Salmond – the comeback kid…Scottish Lib Dems becoming a relic?

In contrast to Wales, where a pretty healthy Labour lead is being confirmed regularly, things are tightening in Scotland.
UK Polling Report gives the latest from TNS-BMRB.

Holyrood Constituency: CON 15% LAB 38% LDEM 7% SNP 37%
Holyrood Regional: CON 14% LAB 35% LDEM 8% SNP 35% Green 5%

Two things stand out:
1) It’s tight at the top.
2) The LibDems.

1) To put the Poll in context there’s been a fairly consistent 10 point odd lead for Labour in most polls in the last year. From a Nationalist view we hoped that as the Election nears the relative capability of the First Minister cf. the Prospective Labour First Minister, Iain Gray, would close the gap.
Iain Gray is not a bad bloke – volunteer in Mozambique, a dozen years working for’s just against Salmond he looks weak.
2) This is almost as important (To Westminster politics as well as Holyrood).
The Lib Dems hold 16 of 129 seats in the Scottish Parliament, 11 of 59 Scottish seats in the UK Parliament (of 57 LibDems in total) . Last time for Holyrood outcome was 16.2% in the constituency vote and 11.3% on the List. If the Constituency vote does half then the two remaining mainland Highland seats will surely fall to SNP (with maybe one compensatory on list – blasted boundary changes make things a little difficult). In the North East then both Lib Dem seats could also fall. In the Borders the one remaining constituency seat is also surely doomed….and so on – indeed it is quite feasible that the LibDems could end up with Orkney, Shetland, an Edinburgh and a Fife seat with maybe 4/5 list seats. With the LibDem objections to the Coalition at Westminster concentrated in Scotland (Campbell and Kennedy) would such a result lead to a review of the coalition and perhaps even a revival of the old independence faction of the Scottish Lib Dems??
Update – I forgot to mention a significant Lib Dem resignation. – a list candidate now standing as an Independent. Brian blethers about this and some other resignations.

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  • Dewi


  • Reader

    Dewi: From a Nationalist view we hoped that as the Election nears the relative capability of the First Minister cf. the Prospective Labour First Minister, Iain Gary, would close the gap.
    It’s not an insurrection, the nationalist campaigns are being carried out within different boundaries and with different electorates. So you don’t actually need to be allies.
    Obviously, I can see a degree of sympathy, and tactical cross-fertinisation, but do you actually think there should be any more to it? And would you use the same language when discussing political progress by English nationalists?

  • Dewi

    Reader – we are close and long standing allies, and given the dynamic of UK wide elections will need to work together even closer at Westminster and in GE campaigns.

    Interesting observation on English nationalists…there’s, hmm, different types of those but if a decent non-xenophobic party arose then maybe…

  • Reader

    Dewi: Interesting observation on English nationalists…there’s, hmm, different types of those but if a decent non-xenophobic party arose then maybe…
    Would self-interest be validly “decent”? And would it be decent for Scottish or Welsh nationalists too?
    How about cultural Englishness – would that be validly “non-xenophobic”?
    And are there also “different types of” Scottish and Welsh nationalists, and do they fit comfortably into one party per country?

  • Barry the Blender

    I wouldn’t even bank on an Edinburgh seat for the Lib Dems. Labour came shockingly close in 2010. Based on the 2007 figures Edinburgh West is anyone’s.

  • I have to admit to a fascinated delight for the implosion of the Scottish Tories. The [Glasgow] Herald (sorry, I’ve only just come to terms with the non-Manchester Guardian) has become essential reading as the saga goes from car-crash to melt-down, via innumerable resignations, and now this most disastrous campaign-launch. Ex Alba semper aliquid … And Annabel is such a naice lady.

    ✘ Scottish Socialists, check;
    ✘ Scottish LibDems, check,
    ✘ Scottish Tories, check …

    … it’s a reversion to two-party politics: Labour and the Tartan Tories.

    By the way, with the AV-referendum (vote no! hold out for real PR!) and the local/Assembly elections coming up, why am I not surprised by this headline? —
    Nick Clegg to lead UK charm offensive in Latin America

  • Dewi

    Reader – questions! -I’m comfortable that my party includes decent people and excludes maniacs – it’s not for us to establish an English party that does the same..

  • OK, OK: off-topic. Perhaps another time …

    But, a speculation —

    Were the ConDem coalition to persist into a second term, were the old Tory animus against the North (of England) to become again toxic, as the LibDem hold in the South-West weakens, I would see the rise of regional interests, and — potentially — parties representing English regional grievances. I don’t see the blazer and golf-club Europhobes of UKIP being able to harness that, so …

    … ta-rah! The end of the Saxon Empire in prospect? Home rule for East Anglia!

    Mebyon Kernow hasn’t gone away either, y’know.

  • Reader

    Dewi: it’s not for us to establish an English party that does the same
    You could help by allowing them to clone your website. E.g.
    “England has a unique linguistic heritage, a breathtaking landscape, and a fascinating history. Since its inception as a political party, XYZ has fought for the rights of English speakers, and for the preservation of our national identity. Culture, media, heritage and sport are vitally important to us all because they are not only about enjoyment and celebration but they are about motivation and personal development. This shapes our identity, and our sense of who we are. Culture creates our sense of place, our feelings of community, and our view of our place in the world.”

  • Dewi

    Tartan Tories Malcolm! – blah…you are on the wrong side…

  • Dewi

    Reader- can’t see much wrong with that.

  • Reader

    Dewi:Reader – questions!
    Just part of my style. You will have noticed that they may be leading questions, but they are not trick questions. I like to think they may even be helpful, in the long run.

  • Dewi

    “I like to think they may even be helpful, in the long run.”
    …in the path to Welsh Freedom? – Great!

  • I see John Curtice (as anti-Labour as ever), glossing the Scotsman/YouGov poll, and assessing what it would imply: Labour 57 seats; SNP 48; Tories 13 (down from 18); Greens 6 (the new receptacle for a protest vote?) and just 5 (down from 16) LibDems.

    The amazing self-basting Salmond could only survive as Head Cook and Bottle Washer by a remarkable cross-party stitch up. Like it or not, whatever the beauty contest figures show, Iain Gray gets the tar-baby.

  • Dewi

    Malcolm – there’s a month to go and momentum is a wonderful thing..(when it’s on your side of course..) – Curtice anti-Labour you think?

  • Reader

    Dewi: [helpful]…in the path to Welsh Freedom? – Great!
    Actually, I think it is more worthy and helpful to assist people to refine their opinions than just to enable them to get what they think they want.
    You probably think the same.

  • Two days gone, and the thread reduced to page two … so, is there anyone out there still listening?

    In which case there’s a valid point being raised by Paul Waugh (who earned my respect, and the commendation of others, while he was political columnist for the London Evening Standard — and uniquely worth the effort there). Now he prates for “Lord” Ashcroft’s Politics Home, and is one of the few things in front of the pay-wall (and, still, well worth the effort).

    Waugh now suggests a serious dislocation coming up for the LibDems. LibDems “tithe” their elected representatives (so do other parties nearer home).

    Waugh is here addressing only the English local elections:

    Mike Smithson at Political Betting suggested earlier this week that Labour ought to be winning 500 seats each from the Tories and the Lib Dems.

    A Sun/YouGov analysis by local elections expert Colin Rallings then suggested that things could be even worse, with the Libs losing 700 of their 1850 councillors and the Conservatives losing 1,000 of their 5,050 councillors.
    But whether it’s 500 or 700 Lib Dem losses, there’s a very significant fact that applies to them in a way it doesn’t to the Tories.

    Losing seats means not just losing prestige and power – it also means losing hard cash.

    Now apply that to the Assembly elections in Scotland and, indeed, to Wales.

    Suddenly the LibDem apparatus looks distinctly “shook” (as they used to say in West Cork).

    Furthermore, now that the LibDems are inside the belly of the ConDem beast, they have already mislaid their “Short Money”: another £1.75 million out of pocket.

  • Dewi

    I’m listening Malcolm,,,,poor Lib Dems eh…