Saturday, 13 December 2014

New brooms

To absolutely no-one's surprise Jim Murphy has been elected as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, together with Kezia Dugdale as his deputy.  The full result for the leadership contest were
Jim Murphy 55.77%

Neil Findlay 34.99%
Sarah Boyack 9.24%

Mr Murphy was first choice for the Parliamentary labour party and the membership, while Neil Findlay was the first choice of the unions, as expected.  Perhaps not quite the ringing endorsement Mr Murphy was hoping for, but he was nevertheless considerably ahead of his nearest rival.

Is this the best choice for Labour in Scotland?  That remains to be seen.  At the moment his election would tend to give credence to Johann Lamont's parting shot of their party being seen as a branch office by London.  He is making all the right noises about putting Scotland first, but whether that will be permitted is a different question.  It looks like his first priority will be to try and win back the Labour Yes voters in order to prevent a rout at next May's elections.  I wonder what he will pull of of his bag of tricks to achieve that?

As for Kezia Dugdale, I'm told she's seen as the best and brightest new talent in the party.  I can't say I've seen much evidence of it so far, but perhaps her elevation, which will see her facing Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister's Questions will show us why.  Mind you, she does admit to being nervous of this.  Ms Sturgeon is a formidable politician, so it will be interesting to see what Ms Dugsdale's A-game looks like.  In the meantime Ms Dugdale's regular column in the Daily Record doesn't lead me to believe she is any sort of original thinker.

So, the lines are drawn for the general election in May.  Let battle commence.

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