Thursday, August 31, 2017

Kezia Dugdale's electoral record is mostly grim

There's a tiresome article on LabourList which can basically be summarised as: "Kezia Dugdale is a woman, so if you were critical of her leadership, you're a misogynist".  It starts off with the following question, which is supposed to be rhetorical -

"She writes in her resignation letter that she leaves the party in a better state than she found it, and my goodness isn’t she right."

No, she's completely wrong, actually.  Her electoral record is mixed, but it's undoubtedly more bad than good.  Excluding the Brexit referendum, she fought three nationwide elections as Labour leader, and these were the results...

May 2016 Holyrood election: Labour suffered a net loss of 13 seats, slipping from 37 to 24.  This was by far the party's worst performance since devolution in 1999, and the first time they had slipped to third place - both in terms of seats, and the popular vote on the list ballot.

May 2017 local elections: Labour dropped roughly 11% on the popular vote, finishing with just 20%.  They lost 132 seats across Scotland, relinquished control of Glasgow City Council for the first time in decades, and slipped to third place nationwide behind the Tories.

June 2017 general election: Labour slumped to third place for the first time since 1918 in terms of seats, and for the first time since 1910 in terms of the popular vote.  Paradoxically, however, they enjoyed a small gain of 2.8% in the popular vote, and jumped from one seat to seven.

Dugdale's claim to "success", therefore, rests almost exclusively on the seat gains in June.  The recovery in the popular vote was pretty small beer, and only looked impressive in the context of the lowered expectations that the leader herself can be considered partly responsible for - Labour would initially have been expecting pretty much any successor to Jim Murphy to do a little bit better than 24%.

But even the seven seat haul looks considerably less thrilling when you bear in mind that the Lib Dems won 11 seats in 2010 with just 19% of the vote, and the SNP won six seats at the same election with 20% of the vote.  Murphy was actually pretty unlucky to win just one seat with his 24% share - it only happened because the first-placed party was unusually dominant.  The modest gains this year were thus a resumption of normal service for a party languishing in the 20s, not some kind of great leap forward.

29 comments:

  1. She is the Michael Howard of Scottish Labour. His achievements weren't particularly great either - but he kickstarted his party on the road to recovery. I see a similar thing happening with Scottish Labour.

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  2. Hahahahahaha
    you just keep telling yourself that pilgrim.

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  3. What figure was Scottish Labour polling at when she took over?
    What figure is Scottish Labour polling at now?

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    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament_election,_2016#Opinion_polling

      Roughly 19% when Dugdale took over, around June/July 2015. Note that the Tories were at 13%.

      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/dark-day-for-dugdale-as-opinium.html

      "Far from having Scottish Labour in the lead, the new Opinium subsample puts Kezia Dugdale's party in a distant third place: SNP 37%, Conservatives 36%, Labour 23%, Liberal Democrats 2%, Greens 1%."

      As in James' article, Murphy finished the 2015 election with 24%.

      It truly has been a mediocre performance. Would have been much worse if it wasn't for the Corbyn effect.

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    2. Then we have some kind of baseline comparison from the day she took over to the day she left.

      Started around 24%, and finished around 30% (taking an average of the 2 recent subsamples)

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    3. Polls/votes, no quite the same thing, Anon.

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    4. Correct. As the election cycles don't line up with her tenure, this is the closest timewise to a comparison of Labour support when she started vs when she left.

      Otherwise you're comparing a period of time that includes other people's leadership, and misses out some of hers.

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    5. Under Dugdale's leadership Scottish (sic) Labour lost 13 MSPs and 132 local cllrs. They gained 6 MPs. A net loss of 139 elected representatives. They were the second party in Scotland but now they are a poor third.

      Anyone who thinks that is a good record is kidding themselves.

      Still, good luck to her in the future.

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  4. Labour are currently polling about 90% of the SNP's polling numbers. That in itself is an achievement considering the SNP were recently on 60% to Scottish Labour's 15%

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    1. I cannot recall any Westminster poll in which the SNP were on 60% and Labour were on 15%, let alone a "recent" one.

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    2. Yeah, back when halle berry and eva longoria where swimming naked with me....what???

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  5. Ruth's lost time and time again yet she's a hero?

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  6. Just reading that the 75 new Caledonian Sleeping Carriages are being built in Spain and tested in the Czech Republic..And subsidised by the Scottish Gov via the British taxpayer.
    Any jobs going in McDonald's!
    .

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    1. I've applied but McDonalds doesn't accept morons.

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    2. Typical as expected reply from the Nat si impersonator...Let go of yer wee willie ya Jock jerker.

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    3. Stench of this.

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    4. Pookle - ha!, ha!, ha!, ha!, ha!, ho!, ho!, hee!, ...

      You absolute sumph, of a southern human.

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  7. I think Kezia did her best in a very difficult job.Her record isn't brilliant,nor is it disastrous.Its not easy thinking who,among her colleagues,could have done better.I'm glad she has resigned.She knew when it was time.She did her bit.She'll have a much better life now.

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  8. Dugdale is a disgrace. She worked for the tories in fact, actually actively telling people to vote Tory just a few short months ago. She will still be taking a generous wage from the public purse, while stepping over the homeless. Many who will have been sanctioned by the UK DWP, and had their £70 a week lifeline removed. £70 a week, and the UK Tory party are punishing people, while making sure that the working poor feel nothing but contempt for those worse off than themselves. I don't recall Dugdale opposing any of the attacks by the tories, on our poorest and most vulnerable. Trident? She agreed it should be replaced at a cost of £200+ billion.

    No Dugdale has been awarded status she does not deserve. She opposed the SNP, not the actual criminals, the Tories, attacking and even effectively killing their own people.

    Dugdale, the careerist, gravy train, selfish type, who just got lucky in getting into politics and hyped up to look important. In reality, she was quite useless, and twisted and turned according to what she was told by her manager in London. Despicable.

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    1. The jock nat si Tartan Tories promised to restore benefits...The Jock rich still raking in the dosh under this right wing nat si regime.
      Blaming the Blue Tories does not wash anymore...in fact it is lamentable....

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    2. Ah belang tae Chelsea dear auld chelsea toon

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    3. Go away impersonator Im a Jocko like you honest govenor.

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    4. It seems tae me that father rectimus maximus has given your bahocky some alteration. It does effect the brain and causes protruding foreheads.

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    5. Historic sexual abuse as "humour". #stayclassy

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  9. Dugdale has looked and felt like a caretaker leader since Jim Murphy left. She isn't really a leader, lacking big ideas or initiative. Her FMQ performances were toe curling and those yappy stream of consciousness tv interviews a national embarrassment. She looked more like a head prefect than a party leader. Her bitter attack on Wings showed her up as petty and unworthy of the job.

    Labour don't have much talent to draw from, but in such a difficult time they would have been better served by having a leader with more experience and gravitas to at least present a more dignified and principled image.

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    1. Under the Tartan Tories the working classes have made an immense step towards prosperity.The wealth in Scotland is such that we have three time as many politicians as are required. We have never had it so good.

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    2. If only the Jocko Fash Nat sis would stop voting SNP and vote labour then the real Nat sis would be in power

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    3. Bravo, old chap. Pass the Milk Tray, be a dear chap.

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