Britain: Great TUSC victory in Southampton

The result has lit up the idea that fighting councillors can help build support for a real alternative to austerity

Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) reporters

Keith Morrell has re-won his council seat Coxford, standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). Keith was previously kicked out of the Labour Party for fighting against cuts.

He has been decisively re-elected with 1,654 votes, 43%. This is a great result and vindication for his stand, alongside fellow rebel councillor Don Thomas, in opposing all cuts.

Ukip came second with 796 votes, Labour third with 724 votes, the Tories fourth with 500 votes, and Lib Dems last with 168.

The result has lit up the idea that fighting councillors can help build support for a real alternative to austerity. It is in sharp contrast to the close shave for Labour council leader Simon Letts who nearly lost his seat to Ukip after two years of implementing Tory cuts.

Keith said:

"This result is a victory for the people of Coxford who fought to save local services and won an important victory to re-open our local swimming pool. It shows what is possible.

"Other significant results across the city for TUSC Against Cuts candidates shows the potential that exists for a new party. A party that stands up for working people, campaigns for jobs and housing and tackles the growing poverty that affects so many families in the city".

Thanks to all TUSC supporters for their campaigning work and solidarity which ensured the message was heard loud and clear across Coxford and beyond. Councillors have a choice, this one won’t vote for cuts and we need many more who will join his stand.

Nick Chaffey

Election success for anti-cuts candidates

Not all the results are known yet, but TUSC has made a number of other important steps forward.

In Coventry TUSC’s national chairperson Dave Nellist polled a very good 974 votes, coming second with a 29.7% share. Another solid result in that city was Rob McArdle’s 248 votes in Lower Stoke ward, a 6.2% share. Overall, TUSC candidates polled 2,592 votes across Coventry.

In Waltham Forest in London TUSC scored an excellent 5,482 votes across 33 seats. In Haringey, London, over 4,000 voted for TUSC’s anti-cuts programme.

In Birmingham TUSC’s 12 candidates polled 1,766 votes with James Redfern scoring 9.3% in Tyburn ward and Ted Woodley 7.6% in Stockland Green.

Also on 9.3% was Amanda Dilley, the top TUSC result in Stevenage

In Salford 2,125 voters supported TUSC, with one candidate, Terry Simmons, coming second with 460 votes.

In the Newham mayoral election, TUSC candidate Lois Austin polled a very creditable 1,708 votes (a 2.2% share), just 49 votes behind the Liberal Democrats.

The mainstream media’s reporting of the local elections has concentrated almost exclusively on the increase in Ukip’s vote.

Ukip gained votes by posing as an anti-establishment party when, in reality, it has received wall-to-wall coverage in the mainstream media, and is a party led by bankers and millionaires which is to the right of the Tory Party.

Ukip stands for £77 billion ’extra’ cuts on top of the misery the government is already imposing on us.

The media has largely refused to cover the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) despite it standing 560 candidates, the biggest left-of-Labour challenge in 60 years. This was the beginning of building an alternative to the parties of austerity.

TUSC candidates were anti-cuts activists, community campaigners and trade unionists. TUSC was co-founded by the late Bob Crow, and is backed by the transport workers’ union – the RMT, along with other leading trade unionists and socialists.

Its candidates stood on simple demands such as:

Stop the cuts!

Stop rip off landlords! For rent controls and council house building

Axe the bedroom tax

For a minimum wage you can live on – £10 an hour now!

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May 2014