:: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 ::

The Outsiders Election

The Scottish Parliament has published a fascinating report into the May 1st Elections. The PDF report can be downloaded via this page.

Labour took the most seats on only 34% of the vote. And most people did not bother to vote. They see politicians as 'all the same' and turn their back on the whole thing. The report effectively highlights the almost identical policy proposals of the 4 establishment parties.

As Ian Bell put it in Holyrood magazine "This year the party wish-lists bear a family resemblance so strong they might have issued from the same pen. Mainstream politics is narrower, and duller, than it has ever been. So crowded is the centre ground, we might as well resort to congestion charging. Were it not for the dogged persistence of the Scottish Socialists, the Greens and single issue candidates, an election would hardly be necessary. The drawing of lots, with the assistance of a bingo caller, would suffice. (Holyrood Magazine, 22/4/2003, p10)"

Much has been made of the SSP and Green success on the regional list section of the vote. But check this out. The map below shows which parties gained most in the constituency section of the vote. The SSP gains are in pink. I like this map!

Map of constituency vote gains

There are some other interesting analyses in the report.

"Paradoxically, the success of the Greens and Socialists might have been helped by the lack of media coverage. Not appearing as mainstream parties or with the four main party leaders in two TV debates allowed them to be portrayed as outsiders. And this was a good election not to look or sound like a politician."

An interesting point. But I would argue that it is wrong. Whenever the SSP had a chance to put forward its programme, it soon became evident that we posed a real alternative to "mainstream parties".

:: Alister | 3:26 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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