History of the Scottish Socialist Party

History Of The Scottish Socialist Party

History of the Scottish Socialist Party

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The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) was formed in 1998, from an alliance of left-wing organisations in Scotland. In 1999 it saw its first MSP returned to Holyrood, with five more MSPs elected in 2003.

The SSP is stood unsuccessfully on the regional lists for the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, and in council elections across the country.

Scottish Socialist Alliance

The forerunner of the SSP was the Scottish Socialist Alliance (SSA) which was a coalition of left-wing bodies in Scotland which existed from 1996 to 1998.

It arose out of some Socialist Forums which involved public discussions between various socialist groups. There had been private discussions about some attempt to bring some form of political cohesion to the Scottish left, but events were forced by the formation of the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) by Arthur Scargill. The forces who went on to form the SSA had talks with Scargill where they said that they were prepared to join his party if he accepted some degree of Scottish autonomy, when he refused they formed the SSA. The largest group involved was Scottish Militant Labour, although it also involved people from various backgrounds, and some smaller groups e.g. the Scottish Socialist Movement, which had been a loose discussion circle, and which dissolved into the SSA not long after this.

The first election it fought was the Toryglen by-election for Glasgow City Council in August 1996, with Rosie Kane as the...
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