Thursday 10 June 2004

UKIP in Scotland

It looks likely that the UKIP will do well in today's EU election. But in Scotland? I've seen no sign of any active canvassing by UKIP nor any poster displays, but there's none from Labour, the SNP or the LibDems either. I did spot two Tory posters yesterday and there are lots around town from the Green Party and the Scottish Socialists.

I think it's probable that UKIP won't do as well here as in England. Not because we're more in favour of the EU - opinion polls show Scots to be more eurosceptic than folk down south.

Labour is in trouble with its core vote because of the Iraq war. The LibDems are in coalition with Labour here and therefore seen to be less distinct than in England. The Nationalists are going trough a bad patch with a considerable amount of infighting. And the Tories - well they seem to be doing quite well and there was even speculation in the press recently that they may come top in Scotland! Their supporters may well decide that such an unusual opportunity is not to be missed and I therefore expect there to be less of a switch to the UKIP than elsewhere. But we shall find out on Monday.


David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Neil (
And one where a small swing (2% in the above example, 10% to any of 3 parties in Westminster) can produce an overwhelming victory & consequent "mandate" for any of several parties. 
Your point about the word "separatist" is fair however I feel it works even more for the word "nationalist". I consider that the Scottish nation is best served by continuation of the union - that makes me a Scottish nationalist but not a "Scottish Nationalist".

18 June 2004, 00:20:50 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
Discredited First-Past-the-Post Electoral System: 
Result: Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber 
Euro 04 
1. SNP 20% 
2. Lab 19% 
3. LD 18% 
4. Con 18% 
5. SGP 8% 
6. UKIP 8% 
7. SSP 4% 
8. Christian 3% 
9. BNP 1% 
10. Anti Wind Turbines 1% 
11. Ind 1% 
How on earth can we continue with a system that would elect an MP with only 20.06% of the vote?

15 June 2004, 09:23:08 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
I forgot to say "thank you" for being a jolly good chap on the acknowledging prediction front.

15 June 2004, 08:09:47 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
Sir Russell Johnson (Lib) held on to Inverness, Nairn & Lochaber with just 26% of the vote for years. And that was only a four-party constituency. Interestingly, that constituency is almost back to that 25/25/25/25 dilemma, if you look at Thursday's constituency result. 
In the first-past-the-post environment Labour are still going to walk all over Scotland at the next Westminster election. 
Isn't it ironic that the more the Lab/LD coalition mismanage Holyrood, the more votes the SNP loses. Jack McConnell should start dressing like Screaming Lord Sutch, advocate the abolition of the Scotland team and build a nuclear reprocessing plant in George Square. The SNP vote should plummet! 
There is nothing "separatist" about being Scottish. Do you call the Swedes "separatist" simply because they prefer to govern themselves, rather than handing the responsibility to their neighbour Denmark? Of course not. In Sweden it is called self-respect, self-confidence, and international participation. ie: independence.

15 June 2004, 08:04:57 GMT+01:00
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Neil (
I don't think they have to go to tartan. Separation & having a go at the English really isn't what it used to be now that we are seeing Scotland can be misgoverned from Edinburgh as well as London. I think that is the basic reason why the SNP are falling. 
However they do have to have Scottish representatives & they have to do something between elections. Elections arn't just won in the month before polling. What they need is a few people regularly available to provide quotes & letters for the papers & photogenic enough to occassionaly appear on Newsnight. 
Stuart you were right & I was wrong - Labour's 26%, while poor, was not the disaster I was looking for.

15 June 2004, 01:37:09 GMT+01:00
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David (
Yeah but still, a 5 fold increase is still pretty impressive (in a minor sort of way), and at least they did better than the loony lefties of the SSP. 
I agree that the UK tag may be a disincentive in Ecosse, like the Tories UKIP will have to try and become more Scottish if they want to increase their share of the vote, fielding a Scottish candidate wouldn't be a bad start.

14 June 2004, 19:33:47 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Stuart Dickson (
Awareness: yes. Popularity: no. 
The UKIP marketing/PR men will have to do a little better in turning awareness into purchase. 
Share of vote for UKIP: 
England: 17.25 
(2,475,263 votes) 
Wales: 10.53% 
(96,677 votes) 
Scotland: 6.68% 
(78,828 votes) 
Also note that the UKIP did much, much better in the anglified areas of Wales and Scotland, eg Monmouth or Argyll. 
Not many UKIP votes in Swansea or Airdrie! 
Perhaps the problem is that awkward little acronym: "UK". It has not proved to be a popular brand among Scots. 
I hate to say I told you so, but the Labour Party got 26.4% in a seven-party election and nearly walked away with 3 MEPs. The Tory John Purves only scraped the 7th seat by 842 votes (12 votes per constituency). Now that is what I call a Marginal.

14 June 2004, 17:54:40 GMT+01:00
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Roland Watson (
I voted UKIP and was pleased to see their share of the Scottish vote go from about 1.3% to 6.7% a 5-fold increase. 
This compares to the average 2.5 fold increase - so awareness is beginning to take a hold up here too.

14 June 2004, 17:20:20 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
In a seven-party election a Labour performance of 26% would be not bad at all. 
Only if they get less than 25% on Monday will I be happy that at last Scots are beginning to have had their fill of them. (I don't think they will be able to blame low turnout either.) 
Provisoes on the Welsh Results: 
-In Wales the Greens and "Forward Wales" (their equivalent of SSP) are far less important. Any benefits to SNP and LD in Scotland from Labour voters switching would be far more diluted. 
-The LibDems are in opposition in Wales, so will not get the blame for coalition balls-ups.

11 June 2004, 07:58:32 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
Welsh Straws in the Wind? 
Only two councils (from thirty-two) have fully declared so far in Wales, but Plaid Cymru and the Lib dems have had a good night and Labour a bad one. Tories indifferent. 
In total Plaid Cymru have gained 9 wards and lost none. 
Labour lost Control of Swansea, losing 13 wards: 8 to LD, 2 to PC. 
Labour have lost 10 seats in Cardiff, and with 5 re-counts today are likely to lose Control of Cardiff Council. 
in Ceredigion the IND/LibDem coalition have lost Control. PC is now the largest group. 
The Leader of the Cardiff Labour Group blames the Welsh First Minister's D-Day gaffe. 
Still lots of results to come, but its looking positive for Jim Wallace and John Swinney.

11 June 2004, 07:14:20 GMT+01:00
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David Farrer said...

Neil (
I think Labour are in for a pounding, altho since 26% would normally count as a pounding, this is not a difficult prophecy. 
Using only Maryhill as a non-scientific basis I think they have permanently lost their stranglehold on the Asian vote & their organisation is disintigrating, both because of the war. We are also going to see them get less than 50% of the Glasgow vote, perhaps much less, for the first time in recent history. 
David - you say that the lack of non Green/SSP posters shows a non-existent campaign. Even small amounts of leafleting take up more time than than lamposts posters - I would be interested in whether contributers think they are more likely to be influenced by a poster on the main street or an extra leaflet delivered to your home?

10 June 2004, 23:23:09 GMT+01:00
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Stuart Dickson (
If you can't wait until Monday, there are 4 Scottish council by-elections being held today: 
2 in Dumfries-shire: 
-Hoddom & Kinmount (safe Tory: 70.2%) 
-Moffat (safe-ish Tory: 40.0%) 
1 in the Kingdom of Fife: 
-Lumphinnans & Lochgelly South (safe Labour: 46.2%) 
1 in Highland: 
-Beauly & Strathglass (safe "Independent" territory) 
I assume that these 3 Council returning officers will count the votes tonight or tommorrow, not waiting til Sunday/Monday!? 
Obviously, being safe seats, they are of limited use in predicting national trends, but the movement up or down from previous elections may give some indication. Perhaps most useful are the Fife ward, and the "Hoddom & Kinmount" ward, because they have all the main parties competing (except the Scottish Green Party). 
Finally, never underestimate the Labour Party. It is highly unlikely that their vote will dip below 25%.

10 June 2004, 18:18:40 GMT+01:00