16 November 2012
TUSC results on November’s ‘super Thursday’ election day
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