Friday, April 28, 2006

Moray Analysis

OK Moray as I heard so many times last night, especially from the Tory and Labour spokesmen (sadly there was not a single woman on the entire programme apart from the two candidates of that gender), this is an SNP heartland seat. Welcome to Ewing country.

Turnout for a by-election was surpassingly on a par with the 2003 turnout for the same seat which is extraordinary especially as this is the 4th year in a row that the voters of Moray have had to go to the polls around this time. (Scottish General, European, Westminster General, Scottish by-Election). So maybe that showed that the parties did manage to engage the electorate despite what the Northern Scot thinks about a hard fought by-election campaign. The people of Moray can be rightly proud that they were engaged in democracy.

Alex Salmond was cooing over the fact that this was the first time that he can remember a party defending a by-election in Scotland actually increasing their share of the vote and majority. Well done to the SNP for gaining 4% more from an already good showing of 42% in 2003. As Alex kept reminding us the SNP are second to Labour in 36 of their 40 Scottish constituencies and in the other 4 it is the Liberal Democrats. But for each constituency gained the SNP are in danger of losing a list seat so caution to the wind about how much of this will result in the a massive surge next year.

The Tories are still stalling. On slightly smaller turnout their vote in actual Xs rose by 196. And this is the sort of seat where the Tories should be looking for revival if they are to make any inroads next year. It is one of the few seats that they actually came second in 2003. It was traditionally Conservative before the 20-year reign of Margaret Ewing but the Cameron effect was non-existent here and their campaigning tactics shows levels of ineptitude. No gain is not a good result for the Scottish Tories.

The Lib Dems failed to overhaul the Tories into second but with another gain of 7% in the vote shows the continuing trend over the past few years. Again it was a bigger increase than the SNP and shows exactly what the SNP funded poll recently showed that over half the electorate want to see the Liberal Democrats involved in government again after May 2007. People are intelligent enough to spilt the claims from The SNP and Tories that we stand for the same things as Labour. They know the differences in Scotland are down to Liberal Democrats and they want to see more of what we have to offer.

Labour down 9%. Their second worse result in any election in Scotland since 1945. Crisis might be too soft a word for it. After Dunfermline the lost over half their vote here and it is going roughly one third to the SNP two thirds to the Liberal Democrats in a seat where they have no impact whatsoever. Might have been worse if the SSP had stood.

Good night for the SNP you have to hold but they also increase.

Good night for the Liberal Democrats they move onwards and upwards and have the biggest increase in vote.

Bad night for the Tories no movement may be a sign of continued flat-lining.

Disastrous night for Labour to add to their other woes this week their vote was halved, virtually imploding and they continue to be complacent about their predicament.

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