Len McCluskey has been re-elected at General Secretary of Unite with a 64% share of the vote.
McCluskey won 144,570 to rival Jerry Hicks’s 79,819. The turnout was 15.2%, lower than the union’s last GS election (where it was 15.8%). In that election, the opposition vote was split three ways between Hicks and two right-wing challengers to McCluskey (Les Bayliss and Gail Cartmail). Hicks’s vote in that election was 52,000, while McCluskey’s winning score was 101,000.
Workers’ Liberty members in Unite are involved in the United Left network, and backed McCluskey as UL’s agreed candidate and because we did not feel Hicks’s candidacy offered any credible alternative to the McCluskey leadership.
Following the election the task is to build rank-and-file strength in workplaces and branches and make sure McCluskey delivers on his promises to back industrial action and to deliver a more combative political strategy inside the Labour Party.