Saturday, 5 May 2012

Penguin Politics

First of all, congratulations to the "Penguin" on a successful campaign. Surely the highlight of the elections. It's humiliating enough to be beaten by the Monster Raving Looney Party, but at least they are the same species (I think).

Before my own cynical analysis of the results, for those who want the full statistical analysis, may I direct you to the Burd (link at the right of the page) who has tirelessly produced the correct figures, rather than what the BBC churned out (correctly described as "shite"). And for even more detailed analysis of Glasgow, look no further than Lalland's Peat Worrier.

So, who won?

Nobody. This is not a national election but a series of thirty-two local elections. The SNP may have taken more seats, but the overall gains were pretty well matched with Labour.

The SNP vote held up, bar a few losses. But so did Labour's.

The Lib Dems, as expected, got slaughtered, to a level even below what I expected. I have some sympathy for those who lost seats, since the Westminster coalition has affected them. But to be honest, I have little time for a party who jumps into the political bed with anyone for a sniff of power.

The losses for the Lib Dems may be critical. However, the real test will come at the next parliamentary elections. Going on present form, they are going to be crucified in most areas. But that is for another day.

The Greens made some gains in Edinburgh, doubling their seats to six. A welcome replacement for the Lib Dems.

Labour held up well, and took seats from the Lib Dems and others. But they did not make any substantial gains from the SNP. However, I expect them to be rather relieved and probably pleased with the result.

Put it simply, the SNP blew it. All the spin and bullshit about how they would take the city has come to naught. True, they increased their seats by seven, but these were at the expense of other parties, not Labour. Despite all their efforts, they could not make any inroads into a party that has suffered some turmoil with deselections.

Rather than slagging off the electorate as people who will vote Labour if the candidate was a goat (as one rather well known website's commentators do), perhaps they could look at why the SNP cannot make gains. If people really want a change, then they will get out and vote.

I live in South Lanarkshire, another prime target for the SNP. Linda Fabiani did splendidly last year and blew Andy Kerr off the planet. So come the local elections, I expected a vigorous campaign, considering Big Eck himself kept telling us all that what was happening.

In East Kilbride, the SNP campaign consisted of a leaflet with Alex 'n' Nicola on it. Bog standard political material that can be posted through a door anywhere in Scotland. Meanwhile, Labour leaflets had the local candidates, and the usual splurge about local issues. This was repeated in the week before the elections.

The SNP finally got round to posting a leaflet with the local candidates. Whoopee! A quick read. Who they hell are they? No one had ever heard of them. And neither had bothered their backsides to come round a few doors and tell us why we should vote for them.

No, I think the SNP were relying on the Alex factor once again, despite his time being taken up shoving his head up Murdoch's arse ensuring that Scottish jobs are secure.

The party political broadcast was crap and patronising, even more so than the usual fare we are subject to. The SNP spin went out of control.

The SNP leadership need to be concerned. They could not take seats off Labour despite the party having a mediocre leadership. They did not make any massive gains. Had the Lib Dems not been in the coalition, they would probably have retaineed the majority of their seats.

It was circumstances out of SNP control that won them seats, not direct action.

The SNP are now dismissing the results as having any bearing on the Referendum, saying that people will not vote on political lines. But the fact of the matter is that the SNP are seen as the party of independence. These results will not give them a confidence boost.

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