22 August 2010

Selection Box: West Scotland

The final region, West Scotland, has one major eye-opener: the emerging contest in Renfrewshire North & West. Sitting MSP, Trish Godman, is standing down here, and her replacement is Stuart Clark. Up against him are Derek MacKay, the Leader of Renfrewshire Council, and Tory Leader Annabel Goldie. Now, this throws up a few interesting questions. Firstly, how well will Cllr MacKay's candidacy be received? His position will make him a well-kent face, but is this good or bad? Renfrewshire Council have, like many others, had to take some tough decisions even before the recession, so there's the possibility that he could well end up as a Peter Grant-type figure. Or his profile could carry him to top spot.

But breathing down his neck is the Tory leader, Annabel Goldie, the only sitting MSP to be standing in the seat (unless Ross Finnie decamps), and let's not forget, reasonably high-profile as the Leader of her Party. QIB would potentially turn this seat into a clear three-way marginal (it's possible that just 6% could end up separating first and third). Who will prevail? This one is worth watching next May...

Meanwhile, Jackson Carlaw is the Tory candidate tasked with 'defending' the re-drawn Eastwood, but thanks to Cunninghame South entering the region, there are still two notional Tory Regional seats, so even if Carlaw gets ranked second on the List, the big question is, who'll get third? An early figure to watch is Maurice Golden of the Glenrothes By-Election, who has been selected for Cunninghame North, but it's early days yet.

Of course, all of these, in this and the previous five posts, are just the tip of the iceberg and there are many more selections now in place. But even so, there are all sorts of twists and turns that could take place between now and next April, when the candidacies will be formalised. Anything could happen.


Allan said...

Cllr MacKay will tank in the West Renfrewshire election. His administration have amazingly conspired to be as bad, innefective and downright bonkers as the previous Labour administration. A case in point is the decision to enlarge the minimum distance for free travel to schools, from 2 miles to 3 miles. Several mothers were queing up to torpedo "More Nats, Less Cuts" over this issue at the pre-General Election meetings I attended.

No-one in Renfrewshire will ever forget the poor handling of the cuts, the vindictiveness of some of the cuts (South School anyone?), and the frankly bonkers "Imagine" scheme of doing up vacant shops to make them more "attractive".

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