:: Monday, January 05, 2004 ::

Fishing for Votes

One of the interesting aspects of devolution has been the potential for small parties to take up space abandoned by the big parties. This has obviously been successful in the case of the SSP and the Greens not to mention the Scottish Senior Citizens Unity Party. But there have been other attempts to do the same. The Tories have faced two attempts to replace them in the shape of the Scottish Business Party, which sank without trace, and the Scottish People's Alliance. The SPA showed potential with a couple of ex Tory MSP's signing up for them and a wealthy backer putting £50, 000 into their Scottish election campaign. It didn't do them much good though, they put in a derisory showing at the ballot box. One of the highlights of the election campaign for me was persuading two (rather posh) girls giving out SPA leaflets to bin them, having outlined some of the parties policies.

The SNP also faced a threat from the Fishing Party at the Scottish elections, but they failed to make the breakthrough getting only 2.28% of the vote in the North-East Scotland region.

The Fishing Party basically saw the tension between the SNP's support for the EU and the tough EU fishing quotas.

Now another party covering very similar ground has been formed, calling itself The Scottish Party. As party founder, and 30 year veteran of the SNP, Brian Nugent said in the Shetland Times "Voters in Scotland need look no further than the fishing industry in Shetland and Scotland to see how the EU looks after Scotland."

The SNP have been pretty dismissive (eg in this Sunday Herald article), and it does seem as if the founding member is, well, the only member.

So it seems unlikely that the Scottish Party will be a serious threat to the SNP, and more likely that it will end up as another fringe party.

:: Alister | 5:04 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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