Friday, November 21, 2008

Victory to Labour at Mile End East – Galloway well beaten into 3rd place by Tories

Just (00.44) got the result via text from the Council By-election at Mile End East, Tower Hamlets, London. Labour Candidate, Rachel Saunders and local Party activists slaughtered the opposition. Lab 1208, diss-Respect 604, Con 630 and Lib Dem 110. I don’t know the turnout but I suspect it was high for a Council by-election. This is a very good result for the Labour Party, a clear victory.

Despite the national economic problems, Rachel got roughly twice as many votes as Galloway’s Respect and the Tories. These are the published 2006 Council election results. It’s a bit complicated (actually very) to compare since in 2006 the Ward returned 2 Labour and one Respect Councillors. But since then the Respect Councillor (who was also a SWP member) has defected to the Tories and the current Respect Candidate (playing community politics it would appear) actually stood as an independent last time against Respect and Labour. He only marginally increased his vote as a Respect candidate compared to that as an independent, which I think indicates the true level of poplar support for the ultra left brand of Galloway’s Respect (less than 100 voters or so per ward).

I was very impressed with the way that the local Party had organised the campaign. I started off with a team of keen and enthusiastic Labour Society students from local university, Queen Mary (see photo with local MP Jim Fitzpatrick). Then later on I fell in with my West Ham CLP compatriots, John & John, in a canvass team headed by Rachel’s Husband! We were knocking on the doors of “Labour promises”, who were people who had indicated they were Labour supporters but had so far not voted according to the polling agents.

I canvassed mostly the “East End Homes” blocks in Southern Grove, Bow (next to where I use to work in the UNISON office). We went round and around these blocks trying to catch supporters and remind them to vote! The only sign of the opposition I saw was one strangely “suited and booted” respect canvass team (with Green rosettes) who appeared to be having some sort of stand up row between themselves near English Street. Things were probably pretty fraught for all political activists tonight. The polls closed at 10pm and we were still “knocking people up” at 9.45pm. Afterwards we went for a fairly well earned beer and curry in Brick Lane (photo). I assume they are still celebrating in Brick Lane even now as I type and, why not, well done everyone, especially Rachel.


Anonymous said...

I did not know that Galloway was standing bit of a misleading post don't you think

You would have thought Fitzpatrick's life depended on winning this seat with the propaganda that was floating around!

Anonymous said...

Yay! Go Labour.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
It was the title not the post and anyway, no, it isn’t misleading. Respect is Galloway’s creature, it is now (as ever?) a one-man band with a few bits and bobs attached. This is his defeat and I think he knows it.

Jim is the local MP? What do you expect him to be doing? Siting at home?

Come on now – show you have some decency about you, genuinely congratulate Rachel and the local Labour Party for running an excellent and organised campaign. You can disagree with the politics and wish the result was otherwise! But go on, do it, congratulate the winners!

Anonymous said...

another Nu Labour councillor oh my
I would not say that Galloway was "well beaten" by the Tories considering Respect is a small party it managed to pull out enough voters to come quiet a respectable third place, with only a couple of dozen votes behind the opposition party of the country The Conservatives and they also pushed the Lib Dem's your old running buddies into oblivion,
Quiet frankly I would say that was quiet an achievement but we will see what happens during the next General election when all the big three parties will be stretched and will not be able to put the resources into an election like they did for this rather petty by-election which in fact who really cares who won - because it will make no difference to Tower Hamlets council either way.
I find it very distasteful that you sing out gleefully that a Right wing Tory Party won against a party that stands on the principles of the left
'shame on you'
We all know from your previous posts and your obsession with the elected Respect Member of Parliament George Galloway but unlike your bazaar approach to this post that I would rather have him than any TORY AND WHAT THEY STAND FOR!
How about you Greysee