How Salmond was being reported a week before the Cowdenbeath by-election pic.twitter.com/2BnXnBEcAq
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 24, 2014
LAB 55.8% (+9.3)
SNP 28.4% (-13.2)
CON 9.4% (+2.5)
L Dem 2.1% (-1.8)
The campaign approach that could scupper YES
Given that we are now only eight months away from the referendum in Scotland that will determine whether it stays in the UK or not the outcome of every election north of the border is being assessed in terms of what it says about September.
The Cowdenbeath Holyrood result overnight represented a sharp move away from the SNP in a seat that they had only just missed in May 2011.
An interesting feature of the campaign was the way that Salmond’s party was portrayed as being too focused on separation at the expense of more bread and butter issues like the cost of living.
Whether true or not this, as the LDs found to their cost over AV, is always going to be a charge against those wanting constitutional change. The Tory position on an EU referendum can also be presented in this light.
What makes this link of attack effective is that the fundamental issue of whether change is good or not is put on one side. The argument is whether this should be for now.
My guess is that we are going to see a lot of campaigning like this ad we get closer to the date.