YCL Statement on the May 2021 elections

The Executive Committee of the Young Communist League has released the following statement calling for votes and support for the Communist Party in today’s elections.

Polls are open today for elections to the Scottish and Welsh parliaments, as well as around 5,000 elections to local authorities in England. Communists have been campaigning hard on these elections in the past few months; members of the League are well represented among the Communist Party’s candidates, and on its electoral lists.

These elections are important by their volume, covering two national parliaments, regional authorities, and two years’ worth of council elections in England. They are also significant by their timing, coming off the back of a pandemic which is not yet over.

The last twelve months have seen the British state fall short on any strategy to tackle Covid-19, leaving us with the highest death toll in Europe. The Tories threatened parents and teachers over unsafe re-opening of schools, and fought the unions on workplace safety. This government oversaw a deadly experiment in herd immunity, late confinement measures, a faulty test-and-trace system, mass unemployment. At every turn the government has assured the smooth functioning of business, no matter the cost to our mental and physical health, all the while casting blame and punishment on the population. The large corporations for their part took advantage of the situation to gorge themselves on sweet outsourcing contracts. We have also seen a series of ‘fire and rehire’ schemes put on by companies eager to push down on wages and working conditions.

There has been no relief for working people, and where the situation is bleak, we are here to carry forth a message of solidarity. These elections have been an opportunity to talk honestly with people, to listen to their desires and their frustrations.

The value of participation in the democratic process extends far beyond the moment of voting itself. During the campaign period, young communists have been present in the streets. With great effort we have been extending and strengthening our ties to the community. This work will not all grind to a halt after polling day.

Communist Party General Secretary Robert Griffiths wrote last week:

Whatever the results, people across Britain will wake up on May 7 facing the same problems of COVID-19 recovery, unemployment, insufficient housing, big business corruption and political sleaze as before.

It is unlikely the Communist Party will make an electoral breakthrough, the YCL does not expect a Communist victory in any of the elections contested. Nonetheless, the experience of the campaign itself has shown that Communists in Britain are serious and well-organised.

In areas of the country without a Communist candidate, we call on members to consult primarily with the structures of the Communist Party for guidance on electoral strategy. Sometimes this will mean voting for a good Labour candidate, in other circumstances it might mean supporting a left-wing alternative. Please consider the options, and come to a collective decision.

Take this time to prepare the terrain for future activity. Talk with your comrades about the university occupations, the union disputes, the right to protest and everything else. The League needs to be ready for whatever new challenges will await us once the Covid crisis has passed.

Vote Communist!

Executive Committee
Young Communist League

6 May 2021
London, Britain