Electing a leader from Scotland could give the LDs a huge boost north of the the border

Electing a leader from Scotland could give the LDs a huge boost north of the the border

If Gordon Brown could do it at GE10 then what about the Yellows?

We all know that GE10 wasn’t a good one for Gordon Brown’s LAB. The party lost power after having a comfortable majority for 13 years and suffered huge seat losses.

The chart above shows the party’s vote share changes in different parts of the UK but there was one place which bucked the overall trend Scotland.

Whereas in England LAB was down more than 7.4% in Scotland the party in increased its vote share by 3.1% and came away with 41 of the 59 seats north of the border.

    So extraordinarily LAB’s average vote change in Scotland at GE2010 was a whopping 10.5% better in Scotland than in England.

The reason was simple – the LAB leader, Gordon Brown, was Scottish. As was remarked at the time by a prominent Scottish politics academic “Brown maybe a bastard but he’s OUR bastard.”

When the LDs were last led by Scottish leader, the late Charles Kennedy at GE2005, they won 13 seats north of the border making them the second party in terms of Scottish MPs at that election.

On June 8th this year the party made most of its gains in Scotland and with the possibility of the SNP declining even more next time then the chances are that this will be fertile territory once again. Certainly their main target, Fife NE they were just two votes behind.

The LDs are so far behind where they were that the potential of a leader to help gain just a few extra seats will be very appealing.

I’ve little doubt that all of this will be communicated to LD members very strongly by the campaign of Glasweigan Jo Swinson if, as seems likely, she puts her hat into the ring.

Mike Smithson

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