Socialist Worker

TUSC campaigners vow to keep fighting against austerity

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2452

 

Campaigning in Glasgow for TUSC

Campaigning in Glasgow for TUSC (Pic: Duncan Brown)


The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood parliamentary candidates in seats across the country.

In some areas TUSC candidates received small but encouraging votes. The results were uneven.

TUSC chair Dave Nellist, standing in Coventry North West increased his share of the vote from 2010 to 3.9 percent. In Tottenham, North London, Jenny Sutton increased her share of the vote from 2.6 percent in 2010 to 3.1 percent.

Jenny told Socialist Worker, “Our campaign really resonated with people in Tottenham.

“It will be key to build on this now we face further cuts being pushed through.”

And in Doncaster Central, where there hasn’t been a left candidate since 2001, first-time candidate Mev Akram won an excellent vote.

In other seats candidates improved on previous left results but remained below one percent.

Jon Woods, TUSC candidate for Portsmouth North, increased the share of his vote since he last stood in 2010 despite an overall swing from Labour to the Tories.

He told Socialist Worker, “The overall swing to the Tories and UKIP in England was clearly evident in Portsmouth. That TUSC modestly increased its vote was down to the hard work of everyone who campaigned.

“The response we got was positive, but often people would say they agreed with TUSC but would vote Labour to try to get rid of the Tory MP.

Challenge

“We are still in the early stages of building a left challenge to Labour. To increase the vote for TUSC amongst a big swing to the right is a real achievement.”

In some areas the results were disappointing – particularly where the share of the left vote fell.

But TUSC used their campaigns to lay the groundwork for the fight against austerity after the election.

The task now is to build on the networks established through the campaigning. And the result of the election shows the need to fight for a more united left-wing alternative.

Dave Gibson was the TUSC candidate for Barnsley Central. He told Socialist Worker, “We’ve mobilised more than 50 people in the constituency who’ve helped in some way. We’ve had the biggest street stalls I can remember.

“We’re not used to these numbers being involved in direct socialist campaigning.”

He added, “Some of them were involved in the Freedom Ride campaign and others in a fight to defend the library.

“Others we’ve met in the street and they’ve got enthused by the campaign. It has pulled in new people.”

Unjum Mirza, TUSC candidate for Streatham, south London, told Socialist Worker, “People really welcomed us on the streets. We’ve come across loads of new people. We’ve got a lot of respect that goes well beyond the size of the vote.

“There’s a serious class debate that needs to happen now in the movement – inside and outside the Labour Party.”


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