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Year 2001 No. 98, June 8, 2001 Archive Search Home Page

June 7 Election 2001

Disaffection with Representative Democracy: The Alternative is the Future

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

June 7 Election 2001
Disaffection with Representative Democracy: The Alternative is the Future

Some Results Featuring Independent and Alternative Candidates

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June 7 Election 2001

Disaffection with Representative Democracy: The Alternative is the Future

The results of the General Election are showing two crucial things. One is the disaffection with representative democracy, that is to say, the party-political system of governance. The other is the beginnings of the alternative to this system, whereby people representing the interests of their peers stand for election and take part in governance. In these respects, the election results show that the alternative is the future.

The turnout, less than 60% of the eligible voters, was the lowest since 1918, and down over 10% from 1997. Four years ago, the Labour government was elected with fewer votes than the Conservative Party in 1992. On a turnout of 71.47%, Labour secured 44.33% of the votes, which is 33% – one third – of the electorate.

In this election, Labour has secured about 42.3% of the votes, giving them a forecast majority of 167, on a turnout of around 57%, which is around 24% of the electorate, less than one-quarter. This is what is being referred to as a "historic victory".

David Blunkett, interviewed as results began to come in, said, "People are disenchanted with representative democracy." He said that the problem for the government now was "how to re-engage with people in civil society". It was being pointed out that a large percentage of the electorate has made a definite decision not to vote for any of the candidates of the main parties on offer. This deprives Tony Blair of the authority to claim a "mandate" for New Labour’s programme in its second term.

Richard Taylor, the independent candidate contesting the Wyre Forest seat under the banner of saving the Kidderminster Hospital, was elected with 28,487 votes, a percentage of 58.1, a majority of 17,630 over Labour who had won the seat in 1997. The turnout here was one of the higher ones, 68.0%. Dr Taylor pointed out that the vote represented a blow "against a powerful political system that overrides the will of the people".

Independent and other alternative candidates received serious support, given the dominance of the party system and the disenchantment with the political process.

Roger Nettleship, the Independent health worker candidate in South Shields, received 262 votes. As the candidate rightly said after the result was declared: "For those that supported our campaign and voted for us this is a significant start to plant the alternative to the party dominated system of government and for a system where the people take the decisions in society, so that they can safeguard the future of the NHS and stop the ‘Third Way’ programme of New Labour being carried through."

Article Index



Some Results Featuring Independent and Alternative Candidates

South Shields

David Miliband, Labour, 19,230 votes, 63.2%
Joanna Gardner, Conservative, 5,140 votes, 16.9%
Marshall Grainger, Liberal Democrat, 5,127 votes, 16.8%
Alan Hardy, UK Independent, 689 votes, 2.3%
Roger Nettleship, Independent, 262 votes, 0.9%

Turnout 49.3%

Ealing Southall

Piara Khabra, Labour, 22,239 votes, 47.5%
Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative, 8,556 votes, 18.3%
Avtar Lit, Independent, 5,764 votes, 12.3%
Baldev Sharma, Liberal Democrat, 4,680 votes, 10.0%
Margaret Cook, Green, 2,119 votes, 4.5%
Salvinder Dhillon, Independent, 1,214 votes, 2.6%
Mushtaq Choudhry, Independent, 1,166 votes, 2.5%
Harpal Brar, Socialist Labour, 921 votes, 2.0%
Mohammed Bhutta, Independent, 169 votes, 0.4%

Turnout 56.8%

Wyre Forest

Richard Taylor, Kidderminster Hospital, 28,487 votes, 58.1%
David Lock, Labour, 10,857 votes, 22.1%
Mark Simpson, Conservative, 9,350 votes, 19.1%
Jim Millington, UK Independent, 368 votes, 0.8%

Turnout 68.0%

Thanet North

Roger Gale, Conservative, 21,050 votes, 50.3%
James Stewart Laing, Labour, 14,400 votes, 34.4%
Seth Proctor, Liberal Democrat, 4,603 votes, 11.0%
John Moore, UK Independence, 980 votes, 2.3%
David Shortt, Independent, 440 votes, 1.1%
Thomas Holmes, National Front, 395 votes, 0.9%

Turnout 59.3%

East Ham

Stephen Timms, Labour, 27,241 votes, 73.1%
Peter Campbell, Conservative, 6,209 votes, 16.7%
Bridget Fox, Liberal Democrat, 2,600 votes, 7.0%
Rod Finlayson, Socialist Labour, 783 votes, 2.1%
Johinda Pandhal, UK Independence, 444 votes, 1.2%

Turnout 52.3%

Newcastle upon Tyne East & Wallsend

Nick Brown, Labour 20,642 votes, 63.1%
David Ord, Liberal Democrat, 6,419 votes, 19.6%
Tim Troman, Conservative, 3,873 votes, 11.8%
Andrew Gray, Green, 651 votes, 2.0%
Harash Narang, Independent, 563 votes, 1.7%
Blanch Carpenter, Socialist Labour, 420 votes, 1.3%
Martin Levy, Communist, 126 votes, 0.4%

Turnout 53.2%

Jarrow

Stephen Hepburn, Labour, 22,777 votes, 66.1%
James Selby, Liberal Democrat, 5,182 votes, 15.0%
Donald Wood, Conservative, 5,056 votes, 14.7%
Alan Badger, UK Independence, 716 votes, 2.1%
Alan Le Blond, Independent, 391 votes, 1.1%
John Bissett, Independent, 357 votes, 1.0%

Turnout 54.6%

Leyton & Wanstead

Harry Cohen, Labour, 19,558 votes, 58.0%
Edward Heckels, Conservative, 6,654 votes, 19.7%
Alexander Wilcock, Liberal Democrat, 5,389 votes, 16.0%
Ashley Gunstock, Green, 1,030 votes, 3.1%
Sally Labern, Socialist Alliance, 709 votes, 2.1%
Michael Skaife D’Ingurthorpe, UK Independence, 378 votes, 1.1%

Turnout 54.8%

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