Whilst UNISON has not received the report of the Returning Officer in the General Secretary election, as investigations are still underway (and being assisted with unanticipated interventions from unexpected quarters), the Scrutineer has been able to report and therefore Dave Prentis has been declared victor with 49.4% of the vote as announced on the UNISON website.
Congratulations are due to Dave, who will I am sure share my concern at the decline in turnout in the election, which has fallen below 10%.
I can't imagine what the Scrutineer and the Returning Officer must be saying to each other just now having arrived at such different conclusions about the same election (particularly since they are the same person). Roger Bannister, one of the unsuccessful candidates has announced a legal challenge to the election.
We can all be concerned about the rights and wrongs of what has gone on in the election - but what stands out so starkly, at a time when our movement faces unprecedented attacks, is that nine in ten UNISON members didn't vote for any of the four candidates.
Plainly we need a dramatic change of approach if we are to revivify our trade union. We need to engage members by empowering lay activists and abandoning the culture of deference to paid staff which has plagued the Greater London Regional Office in particular.
Our movement is in peril.
We are all challenged to find a way forward.