Could the ex-LAB defence & Scottish Sec, Jim Murphy solve his party's Scottish crisis? pic.twitter.com/Q6lGRgLNU2
— Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) October 26, 2014
There are 41 Scottish LAB seats at stake
The key fact to remember when discussing the impact of Scotland on UK politics is that there are 59 seats north of the border of which LAB hold 41. So anything that could weaken the party in the eyes of Scottish voters could have a big impact on GE15. Any LAB losses in Scotland would have to be made up from extra LAB gains in England and Wales if EdM’s hope of securing a majority is to be fulfilled.
Jim Murphy, who at one stage was both defence and Scottish secretaries in the last LAB government, played a key part in the IndyRef campaign with his 100 towns in 100 days tours putting the case for NO. He faced some nasty confrontations with YES campaigners and came out of the referendum with his reputation enhanced.
For some time he’s been one my long-shots bets, at 33/1, for EdM’s successor and would easily be a match for the SNP’s new flag carrier, Nicola Sturgeon. He’s articulate, tough, and like Sturgeon is from Glasgow.
A lot has been written in recent weeks about the SNP threat to LAB. The big problem Sturgeon’s party has is there there are few seats where at GE10 her party was in striking distance.
The following chart shows every single Scots LAB seat ranked in majority order with those where the SNP is in second place highlighted. The numbers speak for themselves. Labour Scottish heartlands look like tough nuts to crack.