Elections 2021: Who should progressives support in the local, Mayoral, Scottish, Welsh and Hartlepool polls?

EDITORIAL


As you may have read in Redaction Report’s previous editorials on Starmer and the Labour Leadership Election last year, this publication has tried to rationalise the new leader’s regime as much as possible.

But in recent months, Starmer’s tenure has become indefensible.

We need not go over his abstentions and lack of opposition in great depth, neither his rapid embracing of the right of the party.

If tomorrow’s vote were a general election, Redaction Report would likely urge readers to send a message to (New) New Labour and cast their vote further left.

Labour do not own your votes. If the party hasn’t earned them, there is no obligation to turn up to the polling booth and tick the box. However, with a multitude of different votes occurring tomorrow, the progressive strategy must be more nuanced.

Redaction Report knows that the majority of its readers are progressive, Labour-voting types – here’s our recommended strategy for Thursday:

HARTLEPOOL BY-ELECTION

As one of the first outlets to interview the Northern Independence Party (NIP), Redaction Report didn’t necessarily think they would play a significant role in Westminster.

But they could now help punish Starmer’s questionable tactics in the North-East, according to a new poll.

[READ MORE: Northern Independence Party: ‘It’s time’ to break away following UK government’s handling of coronavirus pandemic]

Losing Hartlepool would, of course, be a massive blow to Starmer’s leadership.

And so, Redaction Report believes that this – out of all the elections on Thursday – is the race to send a message to the party in.

Thelma Walker – a socialist MP who was represented Colne Valley for Labour from 2017-2019 – has said she wants the NIP to be a home for “democratic socialists” fed up of Starmer.

If Labour lose or win the seat, it won’t make a difference in Parliament. The 80-odd majority is still there for Boris Johnson – and Labour may well abstain on everything under Starmer’s leadership nonetheless.

[WATCH: What is the North-South divide, and what will the Hartlepool by-election mean for Starmer?]

LOCAL ELECTIONS

As sturdy socialists remain in Labour, so must voters remember that politicians – especially at the local level – should be treated as individuals, rather than cast in one net.

Hardworking candidates who seem genuine about making a difference at the local level should be encouraged.

The temptation to send a message to Starmer should only be indulged in the case of paper candidates or safe seats, where the result is all but sorted.

LONDON MAYORAL ELECTION

Everything could go wrong for Sadiq Khan tomorrow – and he’d still likely win in a landslide.

The Labour incumbent is so far ahead in London that voters can, for once, exercise their conscience – whereas in 2016, Zac Goldsmith threatened to run Khan fairly close.

And with over 20 candidates running for London Mayor – and even more in the London Assembly elections – there’s no ideology that isn’t represented.

Redaction Report has tried to present readers, in the interests of democracy, with more in-depth looks at non-mainstream parties and candidates.

Londependence? Meet the candidates trying to draw more autonomy to the capital

How the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition are hoping to push Starmer’s Labour left

Renew Party mayoral candidate to back Universal Basic Income and target ‘digital potential’ of London

Why winning doesn’t matter to the London Mayoral candidate who wants to rejoin the EU

So in London, vote how you wish – whether it be for Count Binface or Niko Omalina – but for goodness sake, help your preferred candidate beat Laurence Fox.

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS

Unionist tacticians are, once again, scrambling to stop an SNP majority. The issue is that Labour aren’t playing ball, despite the Scottish Tories offering a pact in seats around Scotland.

There’s a simple strategy here, as both Scottish Labour and the SNP can safely be considered centre-left.

If you’re pro-independence, vote for the SNP (not Alba!), and if you tend towards unionism, lend your vote to Anas Sarwar and Scottish Labour.

It’s not an ideal situation, but Scottish Tory gains in 2017 prevented Labour and Corbyn from forming a coalition with the SNP. Douglas Ross’ party must once again, be consigned into third place.

WELSH ELECTIONS

Despite Conservative inroads during the 2019 election, the Labour Party in Wales – particularly First Minister Mark Drakeford – has led by example during the pandemic.

And while the likes of Leanne Wood (of Plaid Cymru) may be allies in parliament, Welsh Labour seems like a safe stronghold to back.


Featured Image: secretlondon123 @Flickr

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