Inverclyde result was a draw. It’ll take more than an Irn-Bru re-branding to turn it round.

Ed Miliband may be relieved at last week’s by-election result in Inverclyde, but for Labour in Scotland, it was no better than a draw. Labour held the seat with almost the same share as the late David Cairns in what was a good general election result for Labour locally and in Scotland. That’s the good bit. The SNP almost doubled their vote, appearing to clean up on former Lib Dem voters and winning voters from all other parties. Enough to say with justification that they’re still riding as high as in the May Holyrood elections. Hence the importance of the review of the Scottish party led by leading Westminster Blairite Jim Murphy and MSP Sarah Boyack. Scottish Labour, whose dominance was almost unchallenged for decades, has the fight of its life ahead of 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

The Tories: fear them, hate them by all means, but be in awe of their genius

For many Labour supporters who woke up this morning, this is what ‘schadenfreude’ was introduced into the lexicon for. The smell of toast Lib Dem wafted through their windows up and down the country. In the year since Britain fell back under Tory domination, the most passionate vitriol has been reserved for the Lib Dems: it’s the sense many had that, after all, you expect to be screwed by the Tories, but the Lib Dems should really know better. Continue reading

Why is Scottish Labour under-performing? Too fixated on Westminster?


The latest You Gov poll for Scotland on Sunday shows that the SNP are favourites to form the next Scottish Government — a dramatic turnaround from only a few weeks ago. It implies that the SNP could govern much more easily as a minority, or form a majority government with any party it chooses including the Greens. Scottish Labour performed comparatively very well last year in the General election — how has it managed to do so badly this time? Are Labour’s leaders too fixated on Westminster to win a Scottish election? Update: The latest Ipsos-MORI poll shows an even more dramatic SNP lead – just two short of a majority Continue reading

Labour leading in Scotland

The latest poll points to a Labour lead in the battle for the Scottish Parliament by 7% over the SNP in the regional votes which are normally the best predictor of the seats each party is likely to win. The YouGov poll shows that Labour is likely to do worse in the constituency elections — in which the SNP are slightly in the lead with Lib Dems in a disastrous 5th place after the Greens — but Labour would do much better in a Westminster election (though that is of no practical benefit). Continue reading