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Saturday 8 February 2014

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Sheffield kicks off TUSC election year with 7.6 percent by-election vote

The only party workers smiling at the Sheffield council Arbourthorne ward by-election count on Thursday 6 February were the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaigners.

TUSC came from nowhere (not having stood in this ward before) to get 204 votes, 7.6%, coming fourth out of seven candidates, a very respectable result.

Though Labour held the seat with just over half the votes cast, their share of vote fell by 10% from the last council election two years ago. UKIP came second but only increased their share on 2012 by 3%, despite two more years of media hype. With a lower turnout their vote actually fell from 544 in 2012 to 482 this time.

The TUSC candidate was only nine votes behind the Tories, but ahead of the Lib-Dems, Greens and English Democrats. This in a seat in which, in the city where Nick Clegg is an MP, the Liberal Democrats came second in 2010 with 1,888 votes.

TUSC is now aiming to stand in over half the council seats in Sheffield in May's full council elections, to give working class people the same opportunity they had in Arbourthorne to vote for a real alternative to the pro-austerity and far-right parties.

This by-election result is a good start to the campaign to stand 625 TUSC candidates across England in May's elections, the threshold the BBC has set for 'fair coverage' by the broadcasting authorities.

If you want to stand as a council candidate under the TUSC umbrella in May a candidate application form is available at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php .

February 6 - Sheffield council by-election, Arbourthorne ward:

Labour 1,398; UKIP 482; Conservative 213; TUSC 204 (7.6%); Liberal Democrat 161; Green 143; English Democrats 75