150 candidates now agreed for May local elections challenge, with more to come
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has now approved over 150 candidates to contest the local council elections in May.
The latest meeting of the TUSC All-Britain steering committee, held on March 9th, agreed further candidates for councils in England and Wales, taking these to a total of 140 across 33 local authorities, and received notice of the 15 candidates, contesting seats in seven authorities in Scotland, that had been separately approved by the autonomous Scottish TUSC steering committee.
The date of the last full meeting to consider candidate applications is March 30th but, as that is just six days before the official deadline to hand in nomination papers to local council electoral services departments, the steering committee agreed a procedure to authorise candidates beforehand.
If prospective candidates want to be considered in the next round of approvals, their application forms must be received by Saturday March 19th. The form can be downloaded from the website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/454.doc
The full list of TUSC candidates is now available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/464.pdf
Not an earthquake, but at least 'a little tremor'
The March 9th steering committee meeting was the first since the Birmingham Erdington parliamentary by-election on March 3rd, and heard a report from the campaign.
TUSC finished in third place, ahead of the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party) and six other candidates, albeit with a modest absolute vote in the tenth lowest turnout in a contested by-election since 1945.
Under a headline playing on the weather conditions during the short campaign - 'Labour survives four storms and a local earthquake, but there's a little tremor from the left' - the Sky News chief political correspondent, Jon Craig, wrote that TUSC's was "a performance that will cheer up all veteran left-wing comrades and Starmer critics".
It was a shame that the mainstream media boycott of the TUSC campaign was only broken after polling day. But, as the Birmingham candidate and TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist himself said - before, during and after the campaign - one of the most important reasons for standing was to give confidence to individual trade unionists, socialists and working class community campaigners that they too can fight at the ballot box. Perhaps starting in the May local council elections?
There are 150 TUSC candidates so far, but there is still time for more to come.