Friday, May 4, 2012

A year later than expected?

Just thought I'd jot down a few brief thoughts about the local elections while we're waiting for the last results to come through. In a way, this is the result we were expecting at the mid-point in the campaign for last year's Holyrood election, with both the SNP and Labour advancing at the expense of the Tories and especially the Liberal Democrats. As far as I can see, this is literally the SNP's best local election results in history, so how anyone will be able to spin that as a setback is a bit of a mystery, but certain London media folk will doubtless still try to do so, mainly because they seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that Scotland consists entirely of a city called Glasgow.

I do still wonder if the decoupling of the elections from the Holyrood vote for the first time since 1995 has made a difference for Labour, because the campaign has been very low-key, and to some extent has melded into a wider UK 'referendum' on the Westminster coalition. That was what we feared might happen last year, but didn't as a result of the Scottish 'framing' of the campaign. What will really matter now in determining who wins the spin war will be the overall result in terms of seats and first preference votes across Scotland. Alex Salmond seemed confident a couple of hours ago that the SNP will come out on top in both, but we'll just have to wait and see because it looks quite tight. Incidentally, one of the frustrations of the 2007 local elections was the difficulty of tracking down the first preference percentages for the whole country, so I hope that's not the case this time.

Last but not least, whatever criticisms might be made of Allison Hunter, I'm not sure her Labour counterpart's qualities are anything to write home about. He holds the award for the most cringe-inducing interview of the day, describing a 2:2 split with the SNP in a Glasgow ward as a "fawntahhhh-stic" result for Scottish Labour, and dismissing the SNP's overall showing as "dehhhh-sperate, dehhhh-sperate".

Moments like that remind me why I'm a Nat. Roll on 2014.


  1. I absolutely hate listening to a cartload of politicians trying to spin their obviously embarrassing defeats into success. I just watched Danny Alexander. Cringeworthy is praising it. Ms Warsi was on the same programme, every bit as awful as Alexander.

    I think we'd all respect them a bit more if they simply said... ouch.

    Rough calculations done on the back of a Morrison's receipt (and so there may be errors, suggest that Labour won 63 and lost 5, giving them a +58 figure overall. SNP won 67 and lost 3, which gives them a gain of 64... thus slightly better than Labour, but not enough to get excite4d about.

    I can't help feeling that being in opposition in the London parliament as well as ours should have given the Labour vote a bit of a boost.

  2. The BBC figures are dodgy.

    If you do a direct comparison between 2007 and 2012 the SNP are up 61 and Labour up 46.