Like the title says, 9 days to go, and I have realised that I haven’t given some sort of overview on how the elections here in Scotland are panning out.
So far all the opinion polls place the Scottish National Party at about 5% points ahead of New Labour. There are several reasons for this; the SNP campaign is a steady campaign which so far has not hit any real controversies. This will change as newspaper editors begin to scrutinise the SNP manifesto a lot more closely. Indeed the Sunday Herald at the weekend ran with the news that the SNP had ‘dropped’ plans to regulate bus franchises from their manifesto; this coincides with the donation from Stagecoach owner Brian Souter (Bearing in mind the chaos that is Paisleys public transport system, regulation might be a good idea).
The other reason is that the New Labour campaign has been utterly atrocious. From ministers appearing on television and appearing not to know their own party policy, to political heavyweights venturing north to lecture the natives on the evils of independence (And they still haven’t told us where they get this magical “A vote for the SNP will cost every household £5000”), the New Labour campaign has been a nightmare. Yesterday they wheeled out “Football Legends” to persuade us to back the union and vote Labour. Yea, right, like thousands of us voted Conservitive in 1992 because Paul Daniels, Phil Colins and Frank Bruno were Tories, that made us all vote Conservitive… er no, that’s not going to make us forget the declining economy, the feral children running amok in our streets or the useless police.
As for the other parties, the Lib-Dems have improved from their bad start, where their leader failed to realise that it is wise to check that the microphone is switched on (or the faux-pas over Penilee playing fields), the Conservatives have been painting themselves as the true defenders of the Union, then in the next breath promising more powers for the Scottish Parliament. The rest, hmmm. The Greens have been talking about responsibility, while the Scottish Socialists and Solidarity have been squabbling amongst themselves. Actually, to be fair, the SSP have been doing all the goading on this one. Ah, if only they weren’t so pious.
Still, there are 9 days to go, and lots of votes still to be won if I am anything to go by. See you next time.