Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Labour Losing Grip of Power

No real surprise in this morning's Scotsman but the latest polling analysis from Prof. John Curtice at Strathclyde University suggest that Labour are in as much trouble North of the border as there were in this months council elections in England. In fact based on English results they fair better than recent results in Scotland.

The breakdown of his analysis based on the Moray by-election would leave:

Labour 30 Constituency MSPs 5 List MSPs 35 in Total down 15
SNP 22 + 11 = 33 up 6
Liberal Democrats 15 + 12 = 27 up 10
Conservatives 4 + 17 = 21 up 3
Greens 0 + 7 = 7 NC
SSP 0 + 2 = 2 down 4
Others 2 + 2 = 4 NC

Now of course it is difficult to draw conclusions from extrapolation of one by-election result and one shouldn't read too much into it. But the trend is there as well that both the SNP and Liberal Democrats look set to be big gainers from Labour's misadventures. The Tories are hardly bounding back and are still relying heavily on list MSPs to maintain their presence.

Interestingly Labour's confidence that they can ride the storm may seem to be on shakey ground. On these findings Prof. Curtice suggests that Labour may lose as many as 16 constituency seats. However, instead of Labour's current rhetoric that they can pick these up off the list he suggests that the spread of their loses and others' gains would mean they'd only make up one off the list system.

With the Lib Dems being the major gainers as they have been in both by-elections this year the effect is a concertina of the big three parties so that Labour are largest with 35 only two ahead of the SNP, and 8 ahead of the Lib Dems. The Tories also manage to emerge with 21 seats which leads to all sorts of permeations for discussions after May next year.


Joe Taylor said...

"so that Labour are largest with 35 only two ahead of Labour"

I think it's fair to say that Labour are getting ahead of themselves.

Stephen Glenn said...

Whoops! Corrected.


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