Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/774/17122
Greens rejected in Brighton as TUSC vote increases
Phil Clarke, Brighton Socialist Party
A week-long strike by GMB workers in the Cityclean depot was the background to a tightly fought Hanover and Elm Grove ward byelection.
The bin workers are fighting pay cuts of up to £4,000 imposed by the Green council in Brighton.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and Ukip were the only parties to increase their vote since the last election.
In a previously solid Green seat, the Labour Party narrowly won but both parties saw their support fall, the Greens by over 1,000 votes.
Phil Clarke standing for TUSC gained 172 votes or 5%, an increase in both percentage and actual terms despite the reduced turnout.
TUSC gained over three times the Liberal Democrat vote and came very close to the Tories and Ukip.
We waged a major campaign, passing out three leaflets to the entire ward and canvassing large areas. We were supported by the local RMT and FBU union branches, and Brighton, Hove and District trades council.
Time and again we encountered dissatisfaction with the Green Party, especially the Greens' failure to fight cuts imposed by the government and the resulting bin strike.
We used the campaign to explain that a fighting strategy was needed to build a movement against the cuts, this message went down well.
Many new supporters helped the TUSC campaign, and we had our best presence yet with window posters dotted across the ward.
Given the tightness of the Labour and Green results, trade unionists locally have already been commenting that it was a very creditable result and is a good base to continue to establish the idea of a new mass workers' party and a council with a real no-cuts policy.
In The Socialist 17 July 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
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Socialist Party workplace news
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