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Posts Tagged ‘Scottish Parliament Elections’

A Scottish Watershed Election!

Gerry Hassan

Open Democracy, May 6th 2011

Scotland emerges from its election completely and utterly changed.

A huge historic Nationalist victory; the worst Labour result in seats since 1931; the Tories still despite a decent campaign in retreat; and the worst Liberal result since 1970s.

This is a Scotland of surprises. The SNP won 45.4% of the constituency vote to Labour’s 31.7%, a lead of 13.7%; while on the regional list the SNP won 44.0% to Labour’s 26.3%, a lead of 17.7%. This has produced a Parliament of SNP 69 (+23), Labour 37 (-7), Con 15 (-5), Lib Dem 5 (-12), Other 3 (+1).

This was an election which was meant to be a foregone conclusion and which Labour clearly took for granted; while the assumption that the PR hybrid Scottish Parliament could not produce an overall majority for one party has been shattered; the SNP have won on 45% of the first vote over 70% of the seats: the sort of parliamentary misbalance which Labour used to achieve at Westminster. Read the rest of this entry »

A Time of Change and Hope in Scotland

Gerry Hassan

May 5th 2011

This has been an interesting, illuminating Scottish election; a transition between an old Scotland and a still unfinished new one. This can be seen in the slow shift from Labour to the SNP; in the balance between old voices and new;  the role of mainstream media and new media platforms.

Many of the mainstream media commentariat have missed this. Thus Katie Grant and Lorraine Davidson who I was on the eve of poll ‘Newsnight Scotland’ (1) called the election ‘dire’, ‘lifeless’ and ‘lacking in anything positive’, something I challenged on air and do find a ‘media cliché’ which is inaccurate and unhelpful.

This might not be a classic watershed or re-alignment election, but having spoken and listened to numerous friends and colleagues across Scotland I think a generational change is taking place which such negativity misses. This is that the slow hollowing out of Labour is continuing apace. And a gradual shift to the Nationalists taking place. Gone is the residual Labour identification. And disappearing is the once powerful anti-Nationalist attitude of many which was once so prevalent. Read the rest of this entry »

After the Landslide? Scottish Labour Begins its Election Post-Mortem

Gerry Hassan

Open Democracy, May 3rd 2011

The Scottish Labour Party is – whatever you think of it – one of the great defining institutions of 20th century Scotland. It has contributed significantly to the public life, ideas and personalities of our nation. And it is in serious trouble.

It has fought one of the most disastrous election campaigns in recent memory anywhere in the UK, although not quite on the same level of Labour’s self-destruction in 1983. The latest poll by TNS-BMRB for STV (1) today shows the SNP lead rising to 18% on the constituency vote and 13% on the regional vote, a shift from their previous poll on March 28th of a Labour lead of one percent on the first, and tied on the second.

SNP: 45% 37% (+8%)
Lab: 27% 38% (-11%)
Con: 15% 15% (=)
Lib: 10% 7% (+3%)

Oth:  3% 3% (=)


SNP: 38% 35% (+3%)
Lab: 25% 35% (-10%)
Con: 16% 14% (+2%)
Lib:  9% 8% (+1%)
Grn: 8% 5% (+3%)

Oth: 4% 3% (+1%) Read the rest of this entry »

The Crisis with Mainstream ‘Safety First’ Scotland

Gerry Hassan

Open Democracy, May 2nd 2011

The Scottish election approaches the finishing line; the polls have narrowed with the latest Scotland on Sunday/YouGov poll putting the SNP on 42% to Labour’s 34% on the constituency vote, a lead of 8%, and 35% to 33% respectively on the list vote, an SNP lead of 2% (1).

The campaign has shown thanks to three consecutive Sundays of YouGov polls, that the SNP’s campaign has worked with men and stalled with women; the Nationalists are 13% ahead on the constituency vote with men, 3% with women; while across the last three weeks men have swung 5.5% to the SNP from Labour, whereas women have shown no change at all.

In the last few weeks, it has caught the brief attention of the London media; the ‘New Statesman’s’ editorial fitted Scotland into how it affected Ed Miliband (2); ‘The Spectator’ had Gerald Warner talk from another planet about ‘Vichy Tories’ (3); ‘The Economist’ had a sober analysis with charts (4).

At the same time the mainstream Scottish media haven’t exactly been breathtaking. We had three TV leaders debates, which lacked any of the drama and occasion of the UK debates. We had ‘Newsnight Scotland’ managing its record number for a male-only panel: eight. The highlight of the media campaign was ‘The Sun’ coming out for Salmond and making itself the story. Read the rest of this entry »

Election could be big crunch for Labour and SNP

Gerry Hassan

The Scotsman, April 30th 2011

The Scottish elections have been shaped by two diametrically opposed campaigns, with two different themes and moods, one SNP and one Labour.

They have met with very differing responses from voters, with the SNP surging ahead in the polls as Labour have badly stumbled and blown a double-digit lead.

Alex Salmond has talked of the SNP offering ‘a positive vision of the future’, one filled with optimism and hope. This is of course the language and rationale that the Nationalists used in the run-in to their 2007 victory.

Then the party leadership shifted their collective mindset to one which emphasised positivity and what Scotland could achieve, rather than the traditional message of what’s wrong. The party took this into office, were thrown off it by the bankers crash in 2008, but now look to have returned to it. Read the rest of this entry »

The People’s Flag and the Union Jack: An Alternative History of Britain and the Labour Party
Gerry Hassan is a writer, commentator and thinker about Scotland, the UK, politics and ideas. more >
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