Please credit me if you use any of this report, thanks. I’ll be adding to it as information comes in.
The votes have been counted, and here are the results I’ve received, unconfirmed as yet by Unite the Union or Electoral Reform Services:
Derek Simpson 60,048 – 37.85%
Jerry Hicks 39,307 – 24.84%
Kevin Coyne 30,603 – 19.34%
Paul Reuter 28,283 – 17.87%
Total valid votes: 158,241 (approximately 12.9% of Amicus membership)
Spoilt ballots: unknown 1031
Initial reaction: “I’m elated,” said Jerry Hicks when I rang him at half past two today. Elated, of course, by the fact that he has placed second behind Derek Simpson. Six months ago, he likes to say, no-one gave him a chance.
“I finished second on the back of being told I had lied, and that Simpson was the honest broker”.
Jerry said he would now discuss with his supporters whether to complain to the Certification Officer over the conduct of the election. Kevin Coyne has already complained to the CO over Simpson’s letter. “I can’t possibly think it’s been free and fair”, Hicks added.
He put the “very poor turnout” down to discontent in the union. I don’t know how many unspoilt ballots there were but turnout seems to have been no more than 20%.
I must say, I expected more turnout for such a high-profile election. It remains to be seen what the Certification Officer says…
Update: I haven’t got through to him yet, but it seems Coyne won’t be contesting the result according to the post on his website. In that case, the only possible new threat to Simpson’s continued reign can come from Jerry Hicks.
This result will surprise some in Unite. Coyne came third despite coming second in the nomination round, whereas Reuter’s fourth place confirms his low nominations and relatively low profile.
According to Coyne there were only 1031 spoilt ballots, so less than 15% of Amicus voted. A shockingly low turnout, except that union elections always suffer from low turnouts.
The FT’s Jim Pickard is saying that Labour ministers are relieved at this result, and that Tony Woodley is seen as less loyal to the Labour government. He’s not wrong.