Thursday, September 9, 2010

Professor David Denver says if new boundary changes for Holyrood were in place in 2007, Labour MSP Ken Mcintosh would be out on the street, superb

Dear All

Next year sees the Holyrood election which will be fought under different boundaries, for some it will make them more viable and for others it will either make no difference or make things worse.

On thing which the redrawing of Scotland’s political map throws up is a better chance of the Tories north of the Border getting more first past the post seats.

Professor David Denver of Lancaster University suggests that if the new boundaries had been in place in 2007 then the Conservatives would have returned three more MSPs.

I personally doubt this as although theoretically this may be possible, the Scottish Tories are even more toxic than their English Counterparts and other factors play.

Election wins are not solely about boundary shifts, local factors, candidate selection, party policy, local issues and attitudes have a role.

However as a ‘what if’ exercise Professor Denver’s analysis is worth a read.

He opines that under the new boundaries the Tories would add Eastwood and Dumfriesshire to the four seats they already hold.

Sitting in Eastwood is Labour MSP Ken McIntosh who in my opinion isn’t an asset for the Labour Party.

McIntosh’s lack of credibility doesn’t mean that the Tories can expect a shoo in, at the Westminster election, Richard ‘goofy’ Cook fought the seat and failed to impress but he did manage to increase the Tory vote by circa 1,000.

Labour MP Jim Murphy held with an increased majority of circa 5,000.

I would have thought that having ploughed so much effort into this seat the Tories would have come closer but elections are not won at election time but by years of work in the community.

Murphy it is said is a good constituency MP and has a well run office which obviously has made an impact on voters.

Did he deserve to retain the seat?

Judging by reports, I would say yes leaving politics aside and looking at his work with voters acting on their behalf.

Murphy is smart enough to who is paying his wages, mortgage and bills.

The new boundaries for some will create major problems as they will to some extent have to start from scratch and cultivate voters they haven’t had any contact or dealings with.

For some this will be a hard sell because it isn’t just the party brand which gets people elected but the candidate themselves.

I don’t see the Tory vote going up in Scotland and I don’t see them winning more first past the post seats.

Mind you stranger things happen at sea and anything is possible in politics.

Over the course of the current Holyrood Parliament the Tories haven’t shined to any great degree.

Everyone knows they are there but few people can name many of them.

They have made themselves irrelevant.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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