Friday, May 04, 2007

SSP hold council seat

With an overall disappointing night for the left, it is good to note that SSP member Jim Bollan has held his council seat in West Dunbartonshire.

UPDATE: Sadly the SSP's Keith Baldassara has lost his council seat in Glasgow Pollock, gaining 591 votes. The influence of Tommy Sheridan' name is clear by the fact that Keith, who has been a tremendously good councillor carrying out work on behalf of his constituents got less votes then Alice Sheridan, standing under the banner "Solidaity - Tommy Sheridan". (In fact I understand that Keith used to carry out a large part of Tommy's MSP case load) The combined votes of Solidarity and the SSP would have been enough to win a seat in the four member ward, as it was three labour and one SNP councillor were elected.

Solidarity did however win a seat in Glasgow, in Creightom ward, where Ruth Black topped the poll with 1220 first preference votes, while the Greens got only 315 and Wullie mcGartland just 224 for the SSP. Ruth is a worker for Glasgow's LGBT community, and it would be interesting to know the factors behind her success.


Mark P said...

It seems so far that Solidarity outpolled the SSP in every regional list and in every council clash I have so far heard reported. This seems to have occurred even where the SSP had sitting MSPs or councillors.

It really goes to show just how much of the SSP's support identified with Sheridan first and the SSP or their other elected representatives second, or not at all.

Korakious said...

It really goes to show just how much of the SSP's support identified with Sheridan first and the SSP or their other elected representatives second, or not at all.

Which has been disastrous for the SSP, and I believe will be even more disastrous for Solidarity.

The next few months will be crucial for the left in Scotland.

Mark P said...

From another forum:

Central Scotland (this was Carolyn Leckie's seat):
Solidarity 5,012 (1.8%)
SSP 2,188 (0.8%)

Highlands and Islands:
Solidarity 1,833 (1.0%)
SSP 973 (0.5%)

Mid Scotland and Fife:
Solidarity 2,468 (0.9%)
SSP 1,116 (0.4%)

South of Scotland (this was Rosemary Byrne's seat):
Solidarity 3,433 (1.2%)
SSP 1,114 (0.4%)

Glasgow (this was Sheridan and Kane's seat):
Solidarity 8,544 (4.1%)
SSP 2,579 (1.2%)

Lothians (this was Colin Fox's seat):
Solidarity 2,998 (1.0%)
SSP 1,994 (0.7)

North East Scotland:
Solidarity 2,004 (0.8%)
SSP 1,051 (0.4%)

West of Scotland (this was Frances Curran's seat):
Solidarity 4,774 (1.8%)
SSP 1,716 (0.6%)

Solidarity 31,066
SSP 12,831

Solidarity finished between 6th and 9th places on the various lists and averaged about 1.7% of the vote. The SSP finished between 11th and 13th on the lists and averaged about 0.6% of the vote. One of the strangest things about the regional lists is that having sitting MSP's seems to have had little or no added value for the SSP or for Solidarity, leaving Sheridan aside.

A case could be made that there was a small benefit for the SSP in having Fox in Lothians, where they got closer to Solidarity. Also I suppose a case could be made that Byrne had some useful name recognition in the South of Scotland where I gather Solidarity featured her name rather than Tommy's on the ballot and they still got three times the SSP vote. Both of these advantages seem to have been marginal at best though.

DaphneL said...

The Scottish Socialist split reminds me very much in how it panned out as the split in the Alliance, New Zealand's left-reformist formation during the 1990's. After their leader split, the rump of the Alliance were knocked down to 1.2% in the election. They were determined that, since they had the proper democratic structures, were attractive to "real militant activists" and now that they'd now got rid of the Bad People Who'd Ruined Everything, they would rebuild.

At the next election, they got 500 votes nationwide. This has lessons for Andy's unfortunate sectarian stance on the Scotland issue. The Alliance could have rebuilt itself if it had actually reached out to the rest of the radical left - but instead they adopted the attitude of "we are the real party, everyone else is spliiters, join us and then we'll talk". And then they were amazed that no-one joined them.

The Alliance leaders can still be found on NZ indymedia, issuing press releases as if they were still a major party. Don't let this happen to you. Saying that Solidarity is better wiped out so that a socialist party of the type Andy likes can spring up is just sad. It reminds me of the people who yell that Hugo Chavez is an obstacle to the Venezuelan revolution.

AN said...


You have a good point here, and i think the Scottosh left (not that they necessarily care what i think) need to consructivly work with Ruth Black.

We need to be pragmatic, and Solidarity, despite its weaknesses is an actually existing organisaton of socialists that needs to be collaborated with.

However, Tommy Sheridan himself is a time-bomb waiting to happen, is utterely self-centred and self-obsessesed and may end up in gaol, in fact is liely to end up in gaol for his perjury, which is why i think it would have been a disaster if he was the only person elected.

This will be a challenging next few months for the Scottish left (although they are still better off than we are in engalnd!!!) and they have to find a way to orient around the actually existing situation.

AN said...

sorry i misread that, it was daphne not Daniel

I have had a bit to drink

Korakious said...

(although they are still better off than we are in engalnd!!!)

Well that's heartening :)

Anonymous said...

Your comments and jibes towards Tommy Sheridan are a little uncalled for.

Whatever his faults, he does have a genuine record of fighting tooth and nail for working class people.

Adam J

Nick Bird said...

Andy, you must have been drinking something very potent to believe that the left in Scotland is better off than the left in England. I'll have a couple of pints of it please.

Neil said...

From what I gather the factors behind her success were

1)For the new STV system Keith Baldassara's ward (where he is well known and popular) was split between to larger wards - and he stood in the other one.

2)The SSP stood a candidate from outside the area and didnt campaign specifically for the council seat. The SSPs main activists in the area could not commit to stand as they couldn't afford to give up work to become a cllr should they win.

3) Tommy Sheridan's name on the ballot paper still carried some weight in the area.

4) Tommy's wife Gail is very well known locally (is part of lots of community groups etc)

5) Ruth is president of the Glasgow LGBT centre and used her influence over the LGBT community in the area.