Peter Hadden Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Peter Hadden

Socialists get a friendly response

(July 1998)

From The Socialist [UK], 3 July 1998.
Transcribed and marked up by Ciaran Crossey.

The Socialist Party stood in three constituencies in the Assembly elections.

Although the votes in two of the constituencies were modest (West Belfast – 128 votes – and Mid-Ulster – 91 votes – two of the most difficult constituencies to fight in Northern Ireland), the campaigns got a very good response.

In West Tyrone, a local councillor Johnny McLaughlin stood as the candidate and got 570 votes. This was the biggest vote for any genuine left candidate standing in the election. That’s something we are really proud of.

Socialist Party members decided to stand in the Assembly elections for very clearly defined reasons. Though it was a very difficult election we felt it was necessary to lay down a marker for an alternative and warn as to what could happen.

By standing in a number of seats we thought we would raise the profile and register the existence of the Socialist Party with a wide layer of working-class people. We got very good publicity. We had a party election broadcast and an interview on TV news.

On the doorsteps we found a very friendly and favourable response. This didn’t mean people were going to vote for us because the election saw people line up behind the existing parties, even though they may be openly critical of those parties on the doorstep.

Since the election we have had approaches from other people, including another councillor, about working with us and possibly joining our party.

Peter Hadden Archive   |   ETOL Main Page

Last updated: 9 August 2016