03 July 2008

LibDem runners and riders

Well, my earlier hunch that Mike Rumbles was not overly enthusiastic has been somewhat overtaken by events as he was the first one out of the blocks. Perhaps he's more like a Kenneth Clarke figure - wants to be Leader, might be a very good Leader, but we'll never know.

Tavish Scott is weighing up his options and they are likely to be favourable. He will stand. He will win.

Ross Finnie is also thinking about it. It's 50:50 whether or not he'll stand. If he does, he'll come second and could even force Scott to rely on transfers from Mike Rumbles.

Jeremy Purvis is toying with the idea. Assuming he can muster any meaningful support (and I'm not convinced he can) he would be unwise to. His campaign, if it ever starts, will end early, and end ugly. More specifically, it will end in the Murdoch press.

Margaret Smith has ruled herself out, and some names are suggesting Iain Smith. I hope so. I would very much like to see him stand - even if on this occasion, he'll have to face the juggernaut that will be the Tavish Scott campaign.


Scott said...

I'm on holiday (and sick) but am breaking my vow if internet abstinence because I knew you'd have something on the contest.

I'm a former Lib Dem member - who left because I joined a civil service job because I felt the two clashed. I no longer work for the civil service but had some work around the Parliament and within the Executive, as well as my full time job. Within one of my roles I had occasion to witness Rumbles up close. I was not impressed. The man has not so hidden shallows. Finnie, though, is someone that - behind the brusque manner - is someone I rate. He was well respected by his teams - and is the only minister in memory to have written a letter of thanks not just to his personal staff, but also to various discrete teams within VQ, on leaving office.

Scott, though, is for me a wholly different calibre to the others. I wanted him to stand last time - I hope he stands this time. FMQT could get interesting - because he's much more forensic than the other opposition leaders, with an eye for telling minutiae. And from my own experience with policy work it's when you start picking at the minutiae that the bigger strands start to unravel. It may not be headline grabbing, but it will keep the FM on his toes.


PS ANyway when are you blogging about the real big news of the day? My home town team finally getting to the SFL. As a resident of greater Falkirk suddenly trips to games will become a couple of train stops away to enjoy the delights of Stenhousemuir.

And PPS - I see that Iain Dale has corrected the bizarre omission of your blog from the Scottish political blog directory. I now hope that you get appropriate recognition in this year's Political BLogs list.

Will said...

Scott, let's hope that Annan last longer than their near-neighbours!

Though it'll be interesting to see the two contests running concurrently. Something like the US Primary season only, well, a bit crappy by comparison, but still!

Anyway, it's clear that Tavish Scott is the obvious victor, though it might be worth remembering how well that's played out for Gordon Brown and Wendy Alexander, who were so obvious that they were returned unopposed with disastrous results. And obvious winner status didn't do much for David Davis - though I don't see a David Cameron among the LibDem MSPs.


PS I have kept out of the whole Iain Dale thing as I thought it would be bad form to huff at my non-inclusion. Though to be honest, I was relatively sanguine over it: Mr. Dale has referred to me in his lists, but my inclusion in the Top 20 SNP Blogs last year (as compiled by Grant) didn't stop me getting in the "non-aligned" list and being categorised as "non-aligned" in the lists compiled by Mr. Dale and his closer associates. This leaves me with the feeling that if Iain Dale has read this blog, he's not read it in any detail or all that recently. That's not a criticism but it does make me feel a little guilty to be get an acknowledgement from someone who hasn't actually assessed whether or not I deserve it. So I didn't lose much sleep over my absence!