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Scotland

Campaigning and Parliamentary Priorities

By Tommy Sheridan

Tommy Sheridan was the first member of the SSP elected to the Scottish Parliament, in 1999.

The election of six socialist MSPs represents both a massive advance for and a huge challenge to the socialist movement in Scotland.

Undoubtedly the ability of the SSP to link its socialist activity within the Scottish parliament to its socialist program outside parliament has played a major role in promoting the party in relation to anti-poverty, pro-trade union, pro-peace and anti-war campaigns.

The way the party was able to take the abolition of poundings and warrant sales campaign out into the communities and bring pressure to bear back inside the parliament was a model for uniting parliamentary and extra-parliamentary activity. A similar and even broader exercise was conducted in relation to the free school meals campaign. Even though the end result was unsuccessful, the party still managed to pressure thirty-five MSPs to vote for a significant anti-poverty and pro-health measure.

Scottish Politics has changed for ever

By Allan McCombes

Alan McCombes is a member of SSP National Executive and was the coordinator for the party's 2003 election campaign. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Links.

For the complacent ruling establishment, the spectacular rise of a new left opposition in Holyrood came like a snowstorm in the Sahara.

Right up until literally the midnight hour, the SSP, the Greens and the independents had been ignored, or at best patronised, by the mainstream media.

Nothing prepared the political commentators for the shock of witnessing the big four parties lose one and a quarter million votes across the two ballots; or for the lurch to the left across Scotland and the election of seventeen radical anti-establishment MSPs.

The centre right continues to rule Scotland through the Lib-Lab coalition. But the political centre of gravity in Scotland has shifted decisively to the left.

There is now a clear red gulf separating Holyrood from Westminster. Scotland has become the political Achilles heel of the UK capitalist state.

Scottish socialists' election advance

Analysis of the SSP's 2003 Election Results

By Allan Green

Allan Green is a member of the National Executive of the Scottish Socialist Party and a member of the Editorial Board of Links.

CONTENTS

What happened with the second vote

SSP achieved a relatively stable, committed vote

Different layers support SSP and Greens

Conclusions on the second vote

Left election results in England and Wales

The role of the party in this success

 

The entire Scottish Socialist Party can be justifiably proud of our performance in the Holyrood elections on May 1. The vision, principles, courage and commitment of the party over four years have produced an election outcome that will permanently change the face of Scottish politics.

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