Tag Archives: douglas alexander

That two horse race is on: Scottish Ashcroft polls show it’s Liberal Democrats against the SNP

As Scottish voters start to receive their postal votes in the next few days, they will have much to contemplate. To what extent will those who oppose independence be prepared to vote tactically to keep the SNP from winning Westminster seats.

Their decision may well be informed by yesterday’s Ashcroft polls which show potential SNP gains in all but one of the constituencies in question. Unfortunately, four of them were seats currently held by the Liberal Democrats.

I found the SNP fifteen points ahead in Charles Kennedy’s seat of Ross, Skye & Lochaber, up from five points in February. I also found the SNP leading by eleven points in Jo Swinson’s constituency of East Dunbartonshire, and by thirteen points in North East Fife, where Sir Menzies Campbell is stepping down after 28 years.

The poll found that Mike Moore is in a tough 3 way fight with the Tories in the Borders. He’s on 28%, the SNP on 29% and the Tories on 30%. It could barely be tighter.

All the polls show decisively, though, apart from the Borders, that it’s a clear two horse race between Liberal Democrat MPs and the SNP. The message to Tory and Labour voters is clear. Do they want an SNP MP primarily motivated by independence and forbidden from standing up for their constituents if their party doesn’t allow it, or a Liberal Democrat who will fight tirelessly for their area.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 43 Comments

Labour’s rapidly warming official attitude towards the Liberal Democrats

Over on the Spectator website, Peter Hoskin neatly summarises the latest warming in the Labour Party’s official attitude towards the Liberal Democrats:

Remember when MiliE described them as a ‘disgrace to the traditions of liberalism’? Since then he has said that, actually, he’d work with the Lib Dems so long as they ditched Clegg; that he’d work with them even if they kept Clegg; that … oh, you get the picture. And now this : the closest that Labour have come, in spirit at least, to matching the ‘big, open, comprehensive offer’ that Cameron made at the end of

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Labour reshuffle: Ed Miliband unveils Continuity Gordon Brown Party

The Lib Dem response to Ed Balls’ appointment as Labour’s shadow chancellor, replacing Alan Johnson, has been swift. Stephen Williams, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Treasury Committee, commented:

“I wish Alan Johnson good luck for the future.

“The decision to appoint Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor shows that the Labour Party is now determined to carry on with the Gordon Brown economic plan that caused so much trouble for this country.

“Ed Balls isn’t just a deficit denier, he’s a deficit enthusiast.”

Alan Johnson resigned earlier today, citing “personal reasons to do with my family”. He had been under pressure in …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 36 Comments

Word of mouth election? That’s so 1997

Douglas Alexander’s soundbite about wanting to make 2010 the “word of mouth” election has got a fair amount of coverage in the last few days, such as in this mostly thoughtful piece by Andrew Rawnsley.

Why do I only say “mostly thoughtful”?

That’s because it’s a good piece, but also displays a weakness so common in contemporary British political commentary. It’s the feeling that it’s more important to talk about what an American did a couple of years ago than how the British political system has worked over the last few elections.

Because if you want “word of mouth”, and you know …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 2 Comments
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