Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
|Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition|
|Political position||Left-wing to Far-left|
|National affiliation||Socialist Party
Socialist Workers Party
|Politics of the United Kingdom
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is a socialist electoral alliance launched in Britain for the 2010 General Election. Prominent trade union support comes from the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT). TUSC's co-founder was former general secretary of the RMT, Bob Crow. Leading members of the Public and Commercial Services Union, the Prison Officers Association, the National Union of Teachers and the Fire Brigades Union are on the steering committee. Prominent participating socialist groups include the Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, and Solidarity. It aims to stand 100 MPs in the 2015 general election and up to 1000 councillors. TUSC currently has a small number of affiliated councillors in Walsall, Southampton, Preston and Maltby.
- 1 Foundation: No2EU
- 2 Trade Union endorsement
- 3 Criticism from the Unite union
- 4 Positions
- 5 Elections
- 5.1 General Elections
- 5.2 2015 General Election
- 5.3 Local and By-elections
- 6 List of organisations in TUSC
- 7 References
- 8 External links
At the March 2009 Socialist Party congress, RMT executive members Alex Gordon and Brian Denny addressed Socialist Party delegates in an official capacity, outlining the RMT's proposal for workers slates in the European elections in June. At a later congress session this initiative was formally agreed by congress delegates, and No to EU – Yes to Democracy (NO2EU) was formed. NO2EU, an electoral alliance, headed by Bob Crow, between the RMT, the Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Party, subsequently led to the formation of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. The Socialist Party, which had previously participated in the Socialist Alliance and Welsh Socialist Alliance and backed the Campaign for a New Workers' Party, termed No2EU "an important first step towards independent working class political representation", despite criticisms of the name and other minor issues. The Socialist Party stated it "would prefer a name that includes 'socialism', for marked ideological contrast to New Labour, and also one that makes it clear that the coalition is a working class alternative."  Nevertheless, the Socialist Party noted the success of Die Linke in Germany, the New Anticapitalist Party in France and Coalition of the Radical Left in Greece, and emphasized the need for a "genuine socialist alternative" in the European elections.
After the European elections, in July 2009, the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) released a statement expressing willingness to continue the No2EU programme and support left-wing alliance candidates in some constituencies, but also called for a vote for Labour Party candidates in others. However, on 17 January 2010 the Executive Committee of the CPB declined to formally participate in the coalition.
Negotiations to found the coalition continued over several months after the EU election. One proposed name for the coalition was "Trade Unionists and Green Socialists Alliance". The RMT, which had formally supported No2EU, initially decided, in January 2010, not to similarly back TUSC, but allowed individual branches to support it. It later gave TUSC candidates its full backing (see below). On 12 January 2010, the coalition was announced and subsequently, the RMT National Council of Executives supported 20 TUSC candidates on receipt of local RMT branch requests. TUSC chairperson Dave Nellist stood as a candidate for the coalition in the constituency of Coventry North East. Among the other candidates were Jackie Grunsell in Colne Valley constituency, Keith Gibson in Hull West and Hessle, Dave Hill in Brighton Kemptown, Ian Page in Lewisham Deptford, Rob Williams in Swansea West and Tim Cutter in Southampton Itchen.
Meanwhile, just after the 2009 European Elections, the SWP, which had not taken part in No2EU but which had itself been part of the Socialist Alliance and the Respect Party, published its "Open Letter to the Left", in which it called for "a united fightback to save jobs and services" and subsequently joined TUSC.
Trade Union endorsement
Three Annual General Meetings (2012, 2013 and 2014) of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) have endorsed RMT support for TUSC candidates and the RMT is formally represented on the TUSC steering committee. TUSC has been endorsed by the late Bob Crow, formerly the General Secretary of the RMT, Brian Caton, former General Secretary of the POA, Steve Gillan and Joe Simpson, General Secretary and Assistant General Secretary of the POA, Janice Godrich, President of the PCS, Chris Baugh, Assistant General Secretary of the PCS and eight members of the UNISON National Executive Council.
Criticism from the Unite union
In February 2015, senior figures from Unite the Union condemned the Socialist Party and TUSC for standing candidates against Labour in marginal constituencies for the 2015 general election, and accused TUSC of having a "derisory" electoral record. In response, the SP claimed that a Labour government "would be at best austerity-lite and a continuation of the crisis that faces working-class people."
TUSC is a coalition, not a political party, with a federal structure. All candidates supporting the coalition must support a core declaration of principles, but beyond this each candidate is free to campaign on the platform of their own political party.
The TUSC national steering committee comprises: Peter Pinkney, RMT National President, and RMT National Executive members Sean Hoyle, Darren Procter, Steve Skelly and Sean McGowan, representing the RMT; representatives from the Socialist Party, the SWP and the TUSC Independent Socialist Network; plus, in a personal capacity, Steve Gillan, POA General Secretary; Chris Baugh, PCS Assistant General Secretary; Joe Simpson, POA Assistant General Secretary; John McInally, PCS Vice-President; Ian Leahair, FBU National Executive; Nina Franklin, ex-NUT President; Brian Caton, ex-POA General Secretary; Cllr Michael Lavalette; Cllr Keith Morrell; Cllr Don Thomas; Nick Wrack.
2010 General Election
TUSC and the Scottish TUSC (STUSC) announced the below list of parliamentary candidates for the 2010 general election, including ten in Scotland. They received a total of 15,573 votes, or 0.1% of the popular vote. TUSC's average vote nationwide was around 371 (1.0%); no deposits were returned. TUSC was registered with the Electoral Commission in January 2010,.
TUSC claimed that the possibilities of electoral success should not be exaggerated. TUSC consistently stated that “not too much can be drawn from a handful of electoral contests, either ‘writing off’ TUSC or exaggerating the possibilities at this stage." Another claimed factor in 2010 was a perceived "Squeeze" that generated disappointing results for many smaller parties. "Fear of a Tory government galvanised people to vote Labour, and we were squeezed. People were too afraid to demand something better for fear of getting something worse." Tottenham candidate Jenny Sutton claimed.
England & Wales
|Constituency||Candidate||Affiliation||Result - votes||Result - %||Loss/gain|
|Coventry North East||Dave Nellist||Socialist Party (stood as Socialist Alternative)||1,592||3.7%||-1.2%|
|Colne Valley||Jackie Grunsell||Socialist Party||741||1.3%||+1.3%|
|Salford & Eccles||David Henry||Green Left||730||1.8%||+1.8%|
|Coventry South||Judy Griffiths||Socialist Party (stood as Socialist Alternative)||691||1.5%||-1.2%|
|Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough||Maxine Bowler||Socialist Workers Party||656||1.7%||n/a|
|Lewisham Deptford||Ian Page||Socialist Party (stood as Socialist Alternative)||645||1.6%||-0.6%|
|Bootle||Pete Glover||Socialist Party||472||1.1%||-1.5%|
|Carlisle||John Metcalfe||Communist Party of Britain||376||0.9%||n/a|
|Coventry North West||Nicky Downes||Socialist Party (stood as Socialist Alternative)||370||0.8%||-0.7%|
|Cambridge City||Martin Booth||Cambridge Socialists (listed as Cambridge Socialists on ballot paper and results)||362||0.7%||+0.7%|
|Manchester Gorton||Karen Reissmann||Socialist Workers Party||337||0.9%||+0.9%|
|Walthamstow||Nancy Taaffe||Socialist Party||279||0.7%||-1.4%|
|Wythenshawe and Sale East||Lynn Worthington||Socialist Party||268||0.7%||-0.3%|
|Greenwich and Woolwich||Onay Kasab||Socialist Party||267||0.6%||+0.6%|
|Gateshead||Elaine Brunskill||Socialist Party||266||0.7%||n/a|
|Wellingborough and Rushden||Cllr Paul Crofts||Wellingborough Socialists||249||0.5%||+0.5%|
|Bristol South||Tom Baldwin||Socialist Party||206||0.4%||+0.4%|
|Liverpool Walton||Daren Ireland||RMT||195||0.6%||+0.6%|
|Brighton Kemptown||Dave Hill||Socialist Resistance||194||0.5%||+0.2%|
|Bristol East||Rachel Lynch||Socialist Party||184||0.4%||+0.4%|
|Doncaster North||Bill Rawcliffe||RMT||181||0.4%||+0.4%|
|Swansea West||Rob Williams||Socialist Party||179||0.5%||-0.4%|
|Spelthorne||Paul Couchman||Socialist Party||176||0.4%||+0.4%|
|Southampton Itchen||Tim Cutter||Socialist Party||168||0.4%||+0.4%|
|Cardiff Central||Ross Saunders||Socialist Party||162||0.4%||+0.4%|
|Leicester West||Steve Score||Socialist Party||157||0.4%||-1.3%|
|Portsmouth North||Mick Tosh||RMT||154||0.3%||+0.3%|
|Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle||Keith Gibson||Socialist Party||150||0.5%||+0.5%|
|Stoke-on-Trent Central||Matthew Wright||Socialist Party||133||0.4%||-0.5%|
|Redcar||Hannah Walter||Socialist Party||127||0.3%||+0.3%|
|Constituency||Candidate||Affiliation||Votes -cast||Result - %||Loss/gain|
|Glasgow South West||Tommy Sheridan||Solidarity (stood as Solidarity - TUSC)||931||2.9%||-2.5%|
|Motherwell and Wishaw||Ray Gunnion||CWI/Solidarity||609||1.6%||-1.1%|
|Dundee West||Jim McFarlane||CWI/Solidarity||357||1.0%||-1.7%|
|Glasgow South||Brian Smith||CWI/Solidarity||351||0.9%||-2.5%|
|Glasgow North||Angela McCormick||SWP/Solidarity||287||1.0%||-2.8%|
|Edinburgh East||Gary Clark||CWI/Solidarity||274||0.7%||-1.5%|
|Edinburgh North and Leith||Willie Black||SWP/Solidarity||233||0.5%||-1.4%|
|Glasgow North East||Graham Campbell||SWP/Solidarity||187||0.6%||-4.3%|
|Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey||George McDonald||Solidarity (stood as Solidarity - TUSC)||135||0.3%||-0.7%|
2015 General Election
The organisation announced in October 2014 that it had received a guarantee of funding from Socialist Alliance. The funds would provide for one hundred deposits in parliamentary contests, as well as a Party Political Broadcast.
Local and By-elections
2011 Local Elections
TUSC stood 174 candidates in the May 2011 council elections. In thirteen seats TUSC polled over 10% and in over a quarter polled more than 5%. The average vote was 5.2%.
2011 Welsh Assembly Election
TUSC stood a total number of 24 candidates out of two Welsh Assembly regions in the 2011 Welsh Assembly elections in which it came 10th place out of 11 parties in the South Wales West region with 809 votes (0.5%) and for the South Wales Central region, it came 11th place out of 12 parties with 830 votes (0.4%). It gained 1,639 votes in total with 0.2% nationwide.
2012 Local Elections
TUSC stood 132 candidates in 38 councils, with 17 candidates for the Greater London Assembly. Two TUSC-backed candidates were elected, Michael Lavalette in Preston and Peter Smith in Walsall. In the council elections in England and Wales TUSC candidates averaged 6.2% of the poll. Tony Mulhearn, one of the 47 Liverpool Councillors who refused to set a budget for the council, and led a campaign of defiance of the Conservative government in the 1980s stood as the candidate for Mayor of Liverpool, coming fifth with 4.86% of the vote. In Scotland, 38 candidates stood in nine councils as the Scottish Anti-Cuts Coalition (SACC). The TUSC campaign for the Greater London Assembly was launched by Bob Crow of the RMT and Matt Wrack of the FBU, and candidates included Alex Gordon, President of the RMT trade union and April Ashley a member of the UNISON National Executive.
2013 Local and by-elections
A total of 120 candidates contested the English local elections on May 2 under the TUSC umbrella, 5% of the seats. In addition, TUSC stood a candidate in the Doncaster mayoral contest and two candidates in council by-elections that were held on the same day. It was mainly county councils up for election, largely Conservative controlled. The TUSC candidate for the mayor of Doncaster, Mary Jackson, polled 1,916 votes, achieving sixth place, ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
TUSC stood in the Eastleigh by-election. Candidate Daz Procter achieved 0.15% of the vote. Up to mid-November 2013, TUSC had contested twenty-seven council by-elections in 2013 (with candidates in place for ten more). TUSC’s average percentage share of the vote in these seats was just under 6%. Joe Robinson won a seat for TUSC on Maltby Town Council.
2014 Local Elections
TUSC announced the 'biggest left-of-Labour electoral challenge in sixty years' in the 2014 local elections, fielding a total of 561 candidates. There were 53 candidates who were members of the RMT transport workers' union, 19 Communication Workers' Union members who were candidates, 18 members of the National Union of Teachers, 16 PCS members, 20 members of the University and College Union. From the big Labour-affiliated unions, there were 74 Unison members standing for TUSC and 130 members of Unite. TUSC gained a seat in Southampton for Keith Morrell, previously a Labour councillor, and a second seat in Maltby.
2015 Local Elections
TUSC announced its intentions to field over 1,000 candidates locally to coincide with its General Election campaign.
List of organisations in TUSC
- Socialist Party
- Socialist Resistance
- Socialist Workers Party
- Independent Socialist Network
- Scottish Anti Cuts Coalition
- United Socialist Party
- Pan-African Congress
- Keith Edkins (30 November 2009). "Local Council Political Compositions". Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- Nicholas Whyte (10 May 2005). "The 2005 Local Government Elections in Northern Ireland". Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
- "Socialist Party congress reports". Socialist Party. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- "Action needed to bring election coalition into shape". Socialist Party. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 2014-05-02.
- "Europe". Socialist Party. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Europe". Socialist Party. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Rising class struggles across Europe". Socialistparty.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Executive Committee statement on elections". Communist-party.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Capitalism :: British politics". Socialist Party. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- Clive Heemskerk, "Trade unionist and socialist coalition", The Socialist, 3 February 2010 http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/610/8762
- "Launch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition". Socialist Party. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates, http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php
- ""Son of No2EU" goes public as "TUSC"". Workers' Liberty. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Open letter: Left must unite to create an alternative". Socialistworker.co.uk. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- "Unite’s left urges Tusc to reconsider". Morning Star. 2015-02-27. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
- "Candidates for TUSC". Tusc.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
- [url=http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regpoliticalparties.cfm?frmGB=1&frmPartyID=941&frmType=partydetail%7Ctitle=Electoral Commission: Register of Political Parties]
- [url=http://www.tusc.org.uk/press011212.php%7Ctitle=November by-elections|publisher=TUSC|date=1 December 2012]
- [url=http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=21185%7Ctitle=Britain's general election: no winner and no mandate|publisher=Socialist Worker|date=6th May 2010]
- "The left in the election: good campaigns but TUSC vote squeezed". Socialist Worker. 11 May 2010.
- Compared with Socialist Alternative result 2005
- "Sacked Jarvis rail worker goes head to head with Ed Miliband in Doncaster North", RMT, 4 May 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Compared with Scottish Socialist Party result (different candidate) in 2005
- Compared with Scottish Socialist Party result (same candidate) in 2005
- "Socialist Alliance agrees to use large part of recent legacy to help fund largest possible left electoral challenge – through TUSC". socialistalliance.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-12-13.
- "TUSC candidates for May council elections 2011 - regional breakdown". TUSC. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- TUSC 2012 local election results http://www.tusc.org.uk/press030512.php
- TUSC candidates in the 2012 elections http://www.tusc.org.uk/press110412.php
- GLA Election campaign launch http://www.tusc.org.uk/london_tusc.php
- "TUSC announces 'biggest left-of-Labour electoral challenge in sixty years'". TUSC. Retrieved 2 May 2014.