Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

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Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Leader Joint leadership of
Dave Nellist and
Bob Crow.[1]
Founded 2010
Ideology Trade Unionism,
Democratic socialism,
Political position Left-wing to Far-left
National affiliation Socialist Party
Socialist Resistance
Socialist Workers Party
Local government[2][3]
3 / 21,871
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is a socialist electoral alliance launched in Britain for the 2010 General Election.

The coalition was negotiated between groups which had taken part in the No2EU coalition that fought the June 2009 European elections. Prominent participating groups include the Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Independent Socialist Network, Solidarity, and others. Two Annual General Meetings (2012 and 2013) 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 Bob Crow, 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. 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.


No to EU – Yes to Democracy had been intended as a one-time electoral alliance. The Socialist Party, which had previously participated in the Socialist Alliance and Welsh Socialist Alliance and which backs the Campaign for a New Workers' Party, saw No2EU as "an important first step towards independent working class political representation"[4] and was eager to continue cooperation with other left wing groups, building on ties forged during the European election. The Socialist Party spoke highly of the success of Die Linke in Germany, the New Anticapitalist Party in France and Coalition of the Radical Left in Greece.[5][6][7]

In July 2009, the Communist Party of Britain released a statement[8] 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 the Executive Committee of the CPB declined to formally participate in the coalition.[9]

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".[10] The RMT, which had formally supported No2EU, decided in January 2010 not to similarly back TUSC, but allowed individual branches to support it.[11] On 12 January 2010, the coalition was announced[12] and subsequently, the RMT National Council of Executives supported 20 TUSC candidates on receipt of local RMT branch requests.[13]

Some political groups such as the Alliance for Workers Liberty and the Weekly Worker newspaper have argued that the coalition was formed in secret and without democratic input.[14]

Meanwhile, just after the 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",[15] in which it called for "a united fightback to save jobs and services".


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.[11]

The TUSC national steering committee comprises: Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, 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.


General Elections[edit]

2010 General Election[edit]

TUSC/STUSC announced the below list of parliamentary candidates for the 2010 general election, including ten in Scotland.[16] 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.

As a relatively new entity, electoral success was not high up on the list of the coalition's priorities.[citation needed] TUSC was only registered with the Electoral Commission in January 2010,[17] leaving little time to organise a more comprehensive challenge.[citation needed] Another claimed factor was a perceived "Squeeze"[18] 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.[19]

England & Wales[edit]
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%[20]
Tottenham Jenny Sutton UCU 1,057 2.6% +2.6%
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%[20]
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%[20]
Bootle Pete Glover Socialist Party 472 1.1% -1.5%[20]
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%[20]
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%
Huddersfield Paul Cooney UNISON 319 0.8% +0.8%
Walthamstow Nancy Taaffe Socialist Party 279 0.7% -1.4%[20]
Wythenshawe and Sale East Lynn Worthington Socialist Party 268 0.7% -0.3%[20]
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%[20]
Bristol East Rachel Lynch Socialist Party 184 0.4% +0.4%
Doncaster North Bill Rawcliffe RMT[21] 181 0.4% +0.4%
Swansea West Rob Williams Socialist Party 179 0.5% -0.4%[20]
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%[20]
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%[20]
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%[22]
Motherwell and Wishaw Ray Gunnion CWI/Solidarity 609 1.6% -1.1%[22]
Dundee West Jim McFarlane CWI/Solidarity 357 1.0% -1.7%[23]
Glasgow South Brian Smith CWI/Solidarity 351 0.9% -2.5%[22]
Glasgow North Angela McCormick SWP/Solidarity 287 1.0% -2.8%[22]
Edinburgh East Gary Clark CWI/Solidarity 274 0.7% -1.5%[22]
Edinburgh North and Leith Willie Black SWP/Solidarity 233 0.5% -1.4%[22]
Glasgow North East Graham Campbell SWP/Solidarity 187 0.6% -4.3%[23]
Midlothian Willie Duncan Solidarity 166 0.4% -1.5%[22]
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey George McDonald Solidarity (stood as Solidarity - TUSC) 135 0.3% -0.7%[23]

Local Elections[edit]

2011 Local Elections[edit]

TUSC stood 174 candidates in the May 2011 council elections.[24] 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[edit]

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[edit]

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.[25] 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).[26] The TUSC campaign for the Greater London Assembly was launched by Bob Crow of the RMT and Matt Wrack of the FBU,[27] and candidates included Alex Gordon President of the RMT Trade Union, and April Ashley a member of the UNISON National executive.

2013 Local Elections[edit]

A total of 120 candidates contested the English local elections on May 2nd 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 this year, 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.


2012 By-Elections[edit]

TUSC stood candidates in the 2012 by-elections for Manchester Central (garnering 1.3%), Middlesbrough (1.6%) and Rotherham (1.3%).

2013 By-Elections[edit]

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.

List of organisations in TUSC[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Keith Edkins (30 November 2009). "Local Council Political Compositions". Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Nicholas Whyte (10 May 2005). "The 2005 Local Government Elections in Northern Ireland". Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  4. ^ name="">
  5. ^ "Europe". Socialist Party. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  6. ^ "Europe". Socialist Party. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  7. ^ "Rising class struggles across Europe". Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Executive Committee statement on elections". Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  10. ^ "Capitalism :: British politics". Socialist Party. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  11. ^ a b Clive Heemskerk, "Trade unionist and socialist coalition", The Socialist, 3 February 2010
  12. ^ "Launch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition". Socialist Party. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  13. ^ Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates,
  14. ^ ""Son of No2EU" goes public as "TUSC"". Workers' Liberty. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  15. ^ "Open letter: Left must unite to create an alternative". 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  16. ^ "Candidates for TUSC". Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  17. ^ [url= Commission: Register of Political Parties]
  18. ^ [url='s general election: no winner and no mandate|publisher=Socialist Worker|date=6th May 2010]
  19. ^ "The left in the election: good campaigns but TUSC vote squeezed". Socialist Worker. 11 May 2010. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Compared with Socialist Alternative result 2005
  21. ^ "Sacked Jarvis rail worker goes head to head with Ed Miliband in Doncaster North", RMT, 4 May 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Compared with Scottish Socialist Party result (different candidate) in 2005
  23. ^ a b c Compared with Scottish Socialist Party result (same candidate) in 2005
  24. ^ "TUSC candidates for May council elections 2011 - regional breakdown". TUSC. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  25. ^ TUSC 2012 local election results
  26. ^ TUSC candidates in the 2012 elections
  27. ^ GLA Election campaign launch

External links[edit]