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john

This is perhaps a little too dismissive. If George Galloway gaining a seat is impressive almost more impressive was Salma Yaqoob's result which took 13,000 or so votes off of Labour, from almost nowhere. The difficulties of 'left of the left' candidates making an impact like this given the British electoral system are well known, and yet despite this its fair to say that this is the most impressive electoral intervention by any force to the left of Labour since the 1940's (including it should be said the Greens). The significance of the result in key areas are likely to feed into a higher profile in other areas which Respect hitherto did not have. Of course only time will tell but it does seem to me that coming second in three constituencies, third in one (with 20 per cent or so of the vote), and winning one is way above even the expectations of previous interventions of this type. I suspect that for those of us waiting for some kind of recomposition of the left this is a key moment. The above analyses was a little bit 'the glass is half empty' in this context. Its no secret that there have been serious differences on the left both about the Respect project and the SWP's involvement in it. There are of course weaknesses and problems but discussion should really now proceed in terms of how this breakthrough might be used to overcome them. Imagine for a moment what three Respect MP's in Parliament would look like and the impact this would have on the left's ability to raise the national profile of issues buried by parliamentry concensus (both in the movements and in the trade unions). That is now more then a pipe dream. Galloway certainly is'nt the only one and we can only imagine what the prospects would be if we build on this breakthrough. Things just got very interesting.

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