Sunday, May 8, 2011
Trouble In The Heartlands....
The people of Scotland have now had a couple of days to reflect upon the seismic shift in the governance of the country. I doubt that many would have predicted last Wednesday that Scottish Labour would be defeated in so many of their traditional heartlands such as Hamilton, East Kilbride, Kirkcaldy and Shettleston. But as we all now know that is the reality of the new political landscape in Scotland.
For me the defining factor was the negativity of the Labour campaign vs the positivity of the SNP campaign. The majority of people that voted for the SNP did so because they have done a pretty decent job of running Scotland as a minority government and wanted to give them another 5 years to build upon their current record. What is perhaps most worrying for The Labour Party is the broad span of support that the SNP now have, with a strong support from traditionally left leaning voters who agree with their policies on issues such as Trident and their stance on tuition fees through to voters more to the right who support them on their low taxation policies on small businesses.
Labour's core support is still there, it is the fact that they are not appealing to voters outside of those who have always voted Labour that is of concern aligned with the fact that they have no clear leader in their ranks and no policies that are distinctive enough to show voters clear blue water between them and the Nationalists.
The voting system for the Scottish Parliament was designed so that no one party had a majority but this has also been turned on it's head. Let's hope that the SNP leadership remember that this brings great responsibility as well as a great opportunity. From the mutterings thus far they seem to realise this.
The Labour party in Scotland need to re-group and gets it's act together sooner rather than later and focus outside of it's client base in order to continue to play an important role in Scottish politics.
I think the Scottish electorate have made the right choice and have given a resounding vote of confidence to Alex Salmond and his team and sincerely hope that they continue to act in the best interests of all the people of Scotland.
Over and out - and no more politics on this blog for a while. After all this is a music blog so normal service will be resumed....