18 February 2006

Back to the Selection Box

The first big news is that Jim Mather has fended off a challenge from former MSP and SNP Leadership contender Mike Russell to be the SNP's candidate in Argyll & Bute. This was something of a Clash of the Titans: Mather is one of the SNP's most credible spokespeople, while Russell is one of the Party's leading intellectual lights. Russell will still be seeking a List candidacy, though, so it's still possible for him to make a comeback.

Meanwhile, Donald Anderson, the Leader of Edinburgh Council, has announced that he won't be seeking re-election to the Council as he's seeking a place at Holyrood, as Labour's candidate in Edinburgh South. Of all the bridges to burn, this is something: in spite of everything that's happened to them the LibDems aren't doing badly for themselves right now, particularly against Labour, so I can't see Mike Pringle being unseated, especially by the Leader of a council that has found itself almost permanently in the doldrums since 2003. I mean, honestly, does the man who tried and failed to convince Edinburgh residents to back Road Tolls and Stock Transfers, and who saw his party lose its majority on the Council, really think that he has what it takes to win back a seat that Labour lost four years ago? The answer would appear to be Yes, so Anderson is now on my list for MacNumpty's Eejit of the Year Award.

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