How to Fight Elections is the story of a Constituency Labour Party’s socialist election campaign in Wallasey, near Liverpool, in 1987. Wallasey is now Angela Eagle’s constituency.
Wallasey had previously been a safe Tory seat, but the candidate in 1987, Lol Duffy (a supporter of the class-struggle socialist newspaper Socialist Organiser) came within 279 votes of unseating the Tory minister Linda Chalker. Despite the press and the right wing of the Labour Party trying to scupper the campaign, Labour’s vote went up 39 percent, as Wallasey Labour activists inspired and galvanised the local labour movement and wide sections of the constituency’s working class.
By the 1992 election, the Labour Party machine had clamped down on Wallasey CLP, suspending key activists and preventing the party from deciding its own candidate. Angela Eagle was imposed. But, as the Labour left rises again, the lessons of the 1987 campaign are very much relevant today.
Includes the story of the campaign, pictures and a roundtable discussion between key participants. Republished in August 2016 with a foreword by Jill Mountford, Momentum steering committee and a campaigner in Wallsey in 1987 (personal capacity).