Why the Tories, Labour and the LDs should ensure that their next leaders are Scottish

Why the Tories, Labour and the LDs should ensure that their next leaders are Scottish

Remember Gordon Brown’s LAB and Charles Kennedy’s LDs GE2010 & GE2005 Scottish performances

I’ve published the above chart before – the experience of LAB at GE2010 which totally knocked on the head the notion of uniform national swing.

We all know that election wasn’t a good one for Gordon Brown’s LAB. They lost power after suffering huge seat losses. There was one part of the UK which bucked the overall trend Scotland.

Whereas in England LAB was down more than 7.4% in Scotland the party in increased its vote share by 3.1% and came away with 41 of the 59 seats north of the border.

    So extraordinarily LAB’s average vote change in Scotland at GE2010 was a whopping 10.5% better in Scotland than in England. The reason was simple – the LAB leader, Gordon Brown, was Scottish.”

As was remarked at the time by a prominent Scottish politics academic “Brown maybe a bastard but he’s OUR bastard.” I’ve often thought that a contributory factor to Labour’s GE2015 Scottish disaster when it lost 40 of its 41 seats was that the party no longer had a Scottish leader.

At GE2005, when the LDs were last led by Scottish leader, the late Charles Kennedy at GE2005, they won 13 of the 59 seats north of the border making them the second party in terms of Scottish MPs at that election.

With Scottish politics in a state of flux at the moment there it looks as though next time, when ever that is, could see a lot more movement in Scotland.

The Tories there have a strong figurehead – Ruth Davidson and TMay’s part in the 12 Scottish gains was minimal.

So who could the three national parties choose? It’s said that Vince Cable is keeping the LD leader’s seat warm for Jo Swinson; it is conceivable that a way could be found for the Tories to elect Davidson as national leader, but it is hard to see a suitable LAB figure.

Mike Smithson

Comments are closed.