Dave Prentis has been re-elected as leader of UNISON, the UK’s largest public sector union, amidst allegations of ballot rigging, in face of a call by one-third of the union’s national executive committee for his suspension and with a public petition calling for an independent enquiry and a re-run of the election.
Ed Whitby writes:
So Prentis has been elected on less than 50% of the vote, and less than 10% of the membership voting.
In the last 10 years Dave Prentis has gone from 185,000 votes to 66,000 votes losing 119,000 or two thirds of his vote.
This in an election where:
* No hustings or debates to raise profile of alternate candidates
* No information in the unions two membership publications on the other candidates
* Meanwhile Prentis appeared in almost every article on the unions magazines and in weekly emails sent to all members.
So while there is no great news for the left coming a poor third and fourth, this is no mandate for Prentis and surely must create the opportunity for a debate about the direction of this important public sector trade union.
Overall votes and turn out in last 3 elections:
2005: 244,000 votes (16% of membership), 2010: 216,000 (14% of membership), 2015: 134,000 (9% of the membership)
Roger Bannister 16,853 (12.6 per cent)
John Burgess 15,573 (11.6 per cent)
Dave Prentis 66,155 (49.4 per cent)
Heather Wakefield 35,433 (26.4 per cent)