Thursday, February 1, 2018

A hell of a lot at stake Holyrood 2021, bad news for Scottish Conservatives in new political poll as they slip 5 points, in politics the preferred route of travel is upwards, if Ruth Davidson wants to be FM and then PM, she needs more support from the public, could fixing Universal Credit to safeguard people be the ticket?

Dear All

Politics is a funny old game, one minute you are up, the next minute you are down, when you go down it is either due to the fact that did something wrong, you didn’t do something right or sat back and became lazy. In recent elections, both Westminster and Council, the Scottish Conservatives did rather well.

13 Westminster MPs, I helped two of them get over the line in East Renfrewshire and Ayr. During the recent Westminster contest in 2017, I wasn’t in a party hence as a free agent, I wasn’t bound to any party, so I could do what I like. So, when the opportunity came to campaign in Ayr, I thought ‘day out’! I have to say out of all the days I have spent campaigning, I really enjoyed campaigned in the small Ayrshire villages a lot.

In Glasgow, we have 8 Conservatives Councillors, that was the result of a variety of factors, one being hard work, one of my friends Robert Connelly who campaigned hard during Brexit for Leave got elected, I was so glad for him and his family. On election night, his dad cried in the hall, Robert got elected to the Calton Ward, which you would think was solid Labour heartlands.

In politics, you have to keep the momentum up, so I have to say that I wasn’t surprised that there was some bad news for the Scottish Conservatives in new political poll. In politics, you can’t take your foot of the gas, you have to work, work and work, you have to be actively cultivating the voters and you do that by helping sort out their problems.

Other people’s problems are your bread and butter!

If you aren’t looking for people to help with issues and fixing them, you don’t understand what you’re employed to do. No problem too small or too large, because everyone you help is a potential advocate for why you go see you, even if they didn’t vote for you.

That’s how people get re-elected and have a personal following, work, work, work work!

For sometime, a lot of talk about Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson jumping ship to try and be PM, at present, she has decided to stay out of the way of attempts by enemies of Theresa May as they plot and plan.

Smart move!

In the meantime, Ruth Davidson has to acknowledge that the new blow she has suffered in the new political poll is in part due to Scottish Conservatives needing to be more active, Ruth Davidson is falling into the same trap as Kezia Dugdale, 15 minutes FMQs doesn’t make up for rest of the week.

Look what happened to Kezia Dugdale!

Sunk now without a trace, Ruth Davidson did very well exploiting the gap when Scottish Labour leader Kezia said she might vote for indy, this throwaway comment set up a chain of events which saw the Labour Party kicked down the Holyrood ladder to third place.

Historical fact!

Polls are interesting, a single poll is a snapshot in time, a series showing the same evidence is a trend and a bad trend is a concern, the polling in the Daily Record newspaper shows that they would drop five seats in a Westminster election to the SNP and four seats also would be taken by Scottish Labour.

There are 13 Conservative MPs, but going backwards must make some people nervous, the SNP on 39%, Scottish Labour at 27% and the Scottish Conservatives dropped almost five points to 24%. Although the Conservatives have their problems, it isn’t sweetness and light in the garden for Scottish Labour, with them losing four seats.

I helped Paul Sweeney get elected in Glasgow North East; the winning margin was 242 votes, the only seat the SNP lost in Glasgow. 242 votes is a drop in the bucket, the SNP will be trying to get that seat back because having all the seats in Glasgow is a benchmark. Obviously Paul will be working hard to retain his seat and keep and eye on the trends.

The SNP as things stand now remain on course to steer the SNP to their fourth consecutive Holyrood election victory in 2021, as I previously blogged the election in 2021 is the most important in Holyrood history, the real goal of that election is to deny the SNP a majority even with a coalition with the Greens.

No majority = no second independence vote.

Ruth Davidson may want to be PM, she might see the advantage of going via the Holyrood FM route, but if she did chances she would like Nicola Sturgeon be leading a minority government. But……. she cannot just wave the Union Jack and declare she is a defender of the Union, nope, she has to ante up with social policies which impact people’s lives for the better.

Basically the Scottish Conservatives have the same problem as Scottish Labour, they need new policies, question is who will get the ones which get people to sit up and take notice. One thing the Scottish Conservatives have is the ear of the UK Government; that makes them and puts them in a unique position.

One of the recognised problems is Universal Credit, what I would do if I was a Scottish Conservative is make the case for a change, so that people get an option so that rent can be automatically sent to their landlord in order not to have the problem of rent arrears happening.

There is might take a fight, but it is a fight worth having, especially if anyone has a view of taking up residency in Bute House and sending Nicola Sturgeon packing with her tail between her legs.
If you want to build an empire, you should and must build on solid foundations, this applies equally to the Scottish Conservatives as it does to Scottish Labour that means hard work, building an activist base and making sure the people are a desire to vote for you.

Votes are everywhere; you just have to pick them up using the right approach, in Glasgow North East, I spent a couple of minutes talking to a woman gave her some information which might help her or someone else and she said she was voting Scottish Labour candidate Paul Sweeney, start of the conversation she was a non voter.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Al C said...

Hope that things pick up, the SNP have done enough damage as it is, George.

G Laird said...

Hi Al C

The SNP have done as you say rightly enough damage to the country.


Anonymous said...

With the passage of time, the SNP will be in decline whereas the opposition parties will be in the ascendency. The SNP will lose razor thin majorities whereas the other parties will see their tiny majorities boosted. There will be exceptions to this but this will be the general picture. Also, you can't assume uniform swing with all the tactical voting that will be happening. Scottish Labour may soar in one seat, but crash in the neighbouring constituency where another party has a better chance of beating the SNP.

Jf said...

If Scotland continues to vote SNP in significant numbers after 10 years of this carry on, then it deserves all it gets. There will be a massive brain drain as the brightest and best move down south, and anyone looking to set up business in the UK considers Scotland as the last place they want to com to. Sturgeon Mackay and Swinney will cause untold damage to Scotland before they are through. The Scottish people are pawns in the SNP's game, public money the SNP's to squajder in its gesture games. Ruth Davidson needs to up her game drastically. She needs to stop being simply against the SNP and create a new centre-right non constitutionally driven vision fir Scotland, based on growing the economy, getting the education system back to the best in the world, ending the decades long state dependency and mistrust of the private sector that has blighted large areas of central Scotland. The snp and labour just offer state dependency, one wrapped in thevsaltire, the other the red flag. The race to the left the snp and labour are involved in offers us nothing but penury, Ruth Davidson and the tories need to offer something different. What opportunities does staying in the uk and being out the EU Offer us. How can we grow the economy and cut taxes for working people. How can we end the culture of state dependency once and fur all and get Scotland working so we don't need to rely on immigration post EU. It's up to Ruth to offer a new non socialist, non nationalist vision.

G Laird said...


Hard to fault what you are saying about the need to up the game.


Auld Jock said...

Hello George

When I first read this blog, I was alarmed because I thought the trend for the snp was down and I had been hoping they would get rear ended when the ballot boxes next came out to play. However, the polls are always going to fluctuate. I remain hopeful that, as the election gets closer, minds will be focussed on whether or not we really want another five years of the imbecility that is the snp. I am pretty sure there is a majority against snp now and that should increase as the election nears.

The electoral system was supposed to be weighted against snp. However it doesn't seem to be working that way. Do you think they may be saved by the system that was meant to keep them out of office?

Auld Jock

G Laird said...

Hi Auld Jock

There is a majority against the SNP but it is too spread out, this could see the SNP being saved by the system and have the largest group at Holyrood.

Parties need to raise their game a hell of a lot and get out on the doorstep, so far, there is a laid back attitude to work.