CAMPAIGNING FOR SCOTLAND
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Issue 770 - 6th March
Compiled by Fraser Hudghton
On The Verge
Whilst not getting too far ahead of ourselves,
the SNP work on the ground in Glasgow must be sending shivers down the
Labour Partyís spine.
I tend to veer away from polling in any election predicting complete
meltdown on one side - come election day it rarely materialises thus - but
the move of the SNP into Labourís core support is tangible and real.
Canvas after canvas is showing real committed backing of the SNP at the
expense of the party once recognised as Scotlandís own.
Gone are the days of unflinching loyalty to a party whose roots stretch deep
into Glasgow and Dundeeís past. Scotlandís urban and industrial heritage,
and the politics it gave birth to, is testament to the longevity of the
labour movement and its legacy. Back then, that Labour stood for working men
and women wasn't in question.
Somehow along the line Labour lost their way. Come the television age, the
drift of that party from working class hero to a political vacuum which
stands for little is complete. Or will be should their worst nightmare take
place in May.
If in north Glasgow, the former engine house of the city, Labour fall to the
SNP, then we are witnessing the birth of a new era in Scottish politics.
Post-referendum I touched on a similar subject - noting that just as the SNP
are marching onwards into Labours urban heartlands then we need to change
our message to secure the rest of Scotland which in many cases voted for the
This remains the case but experienced nationalist campaign teams across the
country - many having built enormous SNP majorities over decades - will
provide a formidable barrier to any resurrection of old unionist foes.
As it stands, with the potential for new SNP MPs elected in May in areas
once thought of as no-goes and a female First Minister in Scotland taking
real action to guarantee gender parity in political chambers, our
transformation into the modern north European country we always wanted to be
will be very real.
My attention was drawn to a website called Electoral Calculus, copyrighted
to Martin Baxter, while Fraser was writing his piece so it seems right to
comment on it here.
This website predicts some scary results. It seems there are still areas of
Scotland where Labour just cannot be driven out. Two in Fife and the rest in
some of Glasgow and surrounding areas. As someone who pays some attention to
what is being said in Westminster I find it hard to believe that some of
these people still get elected. Some of the other M.P.ís predicted to be
returned I have never heard of. One has to presume that they are hard
working locally, but then again I am reminded of the leaflet from my youth
when James Halliday (SNP) stood against Willie Hamilton (Labour) circa 1970.
Willie Hamilton says If the Labour Party put a turnip up as a Labour
Candidate in West Fife it would be returned to Parliament with a 20,000
majority. (taken from SNP leaflet).
Sadly we still have to bear this in mind. While the SNP have been gaining
solid ground in some areas, there are still many too close to call. I am
glad to see, through social media, that there are large groups of SNP
activists campaigning every weekend as well as weekday evenings. We cannot
take polls for granted. Humans are delicate wee things that often take
fright on polling day. We need to nurture the ones that are wakening to
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