BY DARREN JIGGINS
HOBART — The Socialist Alliance has achieved the highest socialist vote ever in a Tasmanian state election. With 80% of the vote counted from the July 20 Tasmanian elections, the alliance received 663 votes. The final total will almost certainly top the 754 votes received by the Democratic Socialists in the 1998 federal election, making it the highest socialist vote by Tasmanians since the Communist Party's vote in the 1950s.
The Socialist Alliance ran an ambitious campaign, fielding six candidates across three of Tasmania's five seats. "At every step we have been bold — stretching our resources, reaching into new fields and doing our utmost to get our message across", Alex Bainbridge, candidate for Denison told Green Left Weekly.
"Obviously we are encouraged by the strong vote for the Greens [who won four seats in the poll]. This reflects the growing dissatisfaction with both Labor and Liberal parties and the desire for a progressive alternative.
"We are also encouraged by the vote we've achieved, the new members we've joined, the socialist profile that has been raised and the fact that we have established a Socialist Alliance branch in Launceston through this campaign."
Bainbridge also pointed out that the alliance ran what was probably the first ever socialist campaign in the northern seat of Bass. It was also the first campaign in which the Socialist Alliance had its name on the ballot paper, and the first in which it used television advertising.
For more information visit the Socialist Alliance web site at <http://www.socialist-alliance.org>.
From Green Left Weekly, July 24, 2002.
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