People Before Profit
People Before Profit (PBP) is a socialist political party formed in October 2005. It is active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The founders were members of pre-existing organisations such as the Socialist Workers Network and the Socialist Party leading to accusations that it is a front for Trotskyism.
|Headquarters||5 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1, Ireland|
|Political position||Left-wing to far-left|
|National affiliation||Solidarity–People Before Profit|
|European affiliation||European Anti-Capitalist Left|
|Colours||Maroon and green|
3 / 158
|Northern Ireland Assembly|
1 / 90
|House of Commons|
0 / 18
|Local government in the Republic of Ireland|
7 / 949
|Local Government (NI)|
5 / 462
|European Parliament (Republic of Ireland)|
0 / 13
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PBP was established in 2005 as the People Before Profit Alliance by members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), a Trotskyist organisation affiliated to the International Socialist Tendency (IST). The Community & Workers Action Group (CWAG) in south Dublin joined the alliance in 2007 and brought along the party's first elected representative, Joan Collins, an anti–bin tax campaigner and former member of the Socialist Party.
In February 2018, the SWP renamed itself the Socialist Workers Network (SWN) to reflect "a decision to focus on building People Before Profit, and within that to win and educate as many members as possible in revolutionary socialist politics".
Republic of IrelandEdit
PBP contested several constituencies in the 2007 general election, polling around 9,000 first preferences, with Richard Boyd Barrett—the candidate in the Dún Laoghaire constituency—missing a seat on the 10th and final count by 7,890 votes to 9,910.
In the Republic's 2009 local elections PBP ran twelve candidates, including ten in County Dublin. It secured five seats in three of Dublin's four councils. As well as ten members of the SWP, Joan Collins and Pat Dunne of the CWAG ran in Dublin, and Donnie Fell (a former Waterford Crystal worker and trade union representative) in Waterford.
In the Republic's 2011 general election, both Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins were elected to Dáil Éireann as TDs (deputies), running under a joint People Before Profit and United Left Alliance banner.
In the May 2014 local elections, PBP won 14 seats including two seats outside Dublin on Sligo and Wexford County Councils.
Discussions were held in August 2015 with the Anti-Austerity Alliance about forming a new political grouping. On 17 September 2015, the two parties announced they had formally registered as a single political party for electoral purposes. The new organisation was called the Anti-Austerity Alliance–People Before Profit.
In 2016, Councillor Sonya Stapleton, representing Pembroke–South Dock on Dublin City Council, left the party, as did Councillor Ruth Nolan, a member of South Dublin County Council for Lucan, who joined Independents 4 Change.
In January 2019, Dublin City Councillor John Lyons resigned from the party due to disputes with the leadership. Cllr Lyons subsequently was a leading figure in the foundation of Independent Left.
People Before Profit unsuccessfully ran one candidate, Sean Mitchell, in the 2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election, polling 774 first preferences in the Belfast West constituency. He successfully gained the right to stand in an election by threatening to take the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, to court if the legal loophole preventing him from doing so was enforced. (England, Scotland and Wales had secured the right to contest candidates under the age of 20, providing they were over 18, for constituencies for devolved government, whereas Northern Ireland had been simply excluded).
People Before Profit ran four candidates in the Northern Ireland Assembly election of May 2011, winning 5,438 first-preference votes between them but no seats in the new Assembly. Its most successful candidate in this election was Eamonn McCann, who won 3,120 first-preference votes, or 8% of the total, in Foyle.
In May 2016, Carroll topped the poll in the Belfast West constituency at the 2016 Assembly Election with 8,299 votes (22.9%), almost 4,000 first-preference votes clear of his nearest challenger, Sinn Féin MLA Fra McCann (Sinn Féin was running five candidates). This victory secured PBP with their first elected MLA. Eamonn McCann also took a seat in the constituency of Foyle. In 2017, Carroll retained his seat but with a much reduced vote (12.2%), while McCann lost his.
People Before Profit supported leaving the EU but did not campaign for a Leave vote in the 2016 EU referendum. People Before Profit's support for Brexit attracted criticism from Sinn Féin and pro-remain activists, especially as Northern Ireland voted to remain. This was a factor in the loss of McCann's seat in Foyle.
The party made significant advances in the 2019 Local Elections. People Before Profit won 5 council seats, 3 in Belfast City Council and 2 in Derry.
Election results and governmentsEdit
Northern Ireland Assembly electionsEdit
|Election||Assembly||First Preference Vote||Vote %||Seats||Government|
0 / 108
0 / 108
2 / 108
1 / 90
0 / 18
|Conservative Party–Liberal Democrats|
0 / 18
0 / 18
|Conservative Party (+Democratic Unionist Party)|
Republic of IrelandEdit
Dáil Éireann electionsEdit
|Election||Dáil||First Preference Vote||Vote %||Seats||Government|
0 / 166
|Fianna Fáil–Green Party-Progressive Democrats|
2 / 166
|Fine Gael–Labour Party|
3 / 158
Local Government electionsEdit
|Election||Country||First Preference Vote||Vote %||Seats|
|2009||Republic of Ireland||15,879||0.8%|
5 / 883
0 / 583
1 / 462
|2014||Republic of Ireland||29,051||1.7%|
14 / 949
5 / 462
People Before Profit have only contested European Elections in the Republic of Ireland.
|Election||First Preference Vote||Vote %||Seats|
0 / 11
- "An Coiste". Houses of the Oireachtas. 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Eamonn McCann is listed as the party's leader for the purposes of registration to the UK Electoral Commission. Electoral Commission registration
- "IRELAND: Legislative elections: Dáil Éireann, 5-year term, proportional representation system (STV)". Parties and Elections in Europe.
- Harry McGee (9 October 2015). "People Before Profit and the Anti Austerity Alliance - spot the difference". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
For anybody who has not been intimately involved with the Socialist Workers Party or the Socialist Party, you would need to have a PhD in semantics and rhetoric to winkle out the actual ideological difference between them. They are both Trotskyist and advocate permanent revolution and political agitation through working class mass action in capitalist societies such as Ireland.
- "LEXIT: Why we need a left exit from EU". Archived from the original on 21 May 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
- People Before Profit pair 'of one political mind' says Eamonn McCann. The Irish News. Published 10 May 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- "Lost? – Europe Decides". Europedecides.eu. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "About Socialist Workers' Network". Irish Left Archive. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Column: Is the Socialist Party cloaking itself as 'Anti-Austerity Alliance'?". 22 February 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
- "About the SWP". Socialist Worker online. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- The Socialist Party, Joan Collins and the Bin Tax Battle An analysis by Dermot Connolly, ex Secretary of the Socialist Party
- "SOCIALIST WORKERS TAKE A NEW DIRECTION". Socialist Worker | Ireland. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Ciaran Cuffe". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "Lisbon Treaty is unchanged and must be rejected | People Before Profit Alliance". Archive.peoplebeforeprofit.ie. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "Pat Dunne". ElectionsIreland.org.
- Kelly, Olivia (7 May 2009). "Left alliance to run 13 candidates". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 May 2009.
- "Could we be about to get another new political group?". TheJournal.ie. 8 August 2015.
- "Anti Austerity Alliance and People before Profit to launch new party". The Irish Times. 17 September 2015.
- "Dún Laoghaire – General Election: 26 February 2016". ElectionsIreland.org.
- "Dublin Mid West – General Election: 26 February 2016". ElectionsIreland.org.
- "Dublin South Central – General Election: 26 February 2016". ElectionsIreland.org.
- Power, Jack (7 January 2019). "Dublin Councillor resigns from People before Profit". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
- "Independent Left & a Liveable City". Retrieved 31 May 2019.
- "Belfast West - Northern Ireland Assembly constituency - Election 2016". BBC News. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "Foyle - Northern Ireland Assembly constituency - Election 2016". BBC News. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
- "Belfast West - Northern Ireland Assembly constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- "Foyle - Northern Ireland Assembly constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- "Brexit fallout has undermined the principle of consent". Irish News. 4 July 2016.
- "Foyle – Northern Ireland Assembly constituency – Election 2016". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2016.