This year’s PCS NEC results can be found here.
It will come as no surprise to activists that the Democracy Alliance, whose candidates secured 90% of the branch nominations won all positions, with the right-wing losing all their gains from last year – an undeniable positive of these elections. Consequently the Democracy Alliance retains control of the executive, but they have lost support to the Left.
Some Left Unity comrades were quick to take to social media following the release of the results claiming an “excellent victory”. We’d like to put their victory into a more sobering perspective.
The first thing to note is that turnout is the lowest in at least a decade at 8%.
We would suggest that far from being ‘excellent’, the low turnout betrays a growing apathy in the union. Evidenced further by the fact this isn’t a blip – turnouts have fallen steadily over the last decade.
Independent Left Candidates did very well, with candidates Trish Doran and Bev Laidlaw missing out on an NEC place by only 8% of the vote – the closest we’ve ever come.
IL candidates in the Vice-President ballot increased their share of the vote from 20% to 30% to the Democracy Alliance’s 40%, pushing the right-wing into third place and achieving our best result.
IL candidates achieved their highest percentage and real-term vote in the wider NEC ballot too. With candidates on average increasing their share of the vote by 6% on 2013.
The ratio of votes per branch nomination was as little as 50:1 for LU candidates. For the election of President it was 75:1 for incumbent President, Janice Godrich and 370:1 for our candidate, Christine Hulme, who works in a local Job Centre.
We hope these statistics are humbling to a leadership that claims grass-roots support. That despite overwhelming branch nominations of Democracy Alliance candidates more and more lay-members are eschewing their branch recommendations and electoral machine; voting for left-opposition and an alternative leadership.
Independent Left would like to thank all those who voted for us, including the many who will have done so for the first time.
This election has re-stated our position as the main opposition group to the leadership. Those who supported us should feel confident in the growth of a pole of attraction outside of the leadership bubble.
The very low number of votes per branch nomination that were won by LU candidates (and despite the much greater opportunity existing senior officers and NEC members have for promoting themselves through the Union’s official resources and structures) confirms the IL experience in two respects. First that the LU/Democracy slate is dependent on nominations from increasingly unenthusiastic LU supporters.
Secondly, where the IL critique of the leadership and perspective for the Union is heard it receives the support of members. In an indirect way that was proved by last summer’s branch consultation over the “national campaign”; the branches endorsed the need for a levy and selective action as a genuine tactical option, forcing a leadership which has lost on pay, pensions, job loss, severance and civil service reform into a somersault, dropping more than ten years of opposition to IL’s advocacy of these policies.
We don’t have the resources of the Democracy Alliance or its constituent factions. If you voted for us, please consider joining. We’re a democratic organisation of members, lay-reps and branch officers – all policy and strategy is decided by our membership. If you agree with us, please join us.