important step has been made along the route of creating a working class political alternative in the city as part of the national movement against cuts.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

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Related links:


triangleLockdown Leicester: trade unionists and parents fight for safety

triangleEnd the scandal of sweatshop labour

triangleTories put profit before lives

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why do we need a revolutionary party?

triangleSchools... no going back until it's safe


triangleTime to relaunch TUSC

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleNew twist in Derby TUSC election agent case

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Council elections:

triangleEngland council elections: socialist anti-cuts message chimes with voters

triangleWorcester: Fightback against library cuts

triangleCouncil elections - an opportunity to present a socialist alternative to cuts

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