Friday, May 06, 2005
The Respect Coalition have done amazingly well. Far-left electoral initiatives tend to start off with high hopes, only to be squashed come the election result. Yet this time around, George Galloway won on the Respect Ticket (albeit narrowly) in Bethnal Green and Bow, and other Respect candidates have put on a very strong show - Salma Yaqoob in Birmingham coming in second with 10,498 votes or more than 27 percent (three thousand votes more and she'd have won it), Abdul Khaliq Mian coming in second in East Ham with 20,7% and Lindsey German coming in second in West Ham with 19,5%.
Can't say this result would dismay me. I dislike Galloway - though it is hard to accurately assess the man as his detractors of the left have a, shall we say, loose relationship with facts - but quite a lot of my objections to the current far left are such that his Labour opponent, Oona King, might be worse (academic boycott of Israel, etc. - and on top of that, support for the mass slaughter in Iraq).
Results from Northern Ireland are dripping in at this moment, and it seems that Sinn Fein is doing well, despite the recent controversy over the McCartney murder - probably Brendan O'Neill's take that Sinn Fein would suffer less electoral damage than predicted by the media was right.