By Patrick Murphy, Leeds NUT
The election for NUT General Secretary was won by Broad Left candidate Steve Sinnott (pictured). Sinnott won around 20,000 of the first preference votes, against about 16,000 for Ian Murch. John Bangs, who stood as the independent of all factions/Doug McAvoy candidate, got 10,000 votes, and Martin Powell-Davies (Socialist Party) 6,400. The combined first preferences of Murch and MPD would have been higher than Sinnott. When the votes of MPD and then Bangs were redistributed, Sinnott had 27,000 and Ian 22,000.
This is a pretty strong showing by Murch who entered the race very late and initially with a split left. When that left reunified itself the SP remained outside that and ran an essentially pointless and distracting campaign. Although the bulk of MPD's second preferences went to Ian it is notable that Bangs and Sinnott got more than 1,000 each of these votes, and about 100 didn't give a second preference.
The result suggests that a single left candidate throughout the campaign could certainly have won. John Illingworth, in other words, could have won. Sinnott is the most conventional, "modernising" of the candidates, the most friendly to the NASUWT, and the most likely to want to get back in the Government's good books and find a way of signing up to the Workforce Agreement.
He said in the hustings at conference "I will never sign that agreement", but we have heard that sort of thing before and the key word in that pledge is "that". With a small bit of renegotiation and some minor tweaks it could, of course, become a different agreement which he could sign.
It looks like the left's candidate for Deputy General Secretary will be Christine Blower. She can certainly win, and that would place some constraints on the Broad Left.