RISE – Scotland's Left Alliance
|Founded||29 August 2015|
|Headquarters||11 Moorfield Road|
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|Local government in Scotland|
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RISE – Scotland's Left Alliance is a left-wing electoral alliance and political party created ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament general election. The name is a contrived acronym standing for Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism. The Party name is registered as 'RISE - Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism'.
The alliance was formally established at a conference in Glasgow on 29 August 2015. The Scottish Socialist Party affiliated to the alliance for the 2016 election, in which RISE fielded candidates on the regional list in all electoral regions, but none were elected.
Shortly after the Scottish independence referendum, the Scottish Left Project was launched online in October 2014 as a "grassroots forum for left-wing ideas and talent". Its website contained an "opening statement" signed by 22 activists, which others on the left were encouraged to sign.
The initial signatories included members of the International Socialist Group, a splinter from the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) whose figureheads, Cat Boyd and Jonathon Shafi, emerged as the SLP's principal spokespersons, and some members of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP). The statement called for a "co-ordinated socialist challenge" in the 2016 elections and included commitments to "crowdsource policies" and hold "a citizens' audit of the debt that is imprisoning our national finances".
The SSP later joined negotiations to create an electoral alliance with other participants in the Scottish Left Project. Former MSP Frances Curran was among prominent SSP members arguing for participation in the proposed alliance, while Allan Grogan and Liam McLaughlan, who became prominent over the course of the referendum campaign, were among 38 members who signed an open letter arguing against the move, stating that there "are no shortcuts to building a strong left-wing opposition".
The Herald reported after the vote that the new alliance was "likely to be dominated by the SSP", who would be the largest component of a new arrangement. In July 2015, the Republican Communist Network, which organised within the SSP until 2012, added its support.
On 7 June 2015, the Sunday Herald revealed that the name of the electoral alliance would be RISE – Scotland's Left Alliance. An inaugural conference was held at the Glasgow Marriott on Saturday 29 August.
A further conference was arranged to be held in December to establish the alliance's policy platform and structure. At this conference they announced their intention to field candidates in all regions of Scotland.
In December 2015, former Scottish National Party (SNP) depute leader Jim Sillars said he would support the SNP with his constituency vote and RISE with his regional vote, adding: "If Colin Fox is on the list for Rise, I will be voting and supporting Colin Fox on the list system."
In early January 2016, RISE announced its regional lists candidates for seven electoral regions. A RISE candidate in the Lothian region later resigned, following concerns being expressed about her involvement with the defamation and perjury trials of Tommy Sheridan.
At the 2016 election, they polled 10,911 in total across Scotland and none of their candidates were returned. The SSP has since decided to re-evaluate and re-focus away from RISE and instead work on growing its own influence and authority. In September 2016, RISE announced plans to make politics more accessible, including regular political-themed dance club events and a new website. In May 2017, the party unsuccessfully stood one candidate in the Motherwell West ward, at the North Lanarkshire Council election.
In October 2017, the alliance established Conter, a "cross-party site designed for and by Scottish anti-capitalists", with an editorial board composed of non-affiliated socialists and supporters of RISE, Labour, the Scottish Greens, the SSP and others. Writing in Red Pepper, editor Jonathan Rimmer said the site would have "no party line" and called on socialists to "debate with each other on an amicable basis".
|Election||# of 2nd votes||% of 2nd vote||# of overall seats won||+/-||Position||Outcome||Notes|
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|0||N/A||Not in Parliament|
- "RISE, Scots left-wing electoral alliance, launches". The Scotsman. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
- Gordon, Tom (12 October 2014). "By the Left ... new group aims for socialist MSPs in 2016". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- Gordon, Tom (24 May 2015). "'Scottish Syriza' to stand at next Holyrood election". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Opening Statement". Scottish Left Project. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Scottish Socialists back building new left alliance". 25 May 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "An Open Letter Regarding the Scottish Left Project". redleftscotland.blogspot.co.uk. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Gray, Michael (19 May 2015). "Scotland's divided left to debate calls for cooperation at SSP conference". commonspace.scot. Common Space. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "The RCN and the Scottish Left Project". republicancommunist.org. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
- Gordon, Tom (7 June 2015). "Revealed: new Scottish left party named as RISE". The Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
- "RISE, Scots left-wing electoral alliance, launches". The Scotsman. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- Bell, Ian (30 August 2015). "The irresistible rise of the left". The Herald. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- Gordon, Tom (29 November 2015). "Scotland's Syriza promises radical socialist manifesto for Holyrood election". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- Nutt, Kathleen (18 December 2015). "Rise alliance to launch £100k fundraising bid for Holyrood elections push". The National. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- "Scotland's Socialist Party in Scotland's Left Alliance". Scottish Socialist Party. 23 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- Bonnar, Katie (30 August 2015). "Katie Bonnar: "The SSP is the voice of socialism in RISE"". glasgowsouthssp.org. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- "SNP stalwart Jim Sillars is backing radical left group Rise with his list vote". The National. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
- "RISE list candidates for May's Holyrood election". 6 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- Hutcheon, Paul; Gordon, Tom (24 January 2016). "Tommy Sheridan will quit politics if he loses at Holyrood 2016". The Herald. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "RISE manifesto 2016: key points". Holyrood. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- Brooks, Libby (19 April 2016). "Scotland's new leftwing party launches vision for Trident-free republic". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- Exclusive: Scottish Socialist Party “re-evaluates” Rise alliance strategy. CommonSpace. Published 14 June 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
- Gordon, Tom (4 September 2016). "RISE alliance plans permanent social hub in Glasgow". The Sunday Herald. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
- "Julie is first to RISE in council election". Motherwell Times. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
- Conter - about. Conter. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- Rimmer, Jonathan (20 July 2017). "Contribute to Conter – the new cross-party platform linking Scottish socialists". Red Pepper. Retrieved 12 March 2018.