I'm ever so slightly dismayed by the hints from George Galloway that he might be gearing up for a run in the Holyrood elections next year. Although I certainly don't agree with everything he says and does, I've thus far been able to take a certain amount of satisfaction in his occasional triumphs since being expelled from Labour, as it was that party he was a perennial thorn in the side of (along of course with a US Senate Committee that was almost as clueless as Menendez and co). However, if he does stand for the Scottish Parliament, he unfortunately seems somewhat more likely to do harm to the SNP than to Labour, simply because the SNP are so reliant on their list seats in Glasgow (and because Labour have no list seats to defend in the city at all). I can see five possible scenarios...
1) Galloway is no longer the force he was, and in any case his defection to the bright lights of London a few years ago has done him few favours in Glasgow. He receives a derisory vote, making no difference to the distribution of seats.
2) Galloway still has a big enough personal following to secure a seat, but in doing so he simply takes a seat that would have been won by another far-left candidate anyway. This ties in with Jeff Breslin's theory that the socialists are likely to recover sufficiently from their 2007 trouncing to at least sneak a seat in Glasgow.
3) Galloway does still have a big following, and it's one that the two 'indigenous' socialist parties can no longer match following the Sheridan saga. He takes a seat on the Glasgow list that would otherwise not have been won by the far-left, and that would otherwise have been taken by the SNP.
4) Same as scenario 3, except that either the Lib Dems or Greens underperform in Glasgow to such an extent that Galloway takes a seat that would otherwise have been won by one of them, not the SNP.
5) Galloway doesn't poll strongly enough to take a seat, but does do well enough to split the socialist vote and prevent another far-left candidate from being elected. This would leave an extra seat available on the list to be seized by a grateful SNP, or another mainstream party - but almost certainly not Labour.
So that makes three scenarios that would have no impact on the Labour v SNP battle, one that would harm the SNP, and one that might even conceivably help them. Unfortunately I think scenario 3 is probably more likely than 4 or 5.