07 May 2007

The state of Independents

May 3 was a bad night for Independents everywhere: Margo MacDonald survives as Lothian MSP, and now has unprecedented leverage, but the others fall. Dennis Canavan was retiring anyway, but the others had trouble.

Jean Turner sank to third place in Strathkelvin and Bearsden. Labour were always going to fight hard to win this back, and it looks as though she, like many others,was a victim of the polarised contest between Labour and the SNP. It seems like many of her suporters appears to switch to the SNP this time - had they been disenchanted SNP supporters in 2003, I wonder? And what will happen to her 6,742 supporters? Where wil they go?

Campbell Martin took a respectable 4,423 votes in Cunninghame North, but the SNP only won the seat by 48 votes. Considering his attack on Allan Wilson as a New Labour MSP who needed to be unseated, Martin's candidacy almost prevented that from happening. Had he done so, especially with the national result, the consequences would have been disastrous: the result would never have been forgiven or forgotten, and Martin would have been viewed as a traitor. He can feel some relief now.

John Swinburne's SSCUP also took a beating, but they polled respectably across Scotland. It remains to be seen what happens to them now.

Finally, a word about fellow blogger Julie McAnulty . She kept her deposit, and polled 7% despite the presence of NHSFirst in her constituency (she gubbed them, by the way), and came in ahead of the LibDem candidate. A good effort, and the best of luck to her.

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