Westminster: February 2010 Archives

2003 all over again?

| | Comments (3)
2003MSPs.jpgThe poll in today's Scotland on Sunday has been discussed elsewhere, but not the Holyrood regional voting intention. It's the best bit, and Kenny F sent me out to the shops this morning especially for it.

Holyrood constituencies (2007 result in brackets)
Labour: 33% (32%)
SNP: 28% (33%)
Conservative: 16% (13%)
Liberal: 16% (14%)
Others: 6% (8%)

Holyrood regional
Labour: 31% (29%)
SNP: 26% (31%)
Conservative: 17% (14%)
Liberal: 14% (11%)
Green: 7% (4%)
Others: 6% (11%)

By Scotland on Sunday's calculations (and mine) that would put us up to seven Green MSPs again. The pic shows what that looked like last time. It's a crude summary, but if this were the actual vote shares in May next year, we'd get a result roughly like the 2003 election, except where the six former SSP MSPs were replaced by the SNP. The obvious post-election arrangement would be another Labour/Liberal coalition, too, although Labour have watched the SNP's minority administration enviously.

Cheering as this poll may be for Greens, it's even more A Bit Of Fun than usual. No Holyrood voting intention will be any kind of worthwhile prediction until the UK election results have bedded in. Will Cameron woo or alienate Scots? Could Gordon Brown even hang on? Might the Liberals get the hung Parliament they crave? Could an AV referendum become a true PR election? Might UKIP get beaten by the Monster Raving Loony Party?

The Holyrood polls will start to get properly gripping for anoraks from September, by my calculation. One last factor which might make a difference is Brighton Pavilion. I'm heading down on Friday to help Caroline Lucas get elected. It should be fun, as well as virtuous, and, if she wins, the extra profile for Greens nationally could help us out in 2011 too.
The rumours are true. My colleagues in East Lothian have selected me as their candidate for Westminster, and I persuaded Robin to come out on Monday to help me launch the campaign at the Seabird Centre. 

The local papers gave us some great coverage, with colour pics in both the East Lothian News and the East Lothian Courier (click below for larger images). It's now time to reveal the secret of our success over the last ten years, which is simply Robin's trademark scarf. Colour pictures are much more eye-catching, and you can't use a black'n'white shot of the scarf. Seriously, it's media magic.

The keen-eyed amongst you will notice I don't live in the constituency, but at least one other major party candidate stays further away than Edinburgh, so I'm hoping not to be in the firing line of too many League of Gentlemen type leaflets

And it is a fascinating part of the world: socially diverse, with ex-mining communities, surfers and wealthy commuters to Edinburgh. It's also home to an awful lot of infrastructure and industry, especially energy. Older members of the Scottish Green Party have bittersweet memories of the campaign against Torness, so it's a curious honour to be able to campaign against nuclear power in this constituency. Labour, of course, remain ultra-loyal to nukes, and I'd point you to an article I wrote in 2008 about the relationship Anne Moffat and Iain Gray have with the plant.

We have a small but very committed branch locally, who led our successful campaign to block ship-to-ship oil transfers in the Forth, something we finally secured through an agreement with the SNP in May 2007. A good wee campaign in the area should help drum up some more members and activists, and help us return a Green MSP for South in 2011 and local councillors in 2012.

Thanks also to Malc, Jeff and Stephen for their kind words, although, as Stephen says, "I obviously won't wish James too much luck". He put the 2005 result on his blog, and that was indeed the last time the seat was contested. 

However, a lot's happened since 2005 (including a change of Scottish Government and the SNP's subsequent difficulties, as well as Labour's loss of the plot nationally and locally). We also know how most of the seat voted in last year's Euros (although the Westminster seat includes Musselburgh too).

Another problem with the following graph is that it compares a non-PR election with a PR one, and we do better when elections are fairer. One might expect the Lib Dems to do so as well, though, but like Labour, their vote roughly halved between 2005 and 2009. Those caveats out of the way..

One thing I won't say, though, is this: only Greens can win here. But I'm certainly going to enjoy the contest.

Tories float a good idea.

| | Comments (0)
carriersinking.jpgIt's not often I agree with the Tories on defence, with Labour and the Lib Dems on the other side. The Tories, it seems, are getting ready to save the £3.5bn it would cost to build two new aircraft carriers. It's all a bit implicit, sure, but even to be considering this is major progress.

These projects are only ever defended as job-creation schemes, even though the same money could create far more jobs doing something actually useful. 

I understand that: people need to work, and the unions' position is entirely defensible. Unlike an aircraft carrier, or Labour/Lib Dem defence policy.

Your Links At Last


Other Politics



Friends and Stuff I Like

If I've forgotten to link to you, let me know. If I don't want to link to your blog I'll pretend I never got your email.

The party's site of which I am rather proud

Along with Jeff (formerly SNP Tactical Voting) and Malc (formerly In The Burgh), I now co-edit Better Nation, a group blog. Stuff will still appear here, but more will be there. Better Nation

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Westminster category from February 2010.

Westminster: January 2010 is the previous archive.

Westminster: March 2010 is the next archive.