Saturday, March 19, 2011

How did a 1-1 draw become a '3-0 win for the Snarl'?

Thanks to Stuart Dickson for alerting me to another detail from yesterday's ICM poll - Alex Salmond's overwhelming lead as the party leader most qualified to be First Minister, with Labour's Iain "the Snarl" Gray in a dismal third place. Here are the full figures as they appear in the Sun -

Alex Salmond (SNP) 43%
Annabel Goldie (Conservative) 10%
Iain "the Snarl" Gray (Labour) 9%
Tavish "Two Hoots" Scott (Liberal Democrat) 3%
Patrick Harvie (Green) 1%

The transition from George Foulkes to John Park as the designated Labour rent-a-quote has been impressively seamless, but I must admit this comment from Park at the end of the Sun article has left me a trifle baffled -

"Iain has gone toe to toe with Alex Salmond in three elections - and it's three-nil to Iain."

Does anyone have the faintest idea what he's talking about? Gray became leader in September 2008, since when there have been just two Scotland-wide elections - one of which (the European election in June 2009) was won handsomely by the SNP. As for Labour's success in last year's Westminster election, it's pushing credibility a touch to describe that as "Iain going toe-to-toe with Alex Salmond", given that the "Scottish Labour leader" was utterly invisible for the entirety of the campaign.

And the "third" election? Not a scooby.


  1. Glenrothes? Maybe a couple of council by-elections?

    Who knows. But a figure like that should be getting questioned by reporters. "3-0? What are these three elections, Des?" But no, being the Scottish media, the figures just get printed verbatim.

    Journalistic integrity - don't you just love it?

    Incidentally, is it not ridiculous that people consider Alex to be the best candidate for FM, and there was also that recent poll showing that the SNP are ahead if you ask people who they think will be a better government... yet clearly some of these people are still intending to vote for Labour?!?

  2. They started pushing this 3-0 thing in the Daily Record when Ed Balls visited Holyrood a week or so ago.

    Apparently the three elections are Glenrothes, Glasgow North-East and the GE. They're not counting the Euros.

  3. Ah. So they're counting two elections in which less than 2% of the electorate were entitled to vote, but mysteriously not counting an election in which 100% of the electorate were entitled to vote. Aye, that makes sense.

    In football terms, that's the rough equivalent of claiming a 1-1 draw is actually a 3-0 win because "we weren't looking when the other side scored" and "we were awarded a couple of corners".