The results of the Maritime Union of Australia elections were declared last week after a two-month-long election period. There was a vigorous contest with 51 candidates standing for 21 positions. National Secretary Paddy Crumlin who was re-elected unopposed said through the union's website that "MUA elections have historically been robust, we have one of the highest voter turnouts in the country (65 per cent this ballot), reflecting a strong and active involvement of members in the union and all its affairs". All members of the MUA national leadership were re-elected. In several of the Branch ballots new officials were elected. In Melbourne only one former official remains and in Western Australia, incumbent Branch Secretary, Wally Pritchard was defeated by Chris Cain. Cain ran on a "rank and file" ticket whose campaign website was adorned with excessive degrees of vilification and slander against incumbent officials. All current officials were returned in Brisbane as they were in South Australia. For the Sydney (Central NSW Branch) Warren Smith, who stood for a vacant position, topped the poll for the position of Assistant Branch Secretary with approximately 46 per cent of the vote in a seven-candidate field. Paul Garrett, (the son of retiring Sydney Deputy Secretary John Garrett), was also elected as an Assistant Secretary. Robert Coombs, was re-elected Branch Secretary. However, two retiring Branch officials were defeated. A former wharfie official Glen Wood was elected as Deputy Secretary. In all, six incumbent officials were defeated and 18 current Branch officials were re-elected. The Guardian asked Warren Smith what he thought was the message from the election. "The message I received from the jobs was that members want to see their officials on the job more often. I heard this from every area I campaigned in. The members also responded to strong fighting policies and generally rejected campaigns based upon denigrating or criticising other people. "MUA members love their union and are prepared for the challenges that will surely face them during the next four-year term of office. The unity between the officials and the members will be of utmost importance if we are to win the many battles that lie ahead."