After Allison Hunter’s comments to the Scotsman, MICHAEL SHANKS questions whether or not the SNP have anything to offer Glasgow.
Before I begin, I should state an interest. When I was selected as a Labour candidate, my main message to my local party was that I believed a positive campaign – quite different from our May 2011 attempt – was the only way we would win. I said then, and I still believe today, that letting people know why they should vote Labour, rather than why they shouldn’t vote SNP, is our best strategy.
The SNP did the ‘positive campaigning’ thing wonderfully last year. They had a vision, they articulated it well and they took the majority of people with them. But now the wheels are coming off and, if you’ll permit a mixed metaphor, the cat’s out of the bag.
Allison Hunter, leader of the SNP on Glasgow City Council, when asked what her priorities were for the city responded with the revelation that, with less than 100 days to go until the election, they haven’t actually thought of any.
The Scotsman: If you seize control of the council, are there two or three policies you would be keen to push through?
Allison Hunter: “I haven’t thought about that yet. Actually, I’m not an out-there leader. I’m a team leader. So we haven’t actually thought about that yet.”
Indeed, the only issue she seemed able to discuss was independence. Only when Scotland becomes independent, she claims, will Glasgow’s budget settlements improve. That in itself is an extraordinary statement since it is her own party in government in Edinburgh which decides how much money Glasgow gets, and it was her own party in Edinburgh which gave Glasgow one of the worst budget settlements in Scotland – with further cuts coming in the next three years.
When Hunter became leader of the SNP group, there was an understanding that she was most likely a caretaker leader until after the 2012 elections. She has considerable experience of party organising and was key to Nicola Sturgeon’s victory in Govan in 2007. Her aim, if anything, was to pull together the SNP Group and prepare it for victory in May.
But for months now the SNP have refused to lay out what they would actually do in the event of them gaining a majority on the Council. In February 2011 we got our first taste of that – whilst every other opposition party in the Council (including the sole Tory Councillor) prepared alternative budgets, the SNP went in the huff and because they weren’t getting exactly what they wanted, refused to table any alternative. Instead Hunter stated that it was impossible for opposition parties to prepare budgets at all. Quite how the aforementioned Cllr Meikle managed it then is beyond me.
So in February 2011, no policies. In June 2011 Hunter said: “It’s too early to speak about manifesto or policy commitments”. Now in January 2012, they are no further forward.
It follows then, that when asked what their three priorities are for Glasgow, the answer comes back – “independence, independence, independence”.
Speaking to voters across my own Ward, that answer simply isn’t good enough. People want to know about jobs and education, opportunities for young people, parks and roads, lighting and bin collections, social care and regeneration. People want a party in charge with a vision for the future and a track record of delivery. They want a party ready for the challenges ahead and with considered ideas on how to meet those challenges. They believe, as I do, that Glasgow deserves better than a party with the sole ambition of using this great city as a stepping stone to independence.
Michael Shanks is the Scottish Labour Candidate for Partick West. His website is –www.labourforpartick.com and he can be followed on twitter; @mgshanks. Alternatively, reach him on facebook: facebook.com/MichaelShanks4PartickWest
58 thoughts on “After 31 years, you’d have thought they might have some policies…”
OK let me translate – when she says she is a team leader she means that she doesn’t make up policy.
For all those who are worried, I can confirm that the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP have seen and approved a draft manifesto so you can expect to see some announcements being made.
Like the one on a petitions committee. The SNP said this week they would introduce a petitions committee in the council. Of course Gordon Matheson immediately agreed it was a good idea and said Labour had already been thinking about it. Just a coincidence that they didn’t tell anyone till the SNP suggested it lol. But looking on the bright side at least it means that whatever happens the Council will have a petitions committee which is a jolly good idea.
Labour have done so much for the Glaswegians over the last 60 years that we sometimes find it difficult to come up with even more innovative ideas. This is understandable. If the SNP’s draft manifesto contains interesting material, we would certainly be prepared to adopt some of it – as long as it is finacially feasible. At the moment we are in the process of ‘shopping around’ for some useful policies which coincide with Labour’s aims.
‘Labour have done so much for the Glaswegians over the last 60 years that we sometimes find it difficult to come up with even more innovative ideas.’
This is a joke, yes?
Nigel, are you related to a certain Tennis C. Williams? Your style has a similarly entertaining deadpan flavour (not to mention allusions to two literary giants).
I’m not saying anything before I see Jim Devine’s lawyer.
after 31 years you would think labour
should have done something usefull.
All a bit rich from the party who de-deselect their own councillors (decided by someone from London I understand), still don’t tell us who is replacing them (personally I’m looking forward to some career politician types, that will go down well) AND, (and this is where my post will probably get moderated) gave us Purcell (the ALEO’s best friend) as the new labour leading light in the city (and possible future first minister don’t’ forget)!
Your whole article seems to be based on one response from one SNP councillor, and your final paragraph, ‘People want to know about….etc, etc’ smacks of the Sarwar school of rhetoric and no substance.
If you guys would stop writing speeches on here and provide some substance to the issues of jobs, education, young people etc then we could have a debate. So, please lets have the new labour vision for Glasgow – a realistic, fully funded and deliverable vision. Considering the guid people of Glasgow have given you a clear run at running this city for more years than i can remember you must surely be able to do that. Remember substance not rhetoric.
Read this – http://www.glasgowsnp.org/ – then come back with any questions you may have on the SNP’s approach.
And talking of petitions, can we have a bit of cross-party solidarity? I’d urge everyone to consider signing this opposing a proposed march by the SDL/EDL/BNP in Glasgow on the 25th.
It obviously worked
– the “march” was cancelled.
Good work m8.
There is one thing you can be sure of and that is they will have a comprehensive manifesto with every ward included. Every candidate will feel they have contributed whether or not they said anything. That was what they did last year. Remember the passion with what they fought the election. I don’t want to be negative but we must face the facts that they are a well oiled machine. We need to get out act together ASAP if we are to match them. Alison Hunter didn’t sound worried or embarassed and therefore she must be faily confident about how the campaign is going. Another point is that they are not a one man band which we claim they are. We could learn a lot from them though I hate to say it.
Indy – thanks for letting us know. It begs the question then, if there is a manifesto out there and already approved, why does the person who wants to become Leader of the Council not know anything from it?
I agree with the petitions committee – and am glad that it will be introduced – whoever introduces it. But that’s a perfect example – if that was such a key SNP pledge, why didn’t Allison Hunter know about it?
What – you think she should have told the Scotsman what was going to be in the SNP’s local government manifesto before the SNP had signed it off?
Then what was the point of the interview? What did she think she was going to get asked? Nice questions like “So, tell us Alison, how much better off will we be when we leave the hated British?”
“…leave the hated British?”
This is simply tosh – we are all British who reside on this island, even you must see that.
So why post inflammatory nonsensical statements instead of adding substance to the debate.
And to show I’m not repeating your error – perhaps Ms Hunter knew that if she outlined any half-decent policies, they would be quickly copied and used by Labour in the run-up to the election. After all, this party has form – remember Gray’s volte-face on the Council Tax?
To quote you Michael
“I said then, and I still believe today, that letting people know why they should vote Labour, rather than why they shouldn’t vote SNP, is our best strategy”
After that, the entire article tells us why we shouldn’t vote SNP with not one single reason why they should vote Labour. Do you actually read what you write?
That is so true.
Promise something then renage, typical Glasgow labour
its called politics. If you put your ideas forward at the wrong time 2 things can happen.
1.they are cherry picked and the best proposal put forward as ‘the oppositions idea’-think the smoking ban,who gets the credit for that ?
2. They are rubbished,torn apart, denegraded before the proposal /policy is allowed to be discussed fully,
The stakes are high for the up coming elections,which party has the most to lose?
Nigel Ranter “Labour has done so much for the Glaswegians etc ” do you say that as someone who lives in Glasgow because as a frequent visitor well I have a slightly different take,not on the people I stress
Oh Meg dear,
Nigel was being sarcastic
I don’t really agree that there is no major dnrfefeice between Scottish Labour and the SNP on Megrahi and, whichever way you look at it, it was a devovled decision with global (or at least transatlantic) implications so it was a big deal.There isn’t as much of a dnrfefeice in this election as perhaps previous elections but there is still a dnrfefeice and to say five parties are all the same takes some doing. Indeed, it’s not clear what your preferred policies actually are?You talk vaguely about destroying the economy and declining education’, as if that’s the top line of individual party manifestos. To be fair, you do mention specifics on electricity prices and freezing pensioners. Well, the Greens want power companies to put more investment into local supply of energy which has been proven to reduce heating bills drastically in other countries. Greens also want a much, much bigger push on insulation and proper glazing which would keep bills low and unfreeze those pensioners you’re worried about. Sweden is about to embark on ensuring homes are triple-glazed as standard. We’re so far behind that benchmark it’s a joke. So there’s a dnrfefeice to consider. Differences arise between all parties on Council Tax/LIT/LVT. You may sneer and want to see huge policy dnrfefeices but real life doesn’t work that way; subtle changes in policy are important too.Without wanting to veer too off-topic, what specifically would your ideal policies be?
in explanations, I’ve used atiros from 2007 to get where I got (and if you are interested in methodology, I can email you the spreadsheet). With regards the constituency vote, you can legitimately challenge me. I’ve used 2007 as the starting point, and while I have used the same poll figures as Jeff to make assumptions. However, I’ve used (as I assume Jeff has too) several other elements who’s in charge of the council, incumbency, hunches about the seat so yeah, its much more subjective than the regional element. But the bulk of the assumption comes from the 2007 figure +- opinion poll figures (taking account of regional variations).As to your point when the Lib Dems win seats, they tend to (historically at least) hold on to them. I do think they’ll take a bit of a hammering at the polls but I also think that the national polls are just that: national. The Lib Dems (as have all parties) consistently outpolled their average vote in constituencies they win. So if they are polling, I don’t know, 8% in national opinion polls, chances are in seats they hold that number is still considerably higher. Long story short: I don’t buy a Lib Dem wipeout. But I guess in a few weeks we’ll see if I’m right or not!
“About bloody time. It’s about time we the Protestant peoples of Scotland stood up and had our say!!”
A statement from the new “Scotland says No” organisation. Welcome to your bedfellows
Forsyth and Foulkes have some strange bedfellows.
Hmmm, John Sleigh as my new MSP. I was distinctly upmenrissed with his Westminster campaign last year. I think it’s important to bear in mind that AS&NK is not really a stronghold for any party there have been Tory, Lib Dem and Labour MPs in the area over the past 20 years, so there’s no donkey-in-whatever-colour-rosette factor. Nicol may have held the Aberdeen South Holyrood seat since 1999, but he had a massive 9.6% drop in support in 2007, with Margaret Watt increasing her support at the same time by a massive 12.8%, taking her from 4th in 2003 to 2nd place in 2007.If you factor in the notional drop in Lib Dem support, as well as the fact that Nicol Stephen was a well-known politician in the area (having won the Kincardine & Deeside by-election in 1991 and being the Lib Dem’s Aberdeen South candidate in 1997, where he did well against Anne Begg), it wouldn’t surprise me if John Sleigh fails to keep the seat for the Lib Dems. I also think Labour are far enough behind the SNP so that unless every departing Lib Dem voter goes to Labour, they’ll remain in third place.I’m sticking my neck out and saying the SNP will get AS&NK. They might even have a good chance with Aberdeen Central since they came close in 2007 and Kevin Stewart is a well-known figure However, he might be well-known for the wrong reasons since the council haven’t been popular recently.I’ll be crossing my fingers for the North-East to become the SNP version of Glasgow!
I can understand why Patrick Harvie would htraer have no money than Brian Souter’s money, that’s a perfectly fair comment from him. As an SNP member who would like to see nationalised public transport in an independent Scotland, I’m a bit wary of such big donations from the head of a bus company (although I’m far more concerned about nationalising trains than buses, particularly as I can already choose between Stagecoach and First Bus to travel around some parts of Aberdeen), especially in light of what happened in 2007 with the SNP apparently dropping their commitment to bus re-regulation after Souter donated a3500,000 (although I believe it was a bit more complicated than that can’t find any links, but I read somewhere back then that it had only been flouted as a possible manifesto policy, so wasn’t actually there to BE dropped at that point )However, the fact is many of the things I want to happen in an independent Scotland are exactly that: they’re secondary to the main aim of independence. Taking this money from him now does not commit a Scottish Government in an independent Scotland from saying actually, I think we WILL re-regulate buses .I’ll also make this point. If the a3500,000 last time round was indeed an attempt to encourage the SNP not to support bus re-regulation, then why is he doing it again this year, when no such policy is on the cards? Could it be that he really is just trying to redress the funding imbalance?Incidentally, there’s a htraer humorous quote (well, I think so anyway) from John Park on the : The SNP are trying to re-fight the 2007 election. They don’t understand that this is a doorstep election, not a big money election. Is this perhaps an indication that the Labour party coffers are finally running dry?
Lets hope that one of the policies is to get rid of the ALEO’s and the culture of greed, nepotism & corruption that they symbolise.
Well Michael, you could try “practicing what you preach”, when you are speaking about a positive approach for yourself and your party where is it in this article ? Its just the usual slagging of your oposition, nothing positive about that and I can see nothing positive that you are proposing forward yourself.
You see the people can already see which party has a “vision for the future and a track record for delivery”, even against every negative, bite you own nose off in spite, tactics that labour and the rest of the unionist parties showed during the last scottish paraliment.
“But now the wheels are coming off and, if you’ll permit a mixed metaphor, the cat’s out of the bag.”
I presume you don’t follow polls, e.g. yesterday’s IPSOS-MORI one?
The wheels are coming off various party bandwagons it seems, but polls consistently indicate that the electorate don’t think that of the SNP.
“They believe, as I do, that Glasgow deserves better than a party with the sole ambition of using this great city as a stepping stone to independence.”
Given that polls consistently show majority support for independence among the residents of Glasgow, I would imagine they don’t mind helping support that particular cause.
I would have thought, on a Labour site, that Michael would have been keen to talk up Labours Glasgow manifesto instead of putting the focus on the SNP. On funding, isnt the allocation done on the basis of a formula?
Is this phenomenon at all similar to Johann Lamont being asked last week what further powers she believed should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament and replying “Er, I don’t know, we’re consulting business on that”?
Personally, I like politicians and parties to come out and say why we should vote for them and be confident in their ideas. I don’t think anybody really likes the political games that are played. Allison Hunter’s comments are pretty disappointing from that point of view.
However didn’t Jim Murphy’s and Sarah Boyack’s radical plans for the Labour Party amount to the the conclusion that they needed some radical plans? Alison Hunter’s comments aside, I and most people have a very clear idea of what the SNP stand for. I can’t say the same for the Labour Party. It seems to me they don’t even know what they stand for these days. Deciding to “be Labour” first then deciding what that actually means just isn’t a credible position to most people. That’s why Labour has lost many members and votes in previous years.
And, I’m sorry Michael, but your last paragraph is made all the more vacuous by the first part of the article lambasting the SNP for not articulating what they plan to do.
That’s not really fair because it’s not a political game to say that the people who are going to be campaigning on a manifesto ought to be able to agree to the policies before they go public. If there is a criticism to be made it’s that the interview should maybe have been scheduled for later on that week but these things happen, it’s not really a big deal. If the SNP had no policies that would be a big deal. What someone says in a newspaper interview isn’t. It’s ephemeral stuff. When people come to vote they will know what the choices are.
And to be positive about things – I am a nat after all so I’m always positive – it is actually as important to have policies that people agree on as it is to identify the areas of difference. I wouldn’t expect the SNP to commit to wholescale change across the board in the council because a lot of what the council does now is perfectly OK. It’s about identifying where improvements can be made and looking at how they can be made.
Awsome article Mike. it’s sure to have the labour voters flooding back to the fold.
I liked how you did not make that tired old mistake of claiming the SNP didn’t care about Glasgow and also how you put forward an extremely positive vision for the great city.
This is bound to enthuse even the most cynical ex-voter.
if we can only get more of Mikes brand of labour politics, gone will be the %23 polling for labour and it’ll be back to ‘Jobs for the boys’ in the labour council.
Should be easy for the labour party in May then eh Mike ?
just had a peek at labours official site to see what their policies are.
Erm …….er………..How can I put this their erm….Policies section had erm ‘The labour parties policies for the 2011 election !!!
Nothing more !!!
As a labour MSP candidate, you need to contact Johann and ask her what her policies are for Scotland…While your at it you might want to ask her her true feelings on Trident, cos she’s not been telling the people of Glasgow if she believes they should have these weapons of mass destruction on their doorstep.
Now that’s one policy everyone in Glasgow would want to know about from labour.
Michael, strange that you start by saying that you want positive campaining about what labour can do instead of trying to put the people off voting SNP when the rest of the article is built on a bit of a non story on what an SNP member said….. or didnt say about policies!
Nation Libre … just read your post and you beat me to the punch. I see the irony is not lost on you either! this is supposed to be the labour revival, but without being disrespectful Michael; your article sums up labours strategy at the moment
Say something which sounds positive
Not follow through what was said or offer anything solid to show you mean it
Bash the SNP
OK where is the real Duncan Hothersall and what have you done with him? The moderation on here is far too Gnat (thank you AG) friendly to fool any of us.
Free Duncan now. He may be a totally misguided appartachik but his heart is in the right place even if his head is occasionally up his own arse and he is a decent human being. Please, I implore you, let him go now!
The mother ship came down and took him back to his home planet.
Just saw the labour councilors who has quit on ‘twitter’ His name is Andy Mc Muir.
AND. There are a few more following suit.
Gonna be a lot of long-time labour councillors running as independents
Roll on May and…… ?
I see no reaction here to the latest opinin poll (Ipsos-Mori) putting Labour at 23% which underlines my assertion that the SNP , at 49% in the same poll, is not beating Labour it is replacing Labour.
I would say that Labour in Scotland is approaching a point from which recovery becomes impossible – unless there is a complete change in the positions it has adopted.
I will state this again. Labour is not constitutionally a unionist party. Adopting a hardline unionist position is in no way essential to the futherance of the supposed aims of the Labour Party.
This position is adopted in my opinion because those in power in Scottish Labour believe their own interests are served by adopting it or because London Labour rules Scottish Labour and those with political ambition on Scottish Labour slavishly mimic the London line in pursuit of their own interest.
Thanks for the comment Chris. Some fair ptions and others, I believe, less so (Andrea has already replied on your rather odd comment regarding Sarah Boyack) So much in all of this is subjective, that’s part of the fun, and we quickly get to an ‘agree to disagree’. You are correct that I am a long way from being ‘on the ground’ but I still have the emails from SNP candidates at GE2010 who were annoyed at their chances being dismissed on my old blog, lots of ‘if you could see what I could see you’d think differently, amazing canvassing returns, etc etc’ comments. Each of them finished 3rd or 4th and I haven’t heard a peep since. It’s understandable that people close to the action can whip themselves up into a position of over-believing. You must have thought at times that Calum Cashley was going to do better than 4th last year? One could argue that ‘not’ being on the ground gives you a better perspective of what is happening but that’s just me trying to make myself feel better about being stuck in London (honestly, Sydney 4 years ago, England now, will I ever get to be in town when the fun and games start!?)I am largely going by the swing in the national polls with these posts, those votes have to go somewhere so that’s where I’m taking my armour from blog-reprisals. So, if the SNP surges forwards over the next week or two, then that will form the basis of a change of mind on Kenny’s chances or Fiona Hyslop’s (I maintain that Marco has little chance beyond being an also-ran, hence his not getting a special mention). Keep in mind that the polls suggest Kenny will lose by 2,200 votes. One could say I’m being generous by even saying it’s a toss-up! Anyway, such a Salmond surge is perfectly possible of course, with Soutar’s cash still to spend and Gray struggling to gain a foothold to stop the backwards momentum. I don’t think the ‘anti-Tory = pro-Labour’ sentiment should be underplayed though.We’re in unchartered territory these days and some people will get to say ‘I told you so’ in several weeks and some people will have a very tough May 6th once the votes are counted. 44 days and we’ll find out which side of that divide you’re on matey. I do genuinely hope it’s the former.
Alison Hunter’s response is rather feeble to be honest. I’m not suggesting she had a 500 page manifesto to hand, but surely there must have been at least a couple of priorities – eg transport, child poverty etc etc. Little soundbyte here and there helps.
But then Labour have no room to talk. What are their priorities? I don’t live in the city but I do work there. I can think of a number things they could do. I can send a list if you want.
People are talking now about stating policies, Labour are out of touch with the folk who matter. As we get closer to the election Labour will again be playing catch up to the SNP because what we are currently offering is what we want the people to have, not what the people want. The Nationalists are good at introducing policies which the public want just prior to the election. Last May proved how politically astute the SNP have become whilst we are like a straw in the wind. Make no mistake the SNP already have a full set of policies which they will tweak to suit the electorate. Alison Hunter does not look woried with the lack of policies, I wonder why?
“Glasgow deserves better than a party with the sole ambition of using this great city as a stepping stone to independence”
What Glasgow needs is a party whose representatives don’t use this great city as a stepping stone to serve personal interests whether prestige, career prospects, privilege or ambitious self-interest. Now which party would that be ?
Can I offer a few suggestions as to how you might improve this article? Delete everything other than the first and last paragraphs so that the last becomes the second. Then delete the first sentences of both the first and last paragraph. Now, outline what Labours plans are for the issues that the voters in your ward have raised and why these policies will be better than current policy. Or show evidence which suggests current policies are working and will remain.
It strikes me that although the site needs an urgent update, what was thought good policy last year should still be considered worthwhile. Let’s have a point by point analysis showing up Labour’s ideas as useless or whatever, and anti-Scottish to boot. If you can.
And I must say the SNP attitude as shown by Alison Hunter seems a bit lackadaisical. Surely there’s SOMETHING she could come up with?
Lets get things clear, there is no great difficulty in a party, still in opposition in Glasgow, not formulating a set policy until they are actually the party in power or until the struggle for that power actually begins.
Anyway, if Labour had made good just a fraction of their manifesto in the past 60-80 years then Glasgow would be leading the World not proping up it’s health and wealth league tables. The word, “manifesto”, is defined in English as –
manifesto // n. (pl. -os) Brit.
a public declaration of policy and aims, esp. one issued before an election by a political party, candidate, government, etc.
[Italian from manifestare, from Latin (as manifest1)]
All those decades of, “policy and aims”, that remain only as yet promises is testament to why the SNP take a manifesto rather more seriously than the Labour Party.
Anyway, if the author were actually serious about such matters he would be saying how he intended to make good those manifesto promises instead of attempting to belittle the SNP lady’s reluctance to promise things before she knows she can make good her manifesto.
Labour thinkers acknowledge that the traditional support in Scotland can no longer be relied upon to deliver votes; the “centre” is where the votes are (Middle England and the 70% who consider themselves middle class); working class votes can no longer deliver a Labour victory.
Read Liam Byrne MP:
Scotland is leading the way in reshaping politics and there is a recognition that the voters in Scotland want a completely different politics than the cycle of Tory/Labour administrations at Westminster. The current Scottish Labour, Tories and Liberals appear to be welded to the Westminster model. Therefore, it will take a radical step-out, such as Murdo Fraser offered the Tories, to participate in the new political agenda if and when Scotland is independent. The centre left has been captured by the SNP; can the Tories capture the centre right, and can Labour even survive as a major party in an independent Scotland?
It would be very unwise for Alison Hunter or any SNP spokesperson to announce any SNP policies for the local elections at the moment.
After all, look at what happened at last year’s Scottish Election. No sooner had the SNP announced its manifesto than the Labour Party started nicking huge bits of it.
You have to laugh at the naivety of this contribution. It really does look as if he has absolutely no idea who Alison Hunter is.
Does (among many other issues) the fact that she was National Organiser of the SNP for many years and Jim Sillar’s election agent in the 1988 by-election victory not tell you to beware?
Oh well……………….wait and see.
I would change only one word at the end of the last paragraph;
This chap is from Glasgow as well Mike, He also understands labour party policy decisions pretty well…..enjoy !
Michael, did Allison Hunter actaully say “I haven’t thought about that yet. Actually, I’m not an out-there leader. I’m a team leader. So we haven’t actually thought about that yet.” I’m surprised. But then again when I come to think about it, it is the kind of thing Allison might come away with. She always has had an instinct when it comes to which way the wind blows.
Can I make one honest and non malicious observation; know your enemy. There is nobody that has worked harder to get the nationalists to where they are today than Allison Hunter.
Moderate if you want but if Labour wants to learn something about how to campaign in Scotland you should leave this up.
I think after last Thursday’s events at the City Council, you should be questioning what Labour might offer Glasgow. You might then also wish to question how that offer may be portrayed as positive and credible. The signs so far are less than encouraging!
“Oh the Deadwood stage is comin’ on over the hill”
New theme tune for the May election ?
Will there be an additional site “Labour in another hame” to cover
The new lot of rebels from the Glasgow council
Is it true that London HQ has sent up some people to take over the council election campaign ? I thought Johanne was in charge ?
Glasgow is something that has been fafbling me for a while, and one that could have real consequences for the overall result. The list is so mixed up because the tories and libs do poorly here and then you have the Galloway factor. I personally think that Galloway will be elected that the question is actually whether he is able to pick up enough support up to even potentially drag the 2nd person on that list behind him. Far fetched maybe, but Galloway gets votes, we know that and 12 years of no labour list msps makes me think of potential swapping. I have had it for quite a while that Labour could pick up a list seat (based on raw numbers), (and that was after winning all 9 FPTP seats), but naturally as the polls have decreased the chances are getting slimmer. It feels completely absurd that this could happen, but I guess this is the Glasgow political scene for you.However I think the Galloway works against them here. I personally don’t think Labour will pick up a list msp here despite the numbers and that the last 2 list seats will be contested between 3 people / parties. Galloway, the Greens and the 5th SNP name on the list.The Libs seem to do poorly in Glasgow and it will be a real sign of the times if they fail to get any list seats here at all. It would be a complete embarrassment really and the sort of thing which can be hard to come back from. They really rely on their elected organisation (and the potential for elected position) and no mps or msps would hit them hard. If this happens I could see them really struggling at the council level next year.As for the FPTP seats Jeff, I think your judgement looks good. There certainly seem to be 6 safe seats regardless of what people might say. The other 3 are crucial for labour as (attempted to explain above) I don’t feel they will pick up list seats either from ‘losing’ one or two of the seats. This would have a big impact on the final result.I do think thought that Sturgeon will hold on, though maybe a bit closer than you think, as will Charlie Gordon.Pauline McNeill is an interesting case, but the SNP really need to be at least a couple of points ahead on the national vote to win this, so at the moment I think ‘Lean’ (to borrow an American term) Labour would be fair here.
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