Results update - TUSC polls a thousand plus votes in over twenty councils
As predicted yesterday, over 100,000 votes were cast for TUSC candidates in Thursday's elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17091/08-05-2015/results-still-coming-in-but-tusc-set-to-poll-100000-votes-for-bold-no-cuts-message ). We're currently at 108,416 votes but, with more local council election results to be collected in, we are still not able to give a final tally.
One thing is clear however - TUSC is making a mark in councils across the country, which will be vital in the anti-austerity struggles to come.
Leading the way is Leicester with 4,440 votes cast for TUSC council candidates, just ahead of Coventry on 4,389. While the Leicester rebel councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter were sadly unable to hold their seats in a contest overshadowed by the general election, the anti-cuts challenge has laid firm roots across the city. Barbara polled 3,028 votes in her stand for the directly-elected city mayor.
TUSC council candidates polled 3,808 votes in Doncaster, 3,486 votes in Liverpool, 3,402 in Medway, 3,351 in Southampton, 3,214 in Manchester and 3,053 in Sheffield. Salford TUSC polled 2,535 council votes, Barnsley 2,434 votes, and Kirklees 2,094, while the Bristol candidates reached 1,917.
Also in the one thousand-plus club are York (1,820 votes), Birmingham (1,745), Wakefield (1,627), Walsall (1,354), Leeds (1,352), Bolsover (1,341), North East Lincolnshire and Stoke-on-Trent (both with 1,084 votes), Plymouth (1,025), Portsmouth (1,003), and Knowsley (1,010), where the TUSC candidates averaged 7.6% of the vote. In Barnsley the TUSC candidates, standing in just under half the seats, averaged a 6.3% share of the vote, and in Doncaster 4.6%.
Individual candidate score highlights include Brian Loader, who polled 553 votes (28.9%) in Bolsover council's South Normanton West ward; Julie Ingram, with 709 votes (16.2%) in Barnsley's Monk Bretton ward; Brendan Tyrrell, 412 (11.9%) in Halewood South ward in Knowsley; Theresa Rollinson, 405 (11%) in Doncaster's Hexthorpe & Balby North ward; and Alan Davies, 535 (10.5%) in Birchills-Leamore in Walsall.
Local public services will be in the Tories' sights in the new round of savage austerity to come. No excuses will be accepted now from councillors who are not prepared to resist.
As Warrington TUSC councillor Kevin Bennett said, in a post-election message, "the surprise of the Tories gaining a majority makes it all the more important that TUSC keeps up the pressure to show people that we are the only real alternative to the pro-austerity, establishment parties.
"As a TUSC candidate I want to continue building a left alternative, following the largest left campaign we've seen since the Second World War. We've got to have a debate with the trade unions and with other left groups to create a more united left after the election. I feel that the Labour Party will move more to the right now and so TUSC will be the 'credible' alternative for the many who can't bear to see the Tories in power.
"We need a network of people who know that there will be pernicious cuts to come and who are prepared to fight.
"More than a million public sector workers will need the support of the left to protest over government policy on cutting public sector services and jobs. There's no doubt about it, we are now facing the fight of our lives and TUSC is the only credible alternative to take up the 'crusade'."
More information will be published when the final results are in.