28 January 2007

The Sunday Mish-Mash

A few notables here: Margaret Mitchell looks on course to be re-elected in Central Scotland, barring a major disaster for the Tories. The same goes for Bill Aitken in Glasgow, but there's a wider concern here: only four out of a possible ten candidates have gone forward for ranking. What happened to the other six? I mean, I know that they were largely paper candidates anyway (even Aitken's presence on the Constituency Vote would probably be to make up the numbers), and that even a #2 Candidate is only needed in the event that Bill Aitken drops, but come on! It's hardly inspiring to the electorate of anywhere when the UK's main opposition party, and third largest party in Holyrood, not to mention possible kingmakers, can muster only four Regional candidates!

Anyway, Mary Scanlon looks set for a return to Holyrood following her unsuccessful gamble in Moray while Jamie McGrigor should be on his way back. Dave Petrie, though, is doomed: he musters a paltry 5th place on the List and has to fight the Western Isles, a Lab-SNP marginal. David McLetchie looks fairly strong in first place (and he has his Constituency anyway) and Gavin Brown's second place should see him enter Holyrood - this could make the battle in Edinburgh South in 2011 a lot more interesting... or perhaps even in the next Westminster Election if Brown decides to follow David Mundell, so far the only Conservative to successfully transfer from Holyrood to Westminster via a Scottish Constituency.

Murdo Fraser looks likely to come back, and Liz Smith might well be another new face, replacing Brian Monteith who was forced out of the Party. Ted Brocklebank takes third, so if the status quo holds up, he'll be fine. 'Leadership Challenger' Peter Lyburn (!) comes fifth, so he'll sink without trace after the Election. The three Tory MSPs in the North East take the Top 3 places there, so it's no change.

The South is an interesting list: firstly, Murray Tosh returns to the region after a four-year flirtation with the West, but he only takes 4th spot, behind John Lamont. Under normal circumstances, he would have a fair shout at winning Dumfries, but the Tories haven't been doing enough to look like winning key marginals. Alex Fergusson hasn't gone forward for ranking, with is risky considering his 99-vote majority, and John Scott should return to Holyrood as MSP for Ayr anyway, so I'd hazard that Derek Brownlee (2nd) will definitely return after replacing David Mundell in 2005. Lamont's entry is contingent on the Tories winning no more than two constituencies, while Tosh needs Alex Fergusson to lose. In the West, Annabel Goldie takes #1 spot, followed by famous racist comedian Jackson Carlaw, who isn't her biggest fan.

Meanwhile, speaking of Murray Tosh, any hopes he may have of being Presiding Officer could be dealt a blow: Robin Harper is being tipped to win the position by Scotland on Sunday, who the suggest that the outcome of the Election will be so tight that none of the larger parties will want to lose a Member to a politically-neutral position. Also, with current Deputies Trish Godman and Murray Tosh facing uncertainty in their re-election bids, George Reid stepping down, and a general lack of other notable names, Harper seems like a good bet.

Finally, the good people at Scottish Political News have discovered this neat little tool. I'm sticking it straight into News and Resources.


Bob said...

Let's hope Robin Harper isn't presiding officer. He's not much good at thinking on his feet. Judge by his vaguery and his umming and erring when he's attempting to ask a first minister's question.

Jimmy G said...

Exactly what I was going to say. As one of the many(aye) saddos who listen to FMQs on the Podcast, I can say that his interventions are err interventionish and err surely surely must err be listened to to err...