Monday, 6 April 2015

The Far Left and the 2015 UK General Election

I just know you've been waiting for this: the combined list of far left candidates for the 2015 general election - so far. For once you can believe the hype. This could well be their biggest election challenge ever with 215 candidates - the last time they came close was 2001 off the back of a combined Socialist Alliance/Scottish Socialist Party/Socialist Labour Party challenge. Whatever you might say about them, and I'll be penning some thoughts about the campaigns later in the week, this is an impressive effort for a "movement" short on personnel and resource.

As per the 2010 list, far left here is defined as a group, party, or alliance that lays claims to Marxist, communist, and/or socialist labels and fits the notion of 'left-of-Labour' campaigning. Hence no Greens or SNP, despite some of their candidates having good left creds and campaigning records. The same goes for the mixed bag that is the National Health Action party, the Pirate Party (they're back), and Labour Representation Committee comrades standing for, um, Labour.

Also, this is not an exhaustive list. There's a bit of time before nominations close, so still occasion for arm-twisting here and there. I expect the TUSC tally to increase, along with the SLP and SSP's. You could be forgiven for thinking from this list that Scargill's party is an exclusively Welsh affair. Also, just like 2010, the Workers' Revolutionary Party have proven really annoying by refusing to list their candidates. Joining them in the doghouse is the SSP for the same, even though I've politely asked both. It's almost as if they're not taking the general election particularly seriously.

A note on the key. Each organisation is listed in alphabetical order with the constituencies they're standing in. If there is a * after the constituency this indicates a clash with another far left organisation. Should it be double, that means more than two are standing. The same after a candidate's name indicates that they stood in the seat previously. Should they be followed by a LU, they are standing on a joint TUSC/Left Unity ticket. The year is when the seat was last contested by a left-of-Labour outfit (going back to 2010), the initials the organisation(s) that contested it, followed by votes and percentage.

This is a provisional list that will be updated in due course.

Alliance for Green Socialism
Kensington - Toby Abse  (2010 : AGS 197 (0.6%))
Leeds North East - Celia Foote*  (2010: AGS 596 (1.3%))
Leeds North West - Mike Davies  (2010: AGS 121 (0.3%))

Class War
Cities of London and Westminster: Adam Clifford
Chingford & Woodford Green* - Lisa McKenzie
Croydon South - Jon Bigger
Lichfield - Andy Bennets
Maidenhead - Joe Wilcox
Norwich South - David Peel  (2010: WRP 102 (0.2%))
Sherwood - Dave Perkins

Communist League
Edinburgh South West - Caroline Bellamy*  (2010: SSP 319 (0.7%), CL 48 (0.1%))
Hackney North & Stoke Newington - Jonathan Silberman (2010: Direct Democracy 
     (Communist) 202  (0.5%), CL 110 (0.3%))
Manchester Central* - Paul Davies (2012: TUSC 220 (1.3%), Respect 182 (1.1%), CL 64 

Communist Party of Britain
Birmingham Hodge Hill - Andy Chaffer
Croydon North* - Ben Stevenson*  (2012: Respect 707 (2.9%), CPB 119 (0.5%))
Glasgow North West - Zoe Hennessy  (2010:  CPB 179 (0.5%))
Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney - Robert Griffiths  (2010: SLP 195 (0.6%))
Newcastle upon Tyne East* - Mollie Stevenson  (2010: CPB 177 (0.5%))
North Devon - Gerry Sables* (2010: CPB 96 (0.2%))
Plymouth Sutton & Devonport* - Laura-Jane Rossington  (2010: SLP 123 (0.3%))
Sheffield Central - Steve Andrew

Left Unity
Bristol West - Stewart Weston
Stockport - John Pearson
Vauxhall* - Simon Hardy  (2010: SPGB 143 (0.3%), Workers Power 109 (0.3%))

Lewisham People Before Profit
Lewisham Deptford* - Helen Mercer  (2010: Socialist Alternative 645 (1.6%))
Lewisham East - Nick Long (2010: Community Need Before Private Greed 332 (0.8%))
Lewisham West & Penge* - Jim Smith

People Before Profit
Belfast West* - Gerry Carroll* (2011: 1,751 (7.6%))

Republican Socialist
Bermondsey & Old Southwark* - Steve Freeman

Birmingham Hall Green - Shiraz Peer  (2010: Respect 12,240 (25.1%))
Birmingham Yardley* - Teval Stephens
Bradford West - George Galloway  (2012: Respect 18,341 (55.9%))
Halifax - Asama Javed
Hastings and Rye - David Lofts
Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough* - Nasser Younis  (2010: TUSC 656 (1.7%))

Scottish Socialist Party
Edinburgh South - Colin Fox
Glasgow East - Liam McLaughlan  (2010: SSP 454 (1.4%))
Glasgow South West - Bill Bonnar (2010: Solidarity 931 (2.9%))
Paisley & Renfrewshire South - Sandra Webster  (2010: SSP 375 (0.9%))

Socialist Equality Party
Glasgow Central* - Katie Rhodes  (2010: SSP 357 (1.2%))
Holborn & St. Pancras - David O'Sullivan

Socialist Labour Party
Aberavon* - Andrew Jordan
Anglesey/Ynys Môn* - Liz Screen
Arfon - Kathrine Jones
Clwyd West - Bob English
Cynon Valley - Chris Beggs
Neath - Shangara Singh
Pontypridd* - Damien Biggs  (2010: SLP 456 (1.2%))
Torfaen - John Cox

Socialist Party of Great Britain
Brighton, Kemptown - Jacqueline Shodeke  (2010: TUSC 194 (0.5%))
Brighton Pavilion - Howard Pilott  (2010: SLP 148 (0.3%))
Canterbury - Robert Cox
Easington - Steve Colborn
Folkestone & Hythe* - Andy Thomas
Islington North - Bill Martin
Oxford East* - Kevin Parkin  (2010: SEP 116 (0.2%))
Oxford West & Abingdon - Mike Foster
Swansea West* - Brian Johnson (2010: TUSC 179 (0.5%))
Vauxhall* - Daniel Lambert*  (2010: SPGB 143 (0.3%), Workers Power 109 (0.3%))

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Aberavon* - Owen Herbert
Aberdeen North - Tyrinne Rutherford  (2010: SSP 268 (0.7%))
Anglesey/Ynys Môn* - Christopher Crew
Barking - Joseph Mambuliya
Batley & Spen - Dawn Wheelhouse
Barnsley Central - Dave Gibson  (2010: SLP 356 (1.0%))
Barnsley East - Ralph Dyson  (2010: SLP 601 (1.6%))
Bermondsey & Old Southwark* - Kingsley Abrams
Bethnal Green & Bow - Glyn Robbins  (2010: Respect 8,532 (16.8%))
Birmingham Erdington - Ted Woodley
Birmingham Perry Barr - Robert Punton  (2010: SLP 527 (1.3%))
Birmingham Yardley* - Eamonn Flynn
Bolton West - John Vickers
Bootle - Pete Glover*  (2010: TUSC 472 (1.1%))
Brent Central - John Boyle  (2010: Respect 230 (0.5%))
Bridgend - Aaron David
Bristol East - Matt Gordon  (2010: TUSC 184 (0.4%))
Bristol North West - Anne Lemon
Bristol South - Tom Baldwin*  (2010: TUSC 206 (0.4%))
Caerphilly - Jaime Davies
Camberwell & Peckham - Nick Wrack  (2010: WRP 211 (0.5%), SLP 184 (0.4%), AWL 
     75  (0.2%))
Cardiff Central - Steve Williams  (2010: TUSC 162 (0.4%))
Cardiff South & Penarth* - Ross Saunders  (2012: SLP 235 (1.2%), CPB 213 (1.1%))
Cardiff West - Helen Jones
Ceredigion - Jack Huggins
Chatham & Aylesford - Ivor Riddell
Chesterfield - Matt Whale
Chingford & Woodford Green* - Len Hockey
Cleethorpes - Malcolm Morland
Coventry North East - Nicky Downes  (2010: Socialist Alternative 1,592 (3.7%))
Coventry North West - Dave Nellist  (2010: Socialist Alternative 370 (0.8%))
Coventry South - Judy Griffiths*  (2010: Socialist Alternative 691 (1.5%))
Croydon Central - April Ashley
Croydon North* - Glen Hart  (2012: Respect 707 (2.9%), CPB 119 (0.5%))
Darlington - Alan Docherty
Derby South - Chris Fernandez
Don Valley - Steve Williams
Doncaster Central - Mehwash Akram
Doncaster North - Mary Jackson  (2010: TUSC 181 (0.4%))
Dudley North - Dave Pitt
Dulwich & West Norwood - Steve Nally
Dundee East - Carlo Morelli  (2010: SSP 254 (0.6%))
Dundee West - Jim McFarlane*  (2010: TUSC 357 (1.0%))
Ealing North - David Hofman
East Ham - Lois Austin
Edinburgh East - Ayesha Saleem  (2010: TUSC 274 (0.7%))
Edinburgh North & Leith - Bruce Whitehead (LU)  (2010: TUSC 233 (0.5%), SLP 141 
Edmonton - Lewis Peacock
Ellesmere Port & Neston - Felicity Dowling (LU)
Enfield North - Joe Simpson  (2010: WRP 96 (0.2%))
Exeter - Edmund Potts (LU)
Folkestone & Hythe* - Seth Cruse
Gillingham & Rainham - Jacqui Berry
Glasgow Central* - Andrew Elliott  (2010: SSP 357 (1.2%))
Glasgow North - Angela McCormick*  (2010: 287 (1.0%))
Glasgow North East - Jamie Cocozza  (2010: TUSC 187 (0.6%), SSP 179 (0.6%), SLP 156 
Glasgow South - Brian Smith*  (2010: TUSC 351 (0.9%))
Gloucester - Sue Powell
Gower - Mark Evans
Great Grimsby - Val O’Flynn5
Greenwich & Woolwich - Lynne Chamberlain  (2010: TUSC 267 (0.6%)
Hackney South & Shoreditch* - Brian Debus (2010: Direct Democracy (Communist) 
     202 (0.5%), CL 110 (0.3%))
Harlow - David Brown
Harrow East - Nana Asante
Hove - Dave Hill
Huddersfield - Mike Forster  (2010: TUSC 319 (0.8%))
Hull West & Hessle - Paul Spooner  (2010: TUSC 150 (0.5%))
Islwyn - Joshua Rawcliffe
Jarrow - Norman Hall
Kingston & Surbiton - Laurel Forgarty
Kingswood - Richard Worth
Leeds Central - Liz Kitching
Leeds West - Ben Mayor
Leicester East - Michael Barker  (2010: Unity for Peace and Socialism 494 (1.0%))
Leicester South - Andrew Walton
Leicester West - Heather Rawling  (2010: TUSC 157 (0.4%))
Leigh - Stephen Hall (LU)
Lewisham Deptford* - Chris Flood  (2010: Socialist Alternative 645 (1.6%))
Lewisham West & Penge* - Martin Powell-Davies
Lincoln - Elaine Smith
Liverpool Riverside - Tony Mulhearn
Liverpool Wavertree - Dave Walsh  (2010: SLP 200 (0.5%))
Llanelli - Scott Jones
Manchester Central* - Alex Davidson  (2012: TUSC 220 (1.3%), Respect 182 (1.1%), CL   
     64 (0.4%))
Manchester Gorton - Simon Hickman  (2010: Respect 507 (1.3%), TUSC 337 (0.9%))
Mansfield - Karen Seymour
Milton Keynes North - Katie Simpson
Newcastle upon Tyne East* - Paul Phillips  (2010: CPB 177 (0.5%))
Newton Abbot - Sean Brogan
North Warwickshire - Eileen Hunter
North Tyneside - Tim Wall
Nottingham North - Cathy Meadows
Nottingham South - Andrew Clayworth
Nuneaton - Paul Reilly
Ogmore - Emma Saunders
Oxford East* - James Morbin  (2010: SEP 116 (0.2%))
Paisley & Renfrewshire North - Jim Halfpenny  (2010: SSP 233 (0.5%))
Plymouth Moor View - Louise Parker  (2010: SLP 208 (0.5%))
Plymouth, Sutton & Devonport* - Ryan Aldred  (2010: SLP 123 (0.3%))
Pontypridd* - Esther Pearson  (2010: SLP 456 (1.2%)
Poplar & Limehouse - Hugo Pierre  (2010: Respect 8,460 (17.5%))
Rochester & Strood - Dan Burn
Rossendale & Darwen - Simon Thomas
Rotherham - Pat McLaughlin  (2012: Respect 1,778 (8.3%), TUSC 261 (1.2%))
Rugby - Pete McLaren
Ruislip Northwood & Pinner - Wally Kennedy
Salford & Eccles - Noreen Bailey  (2010: TUSC 730 (1.8%))
Selby & Ainsty - Ian Wilson
Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough* - Maxine Bowler*  (2010: TUSC 656 (1.7%))
Sheffield Heeley - Alan Munro
Sheffield South East - Ian Whitehouse  (2010: CPB 139 (0.3%))
Stevenage - Trevor Palmer
Stoke-on-Trent South - Matt Wright
Streatham* - Unjum Mirza  (2010: WRP 117 (0.2%))
Sutton & Cheam - Pauline Gorman
Swansea West* - Ronnie Job  (2010: TUSC 179 (0.5%))
Taunton Deane - Stephen German
Tottenham - Jenny Sutton*  (2010: TUSC 1,057 (2.6%))
Uxbridge South & Ruislip - Gary Harbord
Wakefield - Mick Griffiths
Walsall North - Pete Smith*  (2010: Walsall DLP 842 (2.3%))
Walthamstow - Nancy Taaffe*  (2010: TUSC 279 (0.7%))
Warrington South - Kevin Bennett
Washington & Sunderland West - Gary Duncan
Watford - Mark O’Connor
Weaver Vale - Joseph Whyte
Welwyn Hatfield - Richard Shattock
Worcester - Pete McNally
Worsley & Eccles South - Steve North
Wythenshawe & Sale East - Lynn Worthington*  (2010: TUSC 268 (0.7%))
York Central - Megan Ollerhead

Workers' Party
Belfast North - Gemma Weir
Belfast South - Lily Kerr
Belfast West* - John Lowry (2011: People Before Profit 1,751 (7.6%))
Mid Ulster - Hugh Scallion
Upper Bann - Damien Harte

Workers Revolutionary Party
Camberwell and Peckham* - Joshua Ogunleye* (2010: WRP 211 (0.5%), SLP 184 (0.4%), 
     AWL 75 (0.2%))
Ealing Central & Acton - Scott Dore
Hackney South & Shoreditch* - Bill Rogers (2010: Direct Democracy (Communist) 202 
     (0.5%), CL 110 (0.3%))
Hornsey and Wood Green - Frank Sweeney
Sheffield Central* - Michael Driver
Streatham* - Deon Gayle (2010: WRP 117 (0.2%))
Walthamstow* - Jonty Leff (2010: TUSC 279 (0.7%))

That's 215 candidates scrapping over 181 seats. With more than enough constituencies to go around, you have to marvel at the pig headed persistence of clashes. Yes, we know the SEPtics believe they're the only properly revolutionary party around, that the SPGB regards the rest of the left as reformists and therefore bourgeois parties, that Class War see the Trots and the tankies as just another boss class waiting to happen, and the SLP doesn't even acknowledge the existence of other leftists, but to the untutored eye not versed in these terribly important differences they appear unserious and a little bit squabbly.

As indicated, the analysis will appear later this week. But a couple of observations. Nicky Downes and Dave Nellist stood for Cov North West and North East in 2010, and given Dave's following he performed fairly creditably for a TUSC candidate. Yet in 2015, rather than seeking to build on the result both comrades are standing again, but have swapped seats. Can anyone shed some light on this peculiar happening? I'll also be interested to see how Class War perform. Breaking with anarchist traditions and contesting elections, let's see if their, um, robust approach to campaigning is able to touch parts of the electorate countless iterations of the transitional programme haven't reached. Also, knowing anarchists' penchant for hyperbole don't be too surprised if CW's list of candidates falls between now and election day. Moving on, are the SSP really going to stand in just three constituencies? From a resource/activist concentration point of view that makes sense, but considering how much it was supposed to have grown after the referendum it does seem a rather poor show. Lastly, one should note the spat in Bermondsey between Kingsley Abrams of TUSC and Steve Freeman of the Revolutionary Democratic Group, or the Republican Socialist Party as he's now billing himself: the Weekly Worker has the goods.

Right, that's enough of that. Updates will appear below when I have them. If you know more than I do, feel free to drop some info in the comments.

Update 10/4
Thanks to all the readers and comrades who've filled me in about missing candidates and those who have dropped out. The biggest news is the Workers Revolutionary Party have entered the field with their plucky clutch of seven candidates. The only problem is, from the point of view of the far left 'party family', is that six of the declared are going up against other socialist candidates. Who will win the battle of the micro percentages?

A few more additions here and there too. The SSP are contesting Glasgow South West, bringing their tally up to four. The SPGB are entering the fray in Easington, and the two unrelated organisations laying claim to the People Before Profit monicker are up in Lewisham East and Belfast West.

Things are looking a bit wobbly with the Class War campaign. Their 27 candidates might shrink to ... eight. No sign still of additional SLP candidates. Weird that they've got a fairly decent spread in Wales but not bothering elsewhere, apparently. Though I will note they've moved their postal address from Barnsley to Liverpool.

Update 26/10
What you see here now is pretty much the definitive list. The main change is the reduction of Class War from 27 seats to just seven. Nothing wrong with ambition, but I am surprised they weren't able to carry off Ian Bone's candidacy - the nearest they have to a well-known figure. That also means fewer clashes now. However, it remains to be seen whether the far left will see a moderate increase in their vote. It has to be said their support can't really go any further south.


Vinyl Miner said...

I have 4 SSP candidates. Bill Bonnar in Glasgow South West.

Vinyl Miner said...

Could see Respect taking enough votes to allow the Tories to slip through in Halifax.

Sheffielder said...

Including 'Respect' as left of Labour but not the Greens is absurd. It's clear from that which one Labour is scared of isn't it? Interestingly here in Sheffield Maxine Bowler is opposed by a muslim Respect candidate (Hillsborough and Brightside) whilst also standing for a different Council seat where she has pandered to a communalist muslim vote for years (Burngreave). Also the SP and SWP TUSC candidates are very separately organised - a strange coalition indeed.

Phil said...

"Far left here is defined as a group, party, or alliance that lays claims to Marxist, communist, and/or socialist labels and fits the notion of 'left-of-Labour' campaigning."

I wish some people would take the trouble to read things properly.

Sheffielder said...

In what way does the Green Party NOT fit the notion of 'left of Labour' campaigning? We don't use socialist terminology but clearly have socialist policies and are to the left of TUSC on many issues. Labour want to pretend we don't exist of course, especially where we are winning like here in Sheffield.

Phil said...

Read the definition again. Take note of the 'and'.

Are the Greens a centre left outfit? Of course they are. But their place is not on a list of *far left* parties.

Besides, compared with to the far left the Greens are a league above - I have been toying with the idea of doing the same for the Greens however. It depends on time.

Anonymous said...

People Before Profit (SWP and friends) are also standing at least one candidate in West Belfast.

John R

George Hallam (secretary Lewisham People Before Profit) said...

It's odd that you have included Lewisham People Before Profit at all as we don't even call ourselves 'left', let alone lay claim to "Marxist, communist, and/or socialist labels".
As for 'left-of-Labour' campaigning, what other sort is their apart from the EDL?

Thank you for showing an interest but please could you take us off your list.

By the way, your entry for LBPB omits Lewisham East where Nick Long is our candidate. We stood there in 2010 and got 0.8 per cent.

Arthur Salisbury said...

Fairly sure I read on Class War's Twitter account a while ago that Tim Wells won't be standing in Hackney North after all.

Arthur Salisbury said...

They've also just tweeted that they're withdrawing in Bethnal Green too.

George Hallam said...

"People Before Profit (SWP and friends) are also standing at least one candidate in West Belfast."

This would be the Irish 'People Before Profit Alliance'.

Lewisham People Before Profit is a separate organisation.

Local activists working in a number of campaigns in Lewisham came together in 2008 to form the organisation to oppose privatisation, profiteering and cuts. We used the name 'Before Profit' without realising that there was a group in Ireland.

We registered LPBP as a political party in 2009 so that we could stand in elections.

Stuart said...

"the SPGB regards the rest of the left as reformists and therefore bourgeois parties"

The SPGB does not regard itself as part of the left at all. Therefore it is not standing with "the rest of the left"; it is standing alone, as the only true socialist party. Your list of "far left" groups is of no more interest to them than a list of Tory candidates would be. They are all representatives of capital.

BCFG said...

"whilst also standing for a different Council seat where she has pandered to a communalist muslim vote for years (Burngreave)."

I also come from Sheffield and must make the point that most MP's seek the communalist white folk vote, which is why they like to talk tough on immigration etc.

I think this constant link between Muslims and communalist is downright racist and once again attempts to portray Muslims as the other.

Incidentally Sheffiedler claims that "she has pandered to a communalist muslim vote for years (Burngreave" is nothing but speculation based on prejudice.

asquith said...

I remember Class War, they put posters up at Keele in 2005-6. I wasn't won over by their "arguments". :)

Anonymous said...

You might have to take an axe to most of the Class War candidates.

The latest on their website is that there is one candidate, Jon Bigger, Croydon South.

John R

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry. John Bigger was on one page. It looks like eight Class War candidates now.

John R

howard fuller said...

I don't think Respect should even be considered to be anywhere on the "left" at all. It is a right wing very conservative organisation headed by an opportunist who panders to religious bigotry for his own ends. As far as I'm concerned it's on the (far) right!

Londonsocialist said...

You've missed out that the SPGB are also standing in Easington in the North East (whether or not they are "far left" !)

Robin Wilde said...

Oh these comments are an absolute joy. Nice to see the Greens are "winning here" in Sheffield - fitting, given how many of them #AgreedWithNick in 2010.

Blomfield will be back with a majority of 8-10,000.

BCFG said...

Anyone who opposes imperialism, opposes racism against Muslims and opposes the wholesale slaughter of Palestinians is on the far right according to Fuller. So let us edit>delete from our minds his entire collection of utterances.

I would just say that one very very very reliable indication of where a party sits in the left - right spectrum is their attitude to trade unions. Here RESPECT sit well to the left of the war parties that Fuller supports.

RESPECT also have a more leftwing immigration policy than the parties Fuller supports, they also call for the end of tuition fees, progressive taxation and a living wage, not to mention equal rights. To people with sanity these represent left wing policies, to Fuller they are to be disregarded because RESPECT have Muslims in the party.

So if RESPECT are very conservative and very right wing as Fuller laughably suggests then they are very strange brand of conservative leftism!

Though as I have indicated already Fuller views the world through the prism of imperialist interest and nothing much else besides.

"Select MyBrain

Edit>Delete Fuller

Where Utterances is not Null"

Anonymous said...

Hi Phil, re TUSC in Coventry, though not inside the tent, my educated guess is that Nellist, after not getting much traction in cov South or North East (losing his deposit for the first time last GE) thinks that the long term shenanigans of the sitting MP might help him in the NW.

Vinyl Miner said...

Anorak alert.

Hackney South and Shoreditch - Jonathan Silberman should be Hackney North & Stoke Newington Constituency, Diane Abbott's seat.

Kofi said...

I'm slightly confused - and disappointed - that the secretary of an alliance formed to oppose privatisation and cuts doesn't seem to realise that "People Before Profit" is a socialist label.

Anonymous said...

The Greens are not socialists.
Ms Lucas' real car crash of an interview kicked into the long grass Citizen Income (replacing the cruelty of sanction obsessed starvation)
Citizen State Pension
(granting pensions when the flat rate state pension abolishes it from 2016)
and also the Living Wage.

All of these parties listed are getting nil national press or TV news coverage.

Even TUSC, now on 135 MP and over 600 councillor candidates, so being the 6th biggest party, should, by the rules, be getting fair media coverage.

I can't do more than my little website, being free for a few little pages, to do something.

The blogs will not share my little website, so the non-voters will again bring in a Tory caretaker government, that does not need them to reach the 326MP minimum threshold to rule for the next 5 years.

With publicity, at least 250 MPs from SNP and Plaid Cymru and TUSC and a few others, like National Health Action party, makes them equal, near enough to either Tory or Labour in government.

But where?