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Friday, 16 November 2012

A look at this weeks big elections, TUSC still finding its feet

I've heard many comments about TUSC's performance this week in various elections many writing TUSC off and many saying its never going to happen voters still prefer labour just to get rid of the tories. This may well be true at this time but Labour lost 10k votes in Manchester Central this time despite keeping hold of the seat. Its still early days for TUSC as a electoral force on the main stage. We are limited in resources and numbers on the ground. Our votes go up and down but at this stage as the post below posted on the TUSC website we dont feel at this stage we can draw any definitive conclusions for TUSC and the project for a new mass workers party. There is still the need for such a party given no political party is offering anything for working people just more of teh same all be it at a slightly slower pace. Just a note on the Police Crime commisioner elections some dreadful turnouts with many not voting some areas not even recording a vote shows the publics indifference to elected police commisioners and is a hugely humiliating record for this Con-dem gov. This can finally put the nail in the coffin when tories use low turnout figures which are partly to do with teh harshest anti trade union laws in the western world when these elections have been so poorly supported. No more attacks on the unions strike ballots given this bit of embarrassing news for the tories. WITH A £5,000 deposit required to get on to the ballot paper – but with no candidates’ freepost mailshot available – TUSC did not field any candidates in the Police Commissioner elections held on November 15, dubbed by the media as Britain’s ‘super Thursday’ with 40 million people eligible to vote. But TUSC did stand candidates in the Manchester Central parliamentary by-election, the Bristol mayoral election, and three council by-elections, held on the same day. In Bristol the TUSC candidate Tom Baldwin, the youngest contender in the field, polled 1,412 votes. For comparison the Liberal Democrats, who lead the city council, polled just over six thousand votes while the Greens, with two city councillors, managed 5,248 votes. In Manchester Central Labour held the seat while TUSC candidate Alex Davidson polled 220 votes. Showing how alienated working class people are from all ‘politics’ at this stage – not making it easy for a new force to make a breakthrough – the by-election saw the lowest ever turnout in a peacetime parliamentary by-election, at 18.1%. In the council by-elections, TUSC’s vote ranged from 3.9% in Rugby’s New Bilton ward to 2.2% in Manchester Ardwick ward – although in Liverpool’s Knotty Ash ward Charley Cosgrove outpolled both the Conservatives and the Greens. UKIP polled more votes than TUSC in four of the contests but not overwhelmingly so – despite Nigel Farage’s Question Time season ticket (while TUSC faces a media blackout). In reality not too much can be drawn from a handful of electoral contests, either ‘writing off’ TUSC or exaggerating the possibilities at this stage. The most important fact is still the absence of a vehicle for working class political representation, given Labour’s broad acceptance of the capitalists’ austerity agenda. Standing in elections is part of the struggle to build one. Bristol Mayoral election: Bristol First 31,321; Labour 25,896; Conservative 8,136; Lib Dems 6,202; Green 5,248; Independent 2,404; Independent 1,855; Respect 1,568; Independent 1,413; TUSC 1,412 (1.6%); Independent 1,037; Independent 994; Independent 761; Independent 494; Independent 411. Manchester Central parliamentary by-election: Labour 11,507; Lib Dems 1.571; Conservative 754; UKIP 749; Green 652; BNP 492; Pirate Party 308; TUSC 220 (1.3%); Respect 182; MRLP 78; People’s Democratic 71; Comm League 64. Rugby council, New Bilton ward by-election: Labour 496; Conservative 192; Green 100; UKIP 82; Indpendent 56; Lib Dems 41; TUSC 39 (3.9%). Liverpool council, Knotty Ash ward by-election: Labour 1,213; Lib Dems 149; Liberal 131; UKIP 101; English Democrats 50; TUSC 48 (2.7%); Conseravtive 40; Green 36. Manchester council, Ardwick ward by-election: Labour 1,904; Green 120; Lib Dems 94; Conservative 92; UKIP 61; TUSC 52 (2.2%); BNP 43. For a full breakdown of TUSC’s May results see http://www.tusc.org.uk/pdfs/2012/TUSC_Results_Report.pdf

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