Monday, 15 May 2017

Far Left Candidates at the 2017 General Election

As predicted, a few left groups would find enough in the fighting fund to splash out on deposits for a clutch of general election challenges. These aren't your lily-livered SWP, SP/TUSC, CPB, or SSP. These are proper revolutionaries determined to pay no mind to wider politics. Who are these brave, some may say foolhardy, souls?

Communist League
Islington North - Andres Mendoza (2015: SPGB 112 (0.2%))
Manchester Gorton - Peter Clifford (2015: TUSC 264 (0.6%))

People Before Profit Alliance
West Belfast - Gerry Carroll (2015: WP 597 (1.7%), PBPA 6,798 (19.2%))

Socialist Labour Party
Birmingham Perry Barr - Shangara Bhatoe (2015: TUSC 331 (0.8%))
Bootle - Kim Bryan (2015: TUSC 500 (1.1%))
North Cornwall - Robert Hawkins

Socialist Party of Great Britain
Battersea - Daniel Lambert
Islington North - Bill Martin (2015: SPGB 112 (0.2%))
Swansea West - Brian Johnson (2015: SPGB 49 (0.1%), TUSC 159 (0.5%))

Workers Party
Belfast North - Gemma Weir (2015: WP 919 (2.3%))
Belfast West - Conor Campbell (2015: WP 597 (1.7%), PBPA 6,798 (19.2%))

Workers Revolutionary Party
Camberwell and Peckham - Aminata Sellu (2015: WRP 107 (0.2%), TUSC 292 (0.6%))
Ealing Southall - Arj Thiara
Hackney South and Shoreditch - Jonty Leff (2015: WRP 63 (0.1%), TUSC 302 (0.6%))
Hornsey and Wood Green - Anna Athow (2015: WRP 82 (0.1%))
Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough - Mike Driver

And that's your lot! Just 14 seats and two clashes, so the WRP can justly make the claim to be fielding the largest revolutionary intervention in this general election. Indeed, this is certainly the smallest far left presence I've ever known. It might even be the weakest ever.

As with all things, I may have overlooked one or two candidates. If that is the case, please let me know.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also at least one de facto TUSC candidate in Soton.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if you see the Workers Party as Far Left? i thought they became Democratic Left in the Irish Republic and mostly disappeared into the Labour party in Ireland?

Anonymous said...

i respect that you support labour but just want to say that for me the fact the far-left has caved in at this election shows its total irrelevance, if it had roots and uniqueness then it would stand against labour candidates however left wing they were. It might even acheive what ukip have done (they stuck at it for twenty five years to do it so dont get to excited) and force labour to adopt or change just one policy. Myself i will never vote for far-left candidates again i just cant take seriously a movement that has imploded so easily before a shift to the left from one of its competitiors.

Mark Livingston said...

Anyone who thinks Liz Kendall is a Tory can't be all bad. Solidarity.

Blissex said...

According to several Labour people you should include:

Islington North - J Corbyn (2015: Militant Tendency, 70%).

:-)

Heather said...

Aren't People Before Profit a bit different - they poll okay and are standing in Northern Ireland where Labour don't field candidates?

Blissex said...

«who thinks Liz Kendall is a Tory can't be all bad»

She is not quite a tory, more a "progressive" liberal-tory; P Mandelson used the expression "quasi-Conservative party" to describe New Labour/Progress/purple.

Phil said...

PBP are an alliance of various Trotskyist outfits, so yes, their vote does catch some who would otherwise be captured by a cross-community labour party.

That doesn't explain all of their support, but it is a factor.

Ed said...

It's not really fair or accurate to include Gerry Carroll and People Before Profit with the others on this list ('proper revolutionaries determined to pay no mind to wider politics'). They're a serious organization with a real electoral base; they won two seats in the 2016 Assembly election, and Carroll held onto his in the snap election a couple of months ago. Anytime I've met people from PBP in Belfast or Derry they've always struck me as very serious, hard-working and clued-in activists; Sinn Féin certainly take their challenge seriously.

(They're not an alliance of 'various Trotskyist outfits' at all BTW - the Irish SWP are the only group of any significance in PBP; the Irish SP has its own electoral front in Northern Ireland which got nowhere in the assembly elections)

Their main political misstep recently IMO has been following the lead of their British sister party and supporting a 'Lexit' line in last year's referendum.* The British SWP could say what it liked about Brexit and nobody outside a small left-wing milieu would pay much attention. PBP, on the other hand, has to answer for its position to a wider audience, and you can't expect working-class nationalists in Derry or Belfast to be enthusiastic about a victory for the Tory right, UKIP and the DUP which has strengthened British nationalism in an especially chauvinistic form. Sinn Féin have been using it as a stick to beat them with, and it's probably done them real harm. But in any case, this is the sort of thing that only becomes a problem when you break out of the far-left ghetto and make some kind of wider impact, which none of the far-left groups in Britain have done since Respect fell apart.

*BTW I don't believe that they simply followed orders from London; it's a common trope for Irish republicans (SF or otherwise) to claim that the Irish Trotskyist groups are just satellites of the British organizations, but I think the relationship is more complicated than that (for one thing, the Irish SP and SWP have been far more successful than the British organisations over the last decade, so that has to influence things).