Socialist Worker

The left in the election: good campaigns but TUSC vote squeezed

Published Tue 11 May 2010
Issue No. 2201

Supporters of the left wing Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) ran some excellent election campaigns, but the results were generally disappointing.

One of the best results was the 1,057 votes for Jenny Sutton in Tottenham, north London. She came fourth after the three main parties with 2.6 percent of the vote and beat the Green candidate.

Jenny says, “The key factor was that fear of a Tory government galvanised people to vote Labour, and we were squeezed. People were too afraid to demand something better for fear of getting something worse.

“But although the vote is disappointing, we have met important people in the community and created some networks that will matter now.

“Even the Labour Party acknowledged that we had run the most visible and lively campaign, and that will stay in people’s minds when the cuts really bite. Our fight goes on and we are in a much stronger position to take it forward.”

Maxine Bowler stood for TUSC in the Brightside and Burngreave constituency in Sheffield. She won 1.7 percent of the vote and came third with over 10 percent of the vote in the council election.

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“We were the only people who put out the message that workers should not pay for the crisis, in defence of immigrants, and against the war in Afghanistan”, says Maxine.

“We have also won a level of trade union support and developed links with activists.”

Candidates to the left of Labour generally suffered. Sitting MPs Dai Davies in Blaenau Gwent and health campaigner Richard Taylor in Wyre Forest lost their seats.

Salma Yaqoob, standing for Respect in Birmingham Hall Green, won an impressive 12,240 votes—25 percent—in the parliamentary election but came second to the Labour candidate.

Yet overall, Respect’s vote dropped and it lost its only MP, George Galloway, who came third in Poplar and Limehouse. It is reduced to one councillor in Tower Hamlets.

Eamonn McCann, socialist campaigner, won a fantastic 7.7 percent of the vote in Foyle, Northern Ireland. He stood as part of the People Before Profit coalition.

Caroline Lucas made a breakthrough for the Green Party in Brighton, becoming the party’s first elected MP. Yet the Greens had a disappointing night elsewhere and their national share of the vote was down.

TUSC needs to be broadened. A national conference would help to democratise and widen the process.

For a full list of results go to » results by constituency


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Features
Tue 11 May 2010, 17:13 BST
Issue No. 2201
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