The elections to the new Unite union's executive council produced good results for the left. The new executive council takes office from 1 May and consists of 80 seats divided equally between the Amicus and T&G sections.
Candidates backed by Amicus Unity Gazette, which is a very broad left grouping, won 23 of the 40 seats in the Amicus section.
Former Amicus national executive members such as Gill George, Jane Stewart, Ian Allinson and Billy Spiers – who had shown independence from the leadership – were re-elected with good results.
A number of other solid left candidates were elected, including Frank Wood in the health sector. Candidates backed by the T&G Broad Left secured a comfortable majority of their 40 seats.
The turnout in the election as a whole was low, with a big drop in the Amicus section since the last elections. This is because of the leadership's decision to run down the lay structures.
There is a major question facing the left in the union – whether or not to support Gordon Brown's government.
Many of the left on the new executive believe support for Labour is more important than defending the interests of our members. It is vital that the left works together effectively to deliver the policies on which they were elected.
The two left groupings intend to merge to form Left United. This merger will be positive, but activists will have to resist those in both groups who don't want the wider involvement of members in the union.
The merger of the left will be discussed at upcoming meetings of activists in both groups.