The election and the Scottish Socialist Party

In the 10 June election to the European Parliament the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) polled 61,356 votes or 5.2% of the overall ballot. It failed to get anyone elected. By contrast, in the May 2003 election to the Scottish Parliament, six SSP members were elected and the party received 128,026 votes (7.7% of the ballot). But in the European election there was only one vote per person, forcing people to choose between SSP and Labour. In the 2003 election, it was possible to vote Labour as first choice and then vote SSP as second, allowing voters to support the SSP without opposing Labour.

However, behind this election result lies the fact that the SSP have simply stopped campaigning against the war and occupation in Iraq. No street events, no public meetings, no campaign – the situation in Iraq and Palestine are given scant coverage in its weekly newspaper Scottish Socialist Voice. The SSP must bear the primary responsibility for the miserable turnout of around 200 at the only (token) anti-war demonstration in Glasgow on 30 June. Given the organisation claims a membership of over 5,000, it is clear that it has chosen to demobilise the anti- war movement in Scotland. After the June election the SSP focused on a legalise cannabis demonstration held in Glasgow on 17 July, which attracted a derisory 150 people. What a statement of futility!
Paul Mallon

FRFI 180 August / September 2004


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