Labour go for Murphy and Dugdale – now for the political Himalayas

The results of the Scottish Labour internal; elections for Scottish Leader and Deputy Leader – following the resignations of Johann Lamont and Anas Sarwar were announced later ths morning, with the new Leader and Deputy Leader quickly congratulated by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The new Leader is the front runner, Jim Murphy MP, with Neil Findlay MSP [whose profile has been substantially grown through his candidacy and who seems a worthwhile and attractively straightforward person] in second; with, also predictably, the third candidate, Sarah Boyack MSP since Donald Dewar’s first devolved administration, essentially nowhere.

Murphy took almost 56% of the vote; Findlay a whisker off 35%; and Boyack  a shade over 9%.

In the break down of the three components of the Electoral College, Murphy, as anticipated, won two and Findlay one.

Murphy took the Politicians by just over 22% to Findlay’s just under 7%. Since this represented 33.3% of the Electoral College vote, Murphy’s percentage of the Politicians’ vote was just over 67% to Findlay’s just over 22%.

Murphy took the Members’ section [again representing a third of the total vote] by 21.14% to Findlay’s 10.89% – amounting respectively to  60.48% and 33.7% of the total vote for that sector.

Findlay, again as expected,  took the Affiliates’ sector [essentially the Trades Unions] and again 33’3% of the electoral College – by 22% to Murphy’s 13,89%, the closest of the three sectoral votes and respectively representing 52% and 39.8% o the sector.

This last is an important result for Murphy because, Findlay did not therefore run away with the Trades Union vote as had rather been predicted.

This leaves Jim Murphy in a good position to create a consensus and a common drive forwards in a directionless and demotivated Scottish Labour.

The contest for the Deputy Leader saw a comfortable win in all three sectors of the Electoral College for the popular favourite, Kezia Dugdale MSP over Katy Clark MP. Dugdale took almost 63% of the total vote, winning the Politicians’ support by 28.63% to 4.7% – representing a shade off 86% of this sector to Clark’s nudging over 14%.

With the Members’ sector,  Dugdale won 22.11% to Clark’s 11.22%, representing respectively almost 66.4% to almost 33.7%. And with the Affiliates, where the major support had been thought to be with Clark, Dugdale won by 21.2% to 12.13%, representing respectively 63.66% and 36.42%.

Given the respective strength of these two candidates known commitment to the Trades Unions and the fact that 47 year old Katy Clark has been a constituency MP since 2005 and 33 year old Kezia Dugdale a List MSP since 2011, this Affiliates vote looks a tad soft centred.

But Scottish Labour has emerged from its contest with an essentially centrist Leadership which now has to prove that it can reach parts Scottish Labour has not been reaching of late – while holding on to its current core vote.

The fact that the SNP has scorned a Yes Alliance with the Greens and the Scottish Socialists, with both declaring that they will now be fielding their own candidates, makes things a bit easier for Labour.

It was the Greens and the Scottish Socialists [and their associates, the Radical Independence Campaigners] whose foot slogging work in the streets of Glasgow brought the SNP its 45% overall vote in the indyref campaign and gave it the crucial win in Glasgow.

They will now be campaigning on tnhoer own separate accounts, sharing the pro-indy vote between three and pushing back the SNP’s colonising of the socialist agenda.

With Labour’s strengths almost exclusively in the Central Belt, this situation may ease the pressure a little in the heartland constituencies but there is still urgent work to be done

In the rural areas, Scottish Labour has a mountain to climb with the SNP having roundly stolen its clothes. If Labour could pick up a few SNP seats in the outliers it would balance some losses they are likely to sustain in the Central Belt seats.

To do this, however,the party will have to get an active grassroots evangelism going on the ground in very short order, with the May 2015 General Election on the near horizon and the SNP taking lumps out of them, as seen on this week’s council by-elections in South Kintyre and up in Moray.

At the end of the day, a seat is a seat. whether it’s a Glasgow seat or an Aberdeen one; and every drop in the Labour vote – even in seats it does not currently hold – is another move to the one-party state we seem increasingly to be headed for – which is a worryingly long way from democracy.

With the SNP’s rejection of a Yes Alliance with the Greens and the hard left and the SNP itself becoming more hard left and ore republican by the week, the attractive, open and centrist pairing of Murphy and Dugdale have the opportunity to take another set of votes back – the thinking centre vote – much of which responded to the energy of the SNP and the challenge of the new.

If Labour thinks that this is a straightforward battle for the neediest and for the far left, it is not. It remains a battle for hearts and minds and this team looks like Labour’s best crack at such a battle.

Some of Jim Murphy’s recent thinking and propositions are heading in the right direction. People like to think these days. They want changes that fit today. They need to see a society planning to care for and protect the genuinely vulnerable while capably earning the revenues to pay for that necessary commitment.

At the moment the SNP pitch remains centred on spending since they are still in the business of seducing and retaining support – but they have absolutely no strategic economic development plan for the country as a whole – nor do they possess any capacity, even in John Swinney [financial management does not embrace but must work with economic development] – for this level of performance.

If Labour under Murphy and Dugdale, can crank this one up and inspire people with the achieveability of their plans, there will be wind in their sails.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Whilst Murphy has a mountai to climb the road for the SNP isn’t exactly on level ground, it will be very difficult to produce an election manifesto that is substantialy differentnto the White Paper ‘Scotlands Future’
    Swinney has just dictated to the councils what they can have and what they have to do to keep it, is that going to satisfy people.
    The NHS and Schools are a mess and it is quite possible that Ms Sturgeon may find she has a few MSP’s breaking ranks. Then She has to deal with the newly paid up members who want their demands to be met along with Salmond trying for a seat at Westminster.
    Labour know what is at stake and Murphy will fight. the Conservatives are going to pick up votes and all the other parties are on their own and will make life interesting so I dont see the council by elections as a safe indicator.
    Lastly it is forecast that North Sea oil is heading for the mid $40’s pb, and that there are to be substantial cut backs by all the oil majors, some have been announced and other companies cant be far behind, redundancies and unenployment are the last thing any government wants at election time, especially when you have dismissed all the advice from the experts.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 8

    Rchard December 13, 2014 5:59 pm Reply
  • Patrick Harvie Co-Convenor of the Scottish Greens summed it up eloquently:
    “I would like to offer my congratulations to Jim Murphy and my commiserations to Scottish Labour”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 24

    john in kintyre December 13, 2014 6:12 pm Reply
    • Did he really say that? Surprising if he did as Harvie is, the vast majority of times, a mature and level headed politician who doesn’t resort to the childish remarks we see too often from other politicians.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 8

      Integrity? December 13, 2014 6:21 pm Reply
      • Harvie is tired looking and washed out and manipulated a flag of convenience mainly for personal gain during referendum. Will be replaced within next few months to get Green Party back on track to their core values>

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 10

        phill December 13, 2014 7:23 pm Reply
        • I’m afraid he backed the wrong horse and will have limited room to move when it comes to an election manifesto, objecting to fracking isn’t going to make them a lot of friends especially the way North Sea Oil is going.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 8

          richard December 13, 2014 7:41 pm Reply
          • Who will afford fracking at your predicted mid $40 per bbl. The North Sea fields are mostly already developed and flowing.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

            Murdoch MacKenzie December 13, 2014 9:55 pm
          • Murdoch, it’s not a question of what I say, look at the financial forecasts yourself, look at the demand forecasts for the foreseeable future, China is slowing rapidly and the world demand for oil is falling daily. There is something in the order of 300m barrel increase in stocks across Europe and tankers with no customers.
            North Sea Oil may be flowing but at what daily cost, there are an awful lot of North Sea assets up for sale and no takers.
            Ineos spelt out the economics when the Grangemouth dispute nearly led to them shutting down, they can buy from the US cheaper (and a better product) than the North Sea.
            you tell me where it’s going to end, it certainly is going to be uncertain times for those employed in the industry, and support companies.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

            richard December 13, 2014 11:00 pm
      • Sure he said it and so did lots of others,

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

        Murdoch MacKenzie December 13, 2014 10:01 pm Reply
  • Rather unfair on John Swinney.

    Rupert Soames no less told me he had the highest regard for him.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

    GraemeMcCormick December 13, 2014 6:48 pm Reply
    • We have a lot of time for John Swinney. He s a very safe pair of hands with the budget – and let’s not pretend that he didn’t put aside the funds to support a breathtaking and endless series of givewaways in the 12 months before the indeyref vote.
      We lost a bit of respect for him – although we could understand the pressure – when, in the heat of the indyref campaign, he gave some assurances he knew well to be unsound.
      People like John Swinney ARE the gold standard; ARE their integrity – and ought never to put it at risk for any ends.
      He is also a fundamentally decent man with a stable set of objective values. Anyone, everyone, has to honour him for, alone amongst the top echelons of the SNP – going to the service of reconciliation at St Giles after the indyref vote.
      He understands the nature and the mechanics of what he does and kt was people’s impeccably sound judgment of his capability and trustworthiness that was the ground anchor for the indy campaign each time it hit a wobble. [He should work not to whinge, though. Hearing him go through the ritual mantras of whingeing at Westminster is uncomfortable because it is unworthy and beneath him.]
      What we were saying though is that what it takes to conceive of a strategic economic development plan for a country is a challenge at another level.
      There is no politician in the UK, of any party and at any level of any government who has this capacity. It is perhaps rarer that it might be but rare it it; and it is not diminishing of John Swinney to say that this is not a level to which his skill set naturally leads.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

      newsroom December 13, 2014 8:51 pm Reply
      • bloody hell !

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

        John Semple December 13, 2014 9:12 pm Reply
  • O/t setting aside party affiliation who do you think would be a good MP for Argyll and Bute?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

    GraemeMcCormick December 14, 2014 12:01 am Reply
    • Graeme, I am certainly not a Tory and have never voted for them but I can honestly say that Jamie McGrigor would be good for Argyll. Mike Russell has certainly been the worst elected representative that Argyll has had to suffer. It saddens me to say that he destroyed the SNP group within the Council and has done nothing for Argyll. The trouble is that if we are honest, the SNP are short on quality, especially in Argyll. The SNP may have three MSPs who are decent but the rest are poor just like most of our MSPs.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

      Sceptic1 December 14, 2014 1:03 am Reply
  • Jim Mather’s the benchmark.
    Where are we with cloning technology these days?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

    newsroom December 14, 2014 12:21 am Reply
  • On Jim Murphy’s appointment, he talks of making it his “driving purpose” to “ending inequality once and for all”. No he won’t. What he’ll do is continue as normal, as his predecessors have, which is to take orders from Labour management at Head Office in Scotland’s neighbouring country. Head office has other interests than addressing inequality and he knows it. His words are ramblings of a mad man or bare faced unashamed blairesque lies. Murphy has voluntarily offered himself to be shackled to that.
    He has either chose to be the sacrificial lamb or is genuinely confident he can mop up the trail of destruction the Labour Party left post referendum in losing a substantial chunk of their supporters. If it is confidence then he may just have misjudged precisely why his ex-Labour supporters have jumped ship with absolutely no appetite to return any time soon.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

    JnrTick December 14, 2014 12:46 am Reply
    • I would agree that he thinks he is best-placed to mop up the loss of support and to a large extent that is true but with little success. I also think that many of those who deserted Labour won’t be voting SNP either as the hype promised during the Referendum cannot and will not be delivered. Many of those who jumped the Labour ship will just not bother to vote at all and the likelihood is that the turnout at the 2016 election will be lower than the last one. Poiltics reinvigorated by the Referendum? I don’t think so and the numbers will confirm it (if 16 and17 year olds aren’t in the equation).That sadly is my prediction and I hope to be proved wrong by events.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

      keith stanger December 14, 2014 9:15 am Reply
      • Almost every SNP branch meeting has now in attendance at least a 400% increase, many premises unable to hold the huge influx. I have been conversing with individuals from several of these branches throughout Scotland and to a man and woman, they report of a wide spectrum of attendees with regards to age, background etc. Previously our branch had a regular core group who turned up once a month, mainly elderly. Our first 16 year old has been coming for the past two months along with people in their 20s-40s. This is the same throughout Scotland, so if this is not invigorated show me what is in politics. Nicola Sturgeon has filled arenas the length and breadth of this country, thousands delighted and excited to hear her talk about politics and happy to pay good money to do so.
        Ask yourself why your Party, the ‘winners’ of the referendum too, are unable to invigorate and shake the apathy from disenfranchised individuals Keith. Whatever you do, don’t close your eyes to what is the reality of mass political activism which will be even more evident in the months close to the GE in May.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

        JnrTick December 14, 2014 11:05 am Reply
        • The population of Glasgow and the surrounding conurbation is approx 2.3 million, eleven after deducting those not eligible to vote the Audience at the Glasgow Hydro was 12,000.
          Deduct the party apparatus etc and you have an idea of who and how many could be bothered to hear what she had to say.
          The honeymoon is over, now people want to see the actions and results.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

          richard December 14, 2014 12:12 pm Reply
          • “The honeymoon is over, now people want to see the actions and results”

            The Myth Commission has delivered powers way short of what any independent nation would require to implement real change. Yes voters and I gather many duped NO voters are well aware of this.

            Btw, who has a honeymoon after a defeat?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

            JnrTick December 14, 2014 12:56 pm
          • JnrT, Swinney sat at the table and contributed to the Smith Commission, you might also remind yourself that Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.
            Before talking about delivering ‘real change’ it would help if the mess the NHS and our Schools are in was sorted out, don’t blame Westminster, that doesn’t wash.
            Remember the White Paper, Scotland’s Future, remember the oil, remember what Sir Ian Wood said, what’s happening now?
            What about the cost of setting up an independent country’s administration, after seven years Salmond and Swinney couldn’t tell us, let’s see if Swinney can get a tax office to handle stamp duty open on time.
            I do not have the faith in the man that others express, his overriding ambition of independence outweighs his ability, he now has to start making decisions on tax and expenditure.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

            richard December 14, 2014 1:27 pm
      • “I also think that many of those who deserted Labour won’t be voting SNP either”

        So poll after poll are grossly inaccurate? Where do you think the rise of those who will be voting SNP are coming from Keith, Tories? Lib Dems?

        Sky news claims that approximately 2500000 Labour supporters will have migrated to SNP if polls have any accuracy.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

        JnrTick December 14, 2014 11:10 am Reply
        • That’s today. Come back in 18 months when the polls have closed & tell me I was wrong. I’ll hold my hands up then.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

          Keith stanger December 14, 2014 11:15 am Reply
          • 18 months? Goodness, the repercussions should the SNP’s standing in the polls hold firm would be hugely influential. The Scottish elections at this time are a side issue.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

            JnrTick December 14, 2014 12:13 pm
        • Short memory JT or is it a selective memory?

          The day before the indyref the poles were showing a close result, probability of a Yes victory. I remember you crowing about it. In actual fact the No vote carried the day decisively.

          What makes you think the Polls are any more accurate now? (apart from Tartan Specs!)

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

          JimB December 15, 2014 10:30 am Reply
  • Just listened to Gordon McKay of Unison advising we (people of Scotland) are “facing a tidal wave of assaults on public services”, he threatens “years of austerity of which we have never witnessed before”.
    His word are designed to scare voters in Scotland into deserting the SNP in May in turn increasing UK Labour’s chance of gaining power at GE. Thing is, Labour support the cuts! Besides, he and the Labour Party that Mr McKay supports had every opportunity to ensure Scotland were not only threatened by huge cuts to our public services, massive job losses etc. but also the threat of being extracted from the EU when Scotland if polls are to be believed will vote to remain.
    Labour and their supporters chose by backing the Conservatives and their coalition partners Lib Dems to put the people of Scotland in the direct path of these threats and they question why the polls show Labour haemorrhaging support!
    They have made their bed, lets see where their actions leave them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 12

    JnrTick December 14, 2014 10:52 am Reply
  • The SNP are trying to be all things to all people ie: they claim to be able to increase public spending yet cut corporation tax, they claim to be devolutionists yet they have centralised most services. They have had an easy time in Govt as the public were put off by Johan Lamont hectoring style which failed to hold them to account. Jim Murphy will calmly and intellectual draw attention to the difference between what the SNP say and what they do and they will be held to account.
    It is inevitable that the new members who have joined the SNP will soon see through the spin and realise that this party of two extremes a nationalist socialist centralist group and a right wing tartan tory group cannot deliver the Scotland they rightly want. A party that is trying to face two ways at once in a bluff that they are all things to all people it is inevitable that they will dissapoint everyone. Jim Murphy is the calibre of politician to point out the contradictions at the heart of the SNP. We need Jim Murphy into the Scottish Parliamene asap and to give the equally cerebal, analytical Ken MacKintosh a major role in holding this Govt to task at last.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

    Jim Clark December 14, 2014 11:07 am Reply
    • Jim, you appear to hold a lot of weight to personality politics. Not only was Mrs Lamont not fit for the prominent SNP MSP’s but as she revealed on her departure, ‘Scottish’ Labour just like Scotland, our nation, had been found out to be working with one arm tied behind their back.
      Jim Murphy is a gift to the SNP and the independence movement, he’s a Blairite, a new man with new ideas he preaches that he once despised. The people of Scotland will see through him and Labour’s chameleon political positioning. Social media, the enemy of NO voting unionists will see to that.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

      JnrTick December 14, 2014 12:26 pm Reply
    • “a right wing tartan Tory group”
      Who, the SNP Jim? Post referendum I read that over 90% of Conservatives voted NO. Big business, not so much smaller businesses, rejected independence too.
      Can you substantiate your outdated ‘Tartan Tories’ slur?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

      JnrTick December 14, 2014 12:35 pm Reply
  • A contributing factor to the yessers failure was a lack of understanding of the opposite side. So what your membership has increased, so what you packed out halls accross the country, so what your new leader sells out concert venues .You are simply preaching to the converted, not the best tactic. Its the non believers you need to attract, just some of the 55%, you know the majority who voted No.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

    Fiona Mac December 14, 2014 11:23 am Reply
    • That wasn’t the point I was attempting to make Fiona. We are talking about engagement in politics, the empowerment the referendum delivered to many who previously were of the opinion voting was a waste of time as our votes especially in European and General elections were and still are of little or no value given England’s population.
      Regarding preaching to the converted, of course that is what it was but so many of them are newly converted and it is our job to keep them with the SNP and supporting independence for this country. Turning YES voting people, especially YES voting Labour supporters to voting for the SNP at the General election in May will be our biggest challenge since the referendum. I’m fairly confident Labour have through siding with those supporting a NO vote done enough irreparable damage that the biggest part of our job has already been done for us.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 11

      JnrTick December 14, 2014 12:20 pm Reply
    When Murph spouted forth did he have a straight face?

    Coincidentally (irony) BBC Scotland who supported his claim to the throne was broadcasting live from his constituency on Friday lunchtime with one Ken McIntosh on his panel who announced that Murph and Dugdale had won —before the official announcement.

    cynical may think the BBC had managed the whole thing.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

    No Cheese Here December 14, 2014 2:10 pm Reply
  • Jnr tick if you want to see evidence of right wing policies you need look no further than the policies pursued by the previous Justice Minister! The actions of the SNP in shouting down anyone who disagrees with them is hardly a liberal outlook indeed Richard points out how Sir Ian Wood et all who have been proved to be right were shouted down by the SNP Govt. Offering an alternative view is seen by the SNP as dissent, hardly a liberal outlook. The SNP have pushed through centralist policies even when they have been shown to be wrong and tolerate no dissent even political commentators have stated “The SNP strength is its discipline and its weakness is its discipline”. The SNP’s its our way or the highway will soon dissillusion the new supporters when they see that they talk inclusion but practice closure, talk devolution but practice centralisation, talk about increasing benefits yet cutting corporation tax at the same time (so who will pay to fund all there promises if they are cutting big businesses taxes?). The contradictions in their statements and behaviour are symptom of them being a party with members of opposing political views and once they are exposed to proper political scrutiny by Jim Murphy and his team the public will identify the contradiction between SNP statements and actions.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

    Jim Clark December 14, 2014 7:07 pm Reply
    • Very well put, it is interesting to read what Jim Murphy said and the indication of a new fresh thinking team, perhaps the blame Westminster team will have to learn a new script or as Cameron said to Sturgeon, ‘stop demanding more and get on with sorting out Scotland’
      It was let slip that the White Paper Scotland’s Future was basically the General Election Manifesto, It will be interesting to compare the new with the old.
      An interesting thought is what tactical voting will take place to keep the SNP out, maybe Conservative voters will be helping labour!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

      richard December 14, 2014 7:24 pm Reply
  • Had the referendum been conducted on, normal, constituency lines the ‘pro’ vote would have recorded a risible return and, I expect no post indy bounce from the SNP as a result. Indeed, given the narrow focus of their platform I predict that the public will perceive the Emperor (or in this case, Empress ) to have no clothes. Once their nakedness is exposed to public scrutiny a lot of their apparent support will melt like the winter snows.
    Whether people like them or not, the ‘elephant in the room’ will be UKIP. In spite of the vitriol and abuse heaped on them from the ‘Edinburgh’ set they recorded the fourth highest percentage of public support at the euro elections (within Scotland), from a non existent baseline. They are likely to attract a sizeable proportion of the anti Europe element, which contrary to popular belief is fairly high in the country, inc pro indy elements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

    AlexM December 14, 2014 8:54 pm Reply
  • They may well gain support from the right wing Tories . Such low side of life is unfortunate but they are in the minority thank goodness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

    No Cheese Hereb December 14, 2014 9:52 pm Reply

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