The psephology of Scotland (1) – Lib Dems

Just some facts:
It is difficult to overstate the scale of the destruction of the Lib Dems in Scotland – which is of huge historical significance. 2 illustrations will suffice.
1) Glasgow is a region with 9 constituencies. The Lib Dems polled a total of 5,312 votes, 2.5%. That was less than Respect and less than half the Green Party vote.
2) In the UK Parliament the Lib Dems represent the entire Highlands and Islands region bar Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Western Isles) and Moray. On Thursday’s regional list vote for the Scottish Parliament they got their best result of any Scottish region……12.1%.
The leader, Tavish Scott, has resigned and here’s the quote from Charlie:
“I am extremely sorry to learn of Tavish’s decision to step down. He was handed mission impossible in the Scottish elections, given the current coalition unpopularity. That was always likely to be the case, as some of us warned at the time one year ago………..Tavish is one of our country’s most talented politicians and his response today is characteristically honourable. It deserves to be met by a response at a UK Liberal Democrat level which is similarly honest.”

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  • Brave man, Dewi, not only trespassing into Caledonia, stern and wild, but so early in the wash-up.

    Take it gently: this was a case when “PR” didn’t deliver: the SNP now occupy 69/129 seats (53%) on 45% of the constituency vote. Labour was fairly rewarded (29% representation on a 32% poll), and the Tories just about (12% on 14%). The LibDems not so (>4% of the seats on an 8% return). One could do a similar calcualtion for the regional vote, which wouldn’t change matters — or justice — greatly.

    Look a bit further and it seems to me that Alan Beith’s Westminster seat has gone. The Highlands and the North-East are a wipe-out. There’s an 18% swing against the LibDems in Argyll and Bute, where the SNP were fourth in 2010: that does for Alan Reid (who had the nous and the guts to vote against tuition fees). And Argyll and Bute has been a LibDem banker since Thatcher III.

    I’d not load the whole of ordure on “the current coalition unpopularity” — only one of the ConDem parties took the brunt.