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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 May 2012

Coventry: Socialist campaigner Dave Nellist narrowly loses

Lenny Shail, Coventry Socialist Alternative election agent

For the 14 hours of election day in Coventry, rain fell almost without ceasing. Yet despite the terrible weather conditions Socialist Party supporters in St Michael's ward campaigned relentlessly in a hard fought battle to re-elect Dave Nellist, the sitting Socialist Party councillor.

Standing under the name of Socialist Alternative, as part of TUSC, Dave narrowly lost, receiving 1,469 votes to Labour's 1,673.

While it is disappointing to have lost Dave on the council, the Socialist Party can be proud of the very hard fought campaign of the last six months. We have continued to widen our support and deepen our roots across the ward.

Labour have benefited from the transient nature of the population in St Michael's, with a high number of students, misleading new voters that it is only a vote between Labour and the Tories.

'Leaders' of some communities also exerted enormous pressure for a Labour vote. A significant minority of voters from those communities defied the pressure and voted for Dave.

Notwithstanding these difficulties, St Michael's saw a different trend from most of the country.

Labour's vote cut

Labour's majority of 1,200 in last year's vote was cut to 200. In the Charterhouse area of the ward, Dave received 70% of the vote. In the more populated Labour-strong area we increased our vote.

A lot of St Michael's voters will be upset that they have lost Dave, widely recognised as the only real opposition councillor in the city. Many across Coventry will be both puzzled and angry that Labour put more effort into defeating Dave than Tory councillors in marginal wards.

Labour hope they've dealt the fatal blow to the Socialist Party in Coventry, but instead we have growing support both in workplaces and elections.

Across the city our candidates received 3,614 votes, 5.6%, the third-highest.

Dave and the Socialist Party will be playing a leading role in fighting to defend jobs and public services, starting with supporting public sector picket lines on 10 May.

The basis has now been laid for going to three Socialist Party branches in the city, to continue building our strong base in the trade unions and among young people, and get back in the council chamber in the future.

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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.
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In The Socialist 9 May 2012:


Socialist Party election analysis

Legitimacy of Cameron and Clegg further shattered

Election results: How did TUSC do?

Con-Dems battered in Scottish local elections

Labour's best Wales result in 21 years will not stop cuts

London elections - TUSC: A marker for future struggles

Coventry: Socialist campaigner Dave Nellist narrowly loses

4,792 mayoral vote for Liverpool 47 candidate

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition local election reports

Unison attacks TUSC candidate


International socialist news and analysis

France: A weekend that shocked Europe

Greece: Political earthquake sees pro-austerity parties' support collapse


Socialist Party news and analysis

Water waste of money!

MPs find Murdoch "not fit" to run media empire

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Good result for Socialist Students candidates in NUS elections

Health services at risk in Cardiff and Vale

Privatisation pushes up transport costs in Yorkshire

Care home closures in Sheffield

Police restrict anti-racist protesters in Luton


Socialist Party workplace news

Come to the NSSN conference!

Greenwich libraries - fighting back can win

Exposed: the dirty world of NHS privatisation

Duncan Smith throws insults at Remploy workers

Workplace news in brief


Reviews and comments

Film review: 'Cocaine Unwrapped'

Turning anger into action


 

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