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Strong surge in socialist vote in Victorian council elections

December 2, 2008

“The surge in the vote for socialist candidates in the weekend Victorian local government elections shows that increasing numbers of working people are looking for candidates whom they trust to defend their interests as economic crisis looms”, Socialist Alliance Victorian State Convener Sue Bolton said today.

Noting that the socialist vote had grown most in Labor heartlands Bolton said that it largely came from working people who were fed up with being taken for granted by the ALP, but didn´t trust the Greens to take a forthright pro-worker stance.

“The vote is also an expression of trust in socialists who are active fighters for people’s rights, and known as organisers against developer and Brumby government plans to close or privatise essential services as well as bulldoze the urban environment.”

Bolton congratulated Socialist Party Yarra City Councillor Steve Jolly on his re-election with 29.2% of the formal vote. “Steve Jolly’s vote is testimony to all the work he has done in defence of the community and the workers of Yarra City Council”, she said.

The Socialist Alliance spokesperson said that the socialist vote also showed that the Brumby government would have a very hard time driving ahead with the cross-city tunnel and the freeway extensions envisaged in the Eddington plan. “Votes like the 18.9% for the Socialist Alliance’s Stuart Martin in Maribyrnong City Council indicate that a lot of the community is dead against the Victorian ALP model of urban vandalism.”

The Socialist Alliance campaign also struck a strong response in Geelong, where candidates Bronwyn Jennings and Lisa Gleeson won 10.8% and 11.8% of the vote on a platform of “making Geelong a climate action council”, with a strong emphasis on improving public transport and housing and residents’ democratic participation in council decision-making.

Bolton added that the increase in the socialist vote was part of a progressive swing in politics, as the increased vote for the Greens confirmed.

“People are increasingly voting against mainstream Lib-Lab politics. The Socialist Alliance will build on these results to strengthen real worker and community resistance to the economic crisis, destruction of services and degradation of the environment. We look forward to collaborating with all other political forces that support those goals.”

The Socialist Vote in the November 29 Victorian Local Government Elections

Candidate

Organisation

Council

% of formal vote

Steve Jolly

Socialist Party

Yarra City

29.2

Stuart Martin

Socialist Alliance

Maribyrnong

18.9

Margarita Windisch

Socialist Alliance

Maribyrnong

12.4

Lisa Gleeson

Socialist Alliance

Greater Geelong

11.8

Bronwyn Jennings

Socialist Alliance

Greater Geelong

10.8

Sue Bolton, Vannessa Hearman, Turan Ertekin

Socialist Alliance

Moreland

9.0

Anthony Main

Socialist Party

Yarra City

5.5

Chris Johnson

Socialist Alliance

Queenscliff

3.2

Denise Dudley

Socialist Party

Yarra City

2.1


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