Ed Miliband needs to sort out his myopia

Yesterday, Ed Miliband put his brother’s leadership campaign manager, Jim Murphy, in charge of the review of Scottish Labour following the disastrous showing in the Holyrood elections last week. Jim Murphy is a bright man, who no doubt has many interesting things to say about the Scottish election result, and no doubt said some of them to the Shadow Cabinet on Monday, but he is no friend of Ed Miliband, and completely lacks Ed Miliband’s commitment to change — change that it is now clear the Scottish party needs just as badly as the English. How can you rely on the Blairites to conduct a review of their own stewardship of Scottish Labour? As the Policy Network’s latest mutterings demonstrate, the Blairites are as determined as ever to resist change. On this as on other key appointments, Ed Miliband needs to sort out his myopia. If you want change, you can’t rely on those who don’t to deliver it. Continue reading

Time to bury New Labour in Scotland

The results in Scotland are a disaster for Labour, but they are a disaster made in Scotland. According to poll results, in a Westminster election, Labour’s support in Scotland would be slightly up on last year’s General election, which was itself, at 42%, a good result for Labour, up 2.5% on 2005. Not that this should give us in the rest of Britain any comfort — screwing up at Holyrood today is sowing the seeds for screwing up at Westminster next time round. However, it is in Scottish politics, first and foremost, that Scottish Labour has got to learn to succeed. Continue reading

Greens are largest party in Brighton

The Greens have gained ten seats in Brighton and Hove to become the largest party on the Council with 23 seats. Labour held its 13 seats whilst the Lib Dems lost its only seat. The Tories, who were only three short of a majority prior to the election, lost eight leaving them on 18. Caroline Lucas will be delighted with the result since it represents a significant consolidation of her position as one of the authority’s MPs. The Greens also recorded English council gains in Norwich and a number of other places.

Isn’t a Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition right for Wales, whatever happens?

In Wales, the latest YouGov poll for ITV Wales, puts Labour on course for a majority of two. Although this is very tight and the Labour lead has slipped a little, this would be a spectacular win for Labour. However, some senior figures in Welsh Labour are known privately to favour a coalition with Plaid even if Labour does have a small majority. There are several arguments for this: Continue reading

Scottish voters turn away from Scottish Labour, not British Labour

Labour looks to be heading for a good election result on Thursday in England, an excellent result in Wales, but defeat in Scotland. Obviously we hope that Labour’s fate will improve in Scotland by Thursday — at least the SNP lead has dipped significantly in the latest polls — but, in any event, the Scottish result should be read not as a rejection of Ed Miliband or British Labour, but as a rejection only of Scottish Labour. And it’s got nothing to do with seperatism versus unionism. Analysis of the latest YouGov poll for the Scotsman shows that, at a Westminster election, Scottish voters would give Labour a 14% lead over the SNP (42% to 28%) whilst for Holyrood, SNP leads by 2% (down 8% from 10 days earlier) which would still be enough to just give an SNP-Green coalition a majority (and others give the SNP a greater lead). Continue reading