Sunday, June 6, 2010

Does Miss Nash cut a dash?

In his Saturday post over at Political Betting, David Herdson has pointed out that the new 'Baby of the House' Pamela Nash achieved almost exactly the same share of the vote in Airdrie and Shotts that her predecessor John Reid managed in 2005 as a senior Cabinet minister. Herdson's suggestion is that if the public are demonstrably prepared to put their faith in such an untried young candidate, perhaps political parties should do so more often as well. Now, I have no particular axe to grind against Ms Nash (yet) as I literally know nothing about her other than what she looks like, and it may well be that the public would have every reason to put their faith in her. But one thing I'm almost certain of is that they didn't, or at least not in any meaningful sense. It's the classic 'monkey in a red rosette' scenario - if anything, the result told us more about John Reid's lack of a distinctively personal vote.


  1. I imagine that it's almost impossible to pin something like that down. There are so many factors that could influence it. Given the constituency I'm guessing Red Rosette on a cabbage may be the background on which to put the rest (although I'm sure that blue and yellow ones probably attract the same sort of followings in other parts of the country).

    It could be that people felt that in the last while Mr Reid, or more correctly Lord Reid (yuk) has had more important things on his mind than the drains, having tried to sort out London’s Home Office and later Glasgow's Celtic.

    But personality, looks (is she pretty?), changes in the demographics over 5 years, and fro the fringe Labour voters in the constituency, the (un)popularity of the government, not to mention the weather on polling day, are all things that could have influenced the size of the vote.

    I’d hate to try to guess what the possibility of that being repeated with different personalities but of the same standing...

  2. Having thought about it some more, Tris, it occurs to me that with Labour's vote having risen across Scotland, a slight decrease in the vote in Airdrie and Shotts can hardly be seen as a personal triumph for Pamela Nash. But in any case I'm absolutely convinced that 95%+ of people who vote Labour are not remotely interested in the qualities of the candidate (how else can we explain the likes of Tommy McAvoy?). It's amazing how many people simply fell for what Joan McAlpine called the 'Big Lie' that only a vote for Scottish Labour could stop the Tories taking power.

    That one really worked out, didn't it?

  3. Aye... a treat James... just a treat!

    But yes, at the end of the day you're probably around the right figure there 95% of them would vote Labour even if the manifesto said "we are going to wee all over you" (instead of them just doing it).