Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Australian Labor Win, Climate Change and the Left.

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Victory belongs to Anthony Albanese, only the fourth Labor leader since World War Two to oust a Liberal prime minister, but the 2022 Australian election was primarily a rejection of Scott Morrison and the brand of politics he has come to personify.

There is a great overview and a report on their own modest results from the Australian Socialist Alliance today: Climate change makes it mark on Australian elections

Jacob Andrewartha Sam Wainwright & Sarah Hathway

May 22, 2022

The handful of socialist candidates across the country all recorded a modest increase in their vote. In Wills, Socialist Alliance’s Sue Bolton (3.78%) and Victorian Socialist’s Emma Black (3.31%) received a combined vote of more than 7%.

Also in Melbourne, Jerome Small in Calwell and Catherine Robertson in Fraser (Victorian Socialists) won 4.91% and 5.42% respectively.

Kuku Yalanji woman Pat O’Shane, running for Socialist Alliance in the Far North Queensland seat of Leichhardt, won 4.3%.

While none of these rate much of a mention in the corporate media, it does indicate a small but growing appetite for anti-capitalist politics.

Australia’s non-Labour Left’s results are poor, but so was the score – 0.76% – of Philippe Poutou of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste and 0,57 for Lutte Ouvrière’s Nathalie Arthaud for the recent French Presidential elections. This might lead to questions about the viability of the radical left contesting elections.

In Britain the principal left electoral challenge to Labour has been TUSC (though their hard-line pro-Brexit stand is contested by many as far from left wing and internationalist). The Coalition is led by the Socialist Party, whose own political operations, and version of Trotskyism are not universally well considered,

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition Report on their results in the May Local Elections.

Summary points from the results include:

  • The total vote for all TUSC candidates on May 5th was 29,169, comprised of 23,991 votes for the council candidates, and 5,178 votes for the three mayoral candidates.
  • While the results were still modest, in all three of the directly-elected mayoral polls it contested TUSC increased both its absolute vote and percentage share compared to when it had previously stood.
  • Leading the ‘league table’ of all the TUSC results of five percent or more was the 18.3% polled in the Seven Kings ward in the London Borough of Redbridge – which secured a second place finish – followed by the 18.2% won in Knowsley council’s Northwood ward.
  • In 40 wards the TUSC candidate polled over five percent, including in eight of the twenty wards contested by TUSC in the North East London borough of Waltham Forest.
  • In Waltham Forest the TUSC candidates polled a combined total of 3,490 votes. The other councils where the TUSC candidates polled over a thousand votes were Coventry, Cardiff, Ealing, Lewisham, Newham, Sheffield and Tower Hamlets.

Once again TUSC played its role in providing a banner for trade unionists to take on the austerity politicians at the ballot box. Those standing as TUSC candidates included national executive members from UNISON, the National Education Union and NAPO; section executive members from the PCS and UNISON; and over 30 branch secretaries and other local officers from the RMT, Unite, NEU, PCS, UNISON, GMB and CWU trade unions.

TUSC also provided an inclusive space for the widest spectrum of socialists from different socialist organisations or none to stand under a common banner. This included over a dozen candidates who were previously Labour councillors or Labour Party council candidates from the time of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership who decided to carry on the fight for anti-austerity, socialist policies by standing, this time, under the TUSC umbrella.

Overall, the scale and impact of the TUSC election challenge this May was modest compared to what could have been achieved, with the potential for thousands of anti-austerity fighters standing, if the unions had organised a national drive for candidates or if Jeremy Corbyn himself had taken the initiative to organise an electoral challenge to the new New Labour party.

TUSC concludes,

But it will have added to the pressure on them to do so for next year’s council elections and the general election to come.

Given the Australian results it looks more likely that pressure on all sections of the left to make more explicit a commitment to Green issues and Climate change is on the cards. Whether this will mean support from some of the left and wider Labour electorate for the Green Party (GPEW, and its Scottish wing), or for further direct action on the lines of Extinction Rebellion! is not clear. If ER supporters can find a way to broaden their appeal away from elitist and self-sacrificial forms of protest that risk legal penalties, they may well experience growth.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 22, 2022 at 3:05 pm

Posted in Greens, Left

Tagged with , ,

2 Responses

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  1. ” If ER supporters can find a way to broaden their appeal away from elitist and self-sacrificial forms of protest that risk legal penalties, they may well experience growth.”

    I think ER is more likely to move in the direction of individual terrorism (the ultimate in Elitist politics).
    A fusion of Green politics and Socialism (with Green being the dominant force in any coalition) is definitely the way forward for any Left of Labour electoral group once the Tories are defeated. Traditional Left wing Marxist orientated groups like TUSC and SLP have had their day at Elections.


    May 22, 2022 at 3:52 pm

  2. I’m not surprised. Trumpism declared war on women and Hitlerism war on jews. The biggest difference was that after the Reichstag BBQ Enabling Act there was only one German party. American women wielded votes. Australia is famous for forcing women into involuntary servitude like Texas. Ah! But Oz literally forces people to vote… so… no surprise, Trump-impersonators lost.


    May 25, 2022 at 2:08 am

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