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Guest Ian Chesterton

The Wildcard In A General Election

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Guest anorthosite

If Gordon Brown calls an election he is taking a much bigger risk than most people realise. He has foolishly neglected and isolated a major voting demographic in this country who have traditionally been one of the cornerstones of Labour's support. He has blatantly ignored their democratic voice, and by inviting Margaret Thatcher to No.10, he has insulted every political memory they have.

I'm talking about the Scots.

Remember them? The ones who recently rejected the Labour party (albeit by a narrow margin) in favour of the SNP? Gordon doesn't seem to. There are 59 Scottish constituencies, Labour hold 39 of them, and Labour's current majority in Westminster is 64. They may hold the key to victory for GB, but he seems to be doing everything in his power to isolate them.

When Alex Salmond was elected First Minister back in May, neither GB not Tony Blair called to congratulate him, even though leaders from around the world had, including the Queen and Ian Paisley. "He never writes, he never calls..." was Salmond's famous response at his first question time when asked if Blair or Brown had been in touch since his election victory. It was seen as a real slap in the face to the Scots - Gordon Brown wouldn't even discuss it with journalists during interviews. It was clear to many that Labour considered Scotland their private territory, and to lose their first election there in 50 years made them mad. His arrogance annoyed many in Scotland and today the line "he never writes, he never calls", still makes Scots laugh at Gordon Brown's stupidity.

Worse still for GB, the SNP have done rather well in power. Their approval rating has gone up since they won the election, they have, so far, proven themselves to be a credible political force. Scots have a real alternative to vote for now - one that is starting to develop a track record for achievement.

Then there was his dinner date with Margaret Thatcher. One of the most hated figures in Scotland's history, Gordon Brown threw away god only knows how many hundred thousand votes by inviting her in to tea. Expect to see pictures of them together all over the SNP's campaign literature, to many this will be a truly unforgiveable betrayal.

Yet Labour still seem to think Scotland is theirs. They write the Scottish elections off to protest votes or a one off and just assume that come a general election, the Scots will fall back in line. I don't believe they will. If an election is called, I believe Labour will suffer badly in Scotland thanks to a mojor swing to the SNP.

Many of the English who don't like Gordon Brown probably think there's no point voting, as many of the opinion polls don't show this resurgence for the SNP. But English opinion polls don't take the SNP into account, and UK wide polls may not take into account that the SNP are only standing in Scotland, and that their votes aren't diluted across the whole country.

Gordon Brown's arrogance could cost him the Labour majority.

Can anyone who knows more than me comment on Wales and their parliament?

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Good assessment of the situation IMHO.

Heard that diddy David Cairns on Good Morning Scotland this am, the Labour Party are still in denial about losing Holyrood (he kept repeating 'but we are STILL in government in Scotland' i.e. they hold the most seats at Westminster). Until they come to terms with this, the voters will keep on kicking them.

Installing Wendy 'the Mooth' Alexander was another bad move. I think she is the only person less well liked than Jack 'Joke' McConnell. I notice John 'Knuckles' Reid is standing down in his constituency. Should it all go Pete Tong come the Westminster election, I'd expect to see McConnell mysteriously resign his Holyrood seat, Reid parachuted into his constituency, a quick and painless leadership coup and Reid installed as Leader of Scottish Labour (in a kind of 'Stop the Nats at any cost' move).

I'm no Nat but Salmond is doing OK, he's an intelligent guy and I don't feel embarrassed to see him on TV like I did with McConnell. Despite all the doomsday prophecies issued by the Scottish press, the world didn't end when Labour lost the election in May and most folk are pretty positive about the work of the SNP so far (it might help that the fitba team are doing no bad, either).

So yes, Broon should be very worried about the UK parliamentary elections. I don't think he is though. I'd LMAO if Labour lose even 15-20 seats - that'd put the wind up 'em.

(no idea about Wales though....!)

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Nu Lab stand to lose 30-40 seats in scotland

all those southern marginals they held onto will be gone at the drop of a hat if HPC gets into gear officially

The northern rock debacle,and public sector pay disputes will feck up most of the north

Gord only has a war ticket to retain his mandate......hang on in there!!!!!

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Nu Lab stand to lose 30-40 seats in scotland

If only. Sadly because the Westminster elections don't use PR, we're unlikely to see the same sort of result as we saw at the Scottish Parliamentary elections earlier this year. I can't Labour doing very well, but SNP don't have a hope of getting very far in the Central Belt of Scotland.

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