Tag Archives: Scotland

Scotland: The Results – open thread

This thread will be updated as often as I can during the night. I will be at the count in Edinburgh hoping to see a gain in either Edinburgh Western or the Lothians list.

The party is cautiously optimistic that it can grow from its 2011 nadir of 11 seats – but only by 1 or 2 seats. We have had a brilliant campaign and we can be very proud of Willie for the way he’s conducted himself. We’ve found that people are ready to listen to us and trust us again, but the rebuild is a long-term project.

Willie is standing …

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Katy Gordon: I want to give hope to young people so that they can change their lives

You don’t often find me quoting from the pro-independnece paperKaty Gordon The National, but I’m happy to do it today because they’ve done a really good profile of our top West of Scotland list candidate, Katy Gordon. She explains the influence Charles Kennedy and Jo Swinson had on her and how they inspired her campaigning spirit.

“I had always voted Liberal but sometimes you need a push to join, and I wanted to make sure Kennedy was leader,” Gordon remembers. “I did not join because I wanted to be involved in party politics but because of the Liberal ideas Charles Kennedy articulated.”

However, her abilities were soon recognised and she was asked to be a candidate in 2005 in Glasgow South West against Ian Davidson.

While her chances of winning were minimal, she discovered through campaigning with Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire that she loved hearing about what people were thinking, what their concerns were and what they needed.

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Katy Gordon challenges SNP minister on housing and homelessness failures

Scotland 2016 held its final election debate, on housing, earlier this week. West of Scotland lead candidate Katy Gordon represented the Liberal Democrats. She put forward the Lib Dems’ plan, which takes in mental health, addiction and prison services as well and confronted SNP Housing Minister Alex Neil on his government’s failure to keep its promises and deal with a very real housing crisis in Scotland. As always, Katy was full of practical detail and put in a very thoughtful and engaging performance. You can watch her here.

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You can see the whole …

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Nick Clegg tells the inside story of how the Conservatives put party before country

A couple of polls have suggested that Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservative Party might just edge ahead of Labour to become the official opposition in the Scottish Parliament. That is a truly horrible thought. Just imagine it, the timid, illiberal, centralising SNP opposed by David Cameron’s representative in Scotland. Their leaflets don’t push the fact that they are Conservatives. They are trying to make their campaign all about Ruth, as if she is somehow the saviour of the union. That, of course, is an argument that does not stack up, as this video from the Scottish Liberal Democrats shows.

It was the Scottish Conservatives who pretty much kept the SNP in power during their first term of minority government.

Do we really want them, with their contempt for benefit claimants, nonchalance about inequality and poverty and disregard for human rights and civil liberties, as the official opposition to an SNP government that is already so fiscally conservative and illiberal?

Their claim to be the only ones who care about the union has been shown up to be a pile of hogwash by Nick Clegg. In an article originally published in the Times and now on the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ website, he said:

As the Holyrood elections get closer and closer, I have become increasingly bemused that Ruth Davidson and others have sought to claim that the Conservatives are somehow the authentic opposition to the SNP.

It jars starkly with my experience when governing alongside the Conservatives in Coalition in Whitehall for five years.

In that time, I witnessed an odd ambivalence in the Conservative Party towards Scotland: indifference one minute; confrontation the next.

My party frequently disagreed with the Conservatives on Scottish issues, which was perhaps unsurprising since the only Scots around the Coalition Cabinet table were Liberal Democrats.

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Rennie: Sturgeon must shred China deal after human rights warning

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today said that the SNP risks dragging Scotland’s reputation through the mud following reports that a Chinese firm at the heart of a controversial £10bn deal with the Scottish Government is tied to human rights abuses.

It was reported in today’s Herald that Amnesty International named China Railway Group Ltd (CRG) and subsidiaries it controls in a report exposing human rights abuses related to the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It had previously emerged that CRG had been blacklisted for investment by Norway’s oil fund over fears that the construction giant was involved in gross corruption.

Willie said:

The last thing that the First Minister did before the election started was sign a £10bn deal with a business directly tied to allegations of corruption.

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LDV Top Tip: If you’re going to accuse your opponent of negative campaigning, don’t call him names

Edinburgh Western’s SNP candidate Toni Giugliano has been telling anyone who’ll listen that his Liberal Democrat rival Alex Cole-Hamilton has been fighting a negative campaign. He certainly went to town on that particular theme when interviewed by a Herald journalist who was writing a profile on the seat.

The first words in the article are Giugliano’s:

“HE’S spineless,” says the SNP’s Toni Giugliano of his Liberal Democrat nemesis Alex Cole-Hamilton. “He’ll do and say anything to get elected.”

The problem is that in Scotland these days, any criticism of the SNP is seen by them as negative campaigning. Holding the Government and elected representatives to account is a vital part of any healthy democracy and the SNP’s record in West Edinburgh has given cause for concern. The current MP, who narrowly defeated our Mike Crockart last year, resigned the SNP whip pending an investigation over property deals. She took 9 months to open an office in the constituency.

The main features of Alex’s campaign have been first and foremost to promote him as the candidate, to outline Lib Dem policies like the penny on income tax to invest in education, improving mental health care, meeting our climate change targets (important as two of the roads in the constituency are the most polluted in Scotland) and putting local accountability back into policing. Thirdly, it’s to emphasise what people know only too clearly from last year – that the constituency race is between Alex and the SNP. Fourthly, it’s to hold the SNP to account on its record locally and nationally.

You can tell that he’s getting somewhere when the Press and Journal highlighted Alex as one of the candidates to watch across Scotland.

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Farron makes pitch to centre left voters – support Lib Dems for good local councillors and effective opposition to Tories

Farron in Edinburgh Western 28 April

At about 8:45, Tim Farron made a flying visit to Alex Cole-Hamilton’s campaign HQ in Edinburgh Western. He did notice that the SNP office next door was  already in darkness.

The visit had an additional bonus for us as the campaigns staff from Scottish HQ pitched up yesterday afternoon and pronounced the place not tidy enough to receive the leader and proceeded to tidy it up for us. No doubt we won’t be able to find anything this morning.

Tim was highly impressed with what he’d seen, which is definitely a compliment given the amount of campaigning that goes on on his patch.

He also told us of his visit to Cardiff Central and candidate Eluned Parrott where he visited a refugee centre and played football with some of the refugees.  We know how strongly he feels that we should be doing more to help refugees from conflict and particularly those children already in Europe. He told us how he’d just been speaking to one of the “Windermere Boys”, a group of young men who were welcomed to the Lake District after being rescued from the death camps at the end of World War 2. They had gone on to build successful lives for themselves, serving the community in many ways, too. Helping people in these desperate circumstances is, Tim said, the least we can do.

This morning, he is visiting a nursery in Cowdenbeath with Willie Rennie, with the challenge from us that he has to at least match Willie Rennie being interviewed on a slide at our manifesto launch.

First, though, he was up early to be on both Radio 5 live and the Today programme to talk about the Lib Dem local election campaign. He made a very clear pitch to centre left voters, asking them to lend their vote to the Liberal Democrats. For that, they’ll get a brilliant local councillor to represent them locally and the appalling Tory government would be held to account He emphasised how the Liberal Democrats had shown more gains in votes and seats in local council by-elections since last May than anyone else. 

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael BG 6th May - 2:25am
    The topics suggested by Eddie Sammon are very poor topics for discussion. We should rather be considering is have we improved on our 2015 vote...
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 6th May - 2:25am
    A couple of other reasons Stuart: 1) the refugee children Europe are already here. Even if their need is less than of some of those...
  • User AvatarRob 6th May - 2:24am
    And across the river in Grimsby have gained East Marsh and Park wards. East Marsh result Lib Dem 901 Lab 507 Con 81 ( We...
  • User AvatarPaul Holmes 6th May - 1:34am
    1. No 2. No 3. Yes
  • User AvatarJR 6th May - 12:56am
    Very easy hold in Orkney. Probably bodes well for the Shetlands seat.
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 6th May - 12:41am
    Time for serious talks as soon as these results come in. My suggested topics for discussion: 1. Is a new leader required in Wales? 2....
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