Tag Archives: hustings

Voting counts

European ElectionsOn 22nd May, Scotland goes to the polls: the results could change politics in Scotland forever.

Scotland has six MEPs. Two SNP, two Labour, a Tory and a LibDem. UKIP are hopeful – Farage is even having a rally in Edinburgh on Friday 9th May – that the drop in support for the Tories could give UKIP an elected seat in Scotland for the first time.

Brian Monteith writes in ConHome, of a worrying poll that puts UKIP support at 19%:

What it reminds us is that the Scottish electorate is just like the British electorate – despite wild claims to the contrary by the Scottish nationalists.

For the reality must surely be that UKIP is doing well despite any significant presence on the ground, it is pitching to the public through Nigel Farage and a nationwide campaign and it is having a very similar effect in Scotland to that seen in England.

The same poll that gives UKIP 18 per cent also gives Labour 25 per cent and the SNP 29 per cent – and it would be safe to assume that were the SNP not a factor then UKIP could take a significant slice of the SNP vote share, possibly in the region of a further 10 percent – giving it a very respectable 28 per cent. It should be remembered that a recent poll put Scottish support for leaving the EU at 37 per cent – higher than many polls put support for Scotland leaving the UK, and higher than the YouGov poll put support for the SNP itself.

The six who were elected in 2009 with a turnout of 28.5% are:

euro elections voting intentionsThe ECR group was formed by David Cameron in 2009 of right-wing Euro-sceptic MEPs: the UK Conservative MEPs are the largest single bloc, and the second-largest are the Polish Law and Justice party.

The Scottish Greens got 7.3% and did not get a seat.
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Hyperlocal hustings – Southside

I’ve never organised a hustings before. But I may well do so again.

This one was almost impromptu. As I have mentioned, I’m backing Gordon Murdie – and he’s not standing in my ward. So instead of voting for him, I’m managing his blog: Gordon Murdie.

Southside/Newington hadn’t had a hustings at all: Steve Burgess, Gordon MacKenzie, and Cameron Rose, three out of the four incumbents, had been invited to speak at other non-local hustings. (And Rose had also subbed in for the Tory candidate for Leith Walk in the Spurtle hustings.)

This is by no means a formal, full, neutral report – I don’t take shorthand, there were two or three hyperlocal questions where neither question nor answer was fully comprehensible to someone from outside the area, and in all honesty, I took more detailed notes where the candidates’ answers interested me and rested my hand when the speaker wasn’t holding my interest. Politically, tribally, I’m pro-Labour and Scottish Green, anti-Tory, and (at least prior to the UK coalition) was prepared to consider voting LibDem and equally prepared to consider SNP, certainly in a council election. But in general I found at this hustings that my interest was held by the speaker rather than the party.

Place: The proprietor of the Braidburn Inn donated the use of his function suite and a few plates of sandwiches, very welcome since the hustings began at six. (I was last there for a Christmas Day lunch with family in the 1990s, but it’s the local pub/guest house for our chair and for Gordon Murdie. We could probably have fitted five dozen people into the room and it was small enough that microphones were not needed.)

Chair: Owen Dudley Edwards. He is a marvellous speaker and well-experienced in keeping a meeting pleasantly in order and keeping candidates to time. (One member of the audience said to me afterwards “He just radiates calm…”) Though I had to borrow an heirloom wristwatch off Gordon Murdie to let OWD keep time – I use my mobile phone for occasions like this, and Owen Dudley Edwards does not do digital technology.

Who Came And Who Didn’t: The hustings was organised on a week’s notice, on Tuesday 1st May, in order to give as much notice as possible while not using up a candidate’s time on the last night before election day. Proper hustings etiquette would have been to contact all candidates before fixing the date, but sheer pressure of time made that really impossible.

All of the election leaflets available for this ward are listed at Liberal Sellout.
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Hustings for an equal council

Tomorrow (18th April) is your very last day to get registered to vote in the council elections on 3rd May. You’ve got till 5pm.

There were two hustings tomorrow. But the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce “Business Hustings” with all the party leaders on 18th April has been cancelled. (Contact them for information.) The other hustings, hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses and the Evening News, has all male candidates the panellists are: Jeremy Balfour (Conservative), Tom Buchanan (SNP), Andrew Burns (Labour), Tim McKay (Lib. Dem), and Chas Booth (Scottish Green Party). It’s in Bread Street from 6pm and may require a ticket for admission.

On Thursday 19th April there are four hustings:
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