reactions from across England from indy candidates

  • Post last modified:July 4, 2024
  • Reading time:5 mins read

The general election exit poll for mainstream media outlets predicts Keir Starmer’s Labour Party will have a majority of 170 in parliament, but will not reach Tony Blair’s total from 1997. The poll is usually pretty accurate. So, the Canary got analysis from independent candidates who stood in the general election about the way forward for the left, now.

Sean Halsall: Starmer’s Labour will be “ineffective”

The Canary asked independent candidate Sean Halsall for his reaction to the exit poll. And he said:

It’s heartening to see the Tories punished so solidly. That’s where the hope ends.

He continued by stressing that:

This iteration of the Labour Party is going to be ineffective at addressing people’s material needs. It will leave a gaping hole that will be filled by far-right elements of this country.

And in a message for left-wingers who will be organising against Starmer’s party after the election, he said:

The left need to be prepared immediately to challenge those elements and tell a different story of how society can be.

Kevin Allsop: “They have replaced the Conservatives with Conservatives”

Fellow independent candidate Kevin Allsop is also thoroughly unexcited about the incoming Labour government, which he previously told the Canary is simply the “Conservative continuity” party. He reacted to the exit poll by saying:

The exit polls suggest a massive about-turn for Labour but, whilst they might be flying high tomorrow, such dominance will offer the majority of us little comfort. Starmer has done little to give people hope in the run up to the election and such a majority will make him virtually immune to dissent.

And he suggested that the satisfaction voters may feel from getting rid of the Tories won’t last long, insisting:

Whilst many voters will revel in the punishment meted out to Sunak and his clown-car government, they may find that joy is short lived as they realise that they have replaced the Conservatives with Conservatives.

Pamela Fitzpatrick: “Labour promises no change” after exit poll

Independent candidate Pamela Fitzpatrick was running against Labour’s Gareth Thomas in Harrow West. She had spent many years in the Labour Party, in often prominent roles. But when she supported Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to become leader of the party, the attacks against her from the right of the party began, and eventually pushed her out.

She told the Canary:

From the exit polls it looks as though the Tories have rightly been punished by the public for its appalling policies of austerity which had done so much damage to the UK. But as Labour promises no change and no hope simply a continuation of austerity and privatisation things looks pretty bleak for the future.

Halsall: “Next comes the big job of building a mass movement”

Halsall is a councillor who has been campaigning as an independent candidate in Southport. And he previously told the Canary he believes “it’s hard to justify why anyone would stay in” the party. Today, he said, it’s “clearly there just for big corporations”, and “the heart of the party’s gone”.

He also thinks “all Starmer will be doing is acting as a midwife for fascism in this country”. For that reason, he insisted, the left needs to mobilise en masse to present a positive, meaningful alternative to the incoming Labour government.

As he said after the exit poll:

Next comes the big job of building a mass movement to the left of Labour that’s genuinely rooted in communities. If we don’t, that space will be filled by nefarious extremists on the far right.

Featured image via the Canary

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