There were three women and two men in the Scottish Labour leadership contest: the media largely ignored Sarah Boyack, Kezia Dugdale, and Katy Clark: most of the mainstream publicity I saw treated the contest as if it were a race between two men, Jim Murphy and Neil Findlay.
Jim Murphy won, MP for East Renfrewshire, and currently his name gets about 2,750,000 hits on Google.
Kezia Dugdale also won: she is the Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour, and currently her name gets about 75,900 hits on Google.
Will UKIP have two MPs in the House of Commons before 2015?
No, I don’t think they will. I don’t think they’re even likely to have one.
Despite Daily Mail fantasies of all white working-class people being racist, UKIP clearly present a threat to the Tory party and thus possible electoral benefit to Labour by splitting the right-wing vote, as I think we will see proved when the Rochester and Strood byelection date comes round.
As I write, the SNP membership has increased by 63% to be the UK’s third party by size. (The LibDems, whose membership has fallen by a third since May 2010, have 43,451 members: the SNP now have 62,870.)
The Scottish Green membership quintupled in a week, from 1,200 to nearly six thousand.
The most likely result of the May 2015 general election is still a Labour majority or Labour as the largest single party.
It’s been so long.
Do you remember this? On Wednesday 28th April 2010, Nick Clegg began a final push for students to vote for the LibDems.
“Labour and the Conservatives have been trying to keep tuition fees out of this election campaign.
“It’s because they don’t want to come clean with you about what they’re planning.
David Coburn claims in an interview with the Big Issue that he was against the EU from 1st January 1973 onward, for a rather odd reason:
“I was politicised young, while I was a pupil at Glasgow High School. I collected old coins, bought and sold silver shillings to dealers, I was busy and happy. Then we joined the European Union, decimalisation was introduced, and overnight my coin business was destroyed. That set me not only against the government, but also the EU.”
David Coburn was born in 1958. If his birthday is between March and August, he would probably have started primary school in August 1963, and gone on to high school (secondary school) in August 1970, when he was 12. (If his birthday is between September and February, he would probably have started at high school in August 1969.)
But the day that the UK and Ireland decimalised our currencies was 15th February 1971, when David Coburn could not have been older than 13. The transition period for the pre-decimal currency ended on 31st August 1971.
We’ll overlook David Coburn’s confusion of the EU (established 1993) with the European Economic Community. He’s also confused the year the UK decimalised the currency (announced in 1966, when he was 8: finally completed in 1971, when he was 13) when the year the UK joined the EEC (1973, when he was 15).
Instead let’s consider his claims to have been running an antique coin business when a schoolboy.
In less than four months, we’ll go to the polls to vote Yes or No to the question:
“Should Scotland be an independent country?”
And today, the campaign period for the referendum officially begins.
But as I pointed out a few weeks ago (and Simon Jenkins pointed out yesterday) the SNP are not offering independence: they want major decisions for Scotland’s governance to be made at Westminster/in London. (It’s all in the White Paper: haven’t you read it?)
Looking ahead to 2015, the polls say (and the bookies agree) the next general election is likely to be a Labour victory.
The results in so far from the local English council elections support that (full results won’t be out til later today): despite a low turnout (estimated at 36%) Labour has maintained or gained control in 27 local councils (up 2 – there were 161 local authority elections yesterday) and won 617 council seats (up by 101). Including – as I found out via Twitter – David Cameron’s favourite Tory council Hammersmith & Fulham.
The Conservatives have lost control in 8 councils (they’ve kept control in 27) and are down 99 council seats. The Liberal Democrats have lost control in one council (kept control in two) and are down 93 council seats. None of this looks good for their general election prospects.
The Green Party have four seats so far, up by one.
None of this, however, is the headlining news.