Britain’s Communist Party has given a cautious welcome to the local election results in England.
‘The voters have rejected the Conservative central government’s policies to let profits rip while cutting people’s living standards and public services’, election coordinator Andy Chaffer told the CP executive committee at the weekend.
He reported on the collapse of the Tory vote in many areas, while noting that the Liberal Democrats and the Greens together had made more gains in terms of votes and councils than the Labour Party.
Labour’s share of the poll stayed stagnant at around 35 per cent compared with the last set of local elections in 2019, Mr Chaffer pointed out, even though the Conservative vote has slumped from that figure to just 26 per cent.
‘But the biggest winner at the polls on May 4 was the stay-away party’, he remarked, pointing out that two-thirds of electors had again abstained from voting in local elections.
He identified three major reasons: the removal of powers and resources from local government since 1979; the lack of convincing alternative policies from the non-Tory parties; and the likely impact of new voter ID rules which discriminate against younger people in particular.
‘Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has no real solutions to the cost-of-capitalism crisis gripping millions of people across Britain, while the LibDem and Green Party leaderships are equally shallow and unprincipled in their scramble for votes and seats’, Mr Chaffer accused.
He said only the Single Transferable Vote system in multi-seat constituencies – and not ‘first past the post’ or tactical voting – could ensure a fair representation of people’s real views and beliefs.
The Communist Party executive committee congratulated its own candidates, agents and campaigners for taking a socialist message to scores of thousands of homes. They won between one and seven per cent of the votes on a programme of more investment in council housing, education and public transport; reversal of privatisation in health and other local services; public ownership of the energy sector; a fundamental redistribution of wealth; and solidarity with striking workers.
The CP leadership also adopted a statement on the coronation and the monarchy. It reaffirms the party’s call for an elected ceremonial head of state not tied to the Anglican church and the military and condemns the oppressive use of new anti-protest laws against peaceful republican demonstrators, journalists and women’s safety volunteers.