A few weeks ago we rather cruelly highlighted an old post from Kezia Dugdale’s blog in which she bitterly bemoaned the practice of candidates who’d been rejected by voters in constituency seats still being able to get into Parliament via the “back door” of the regional lists.
Angrily Dugdale raged:
“Alex Salmond will try every trick in the book to get elected to the Scottish Parliament. Standing for both a constituency and a list seat this May doesn’t even register in his party’s mindset as being inappropriate.“
She also had a swing at a Lib Dem MSP:
“Mike Pringle has a majority of 158. He is I think, the third most marginal MSP in Scotland. Aware of his vulnerability, Mike has put his name forward for the Liberal Democrat Lothian List which means it’s nearly impossible to get rid of him at the next election. How unfair is that?”
So, y’know, she had this coming.
Labour had 24 MSPs elected on Thursday. Just three won constituency seats, with the other 21 coming from the regional lists. Out of that 21, a whopping 17 had been rejected by voters in their respective constituencies, but were forced on Parliament anyway against the electorate’s wishes.
Readers, meet the people you pay for but can’t sack.
Ken Macintosh – rejected in Eastwood by 1,851 votes (3rd place). Still an MSP.
Alex Rowley – rejected in Cowdenbeath by 3,041 votes. Still an MSP.
Rhoda Grant – rejected in the Western Isles by 3,496 votes (26.5%). Still an MSP.
James Kelly – rejected in Rutherglen by 3,743 votes. Still an MSP.
Elaine Smith – rejected in Coatbridge by 3,779 votes. Still an MSP.
Lewis Macdonald – rejected in Aberdeen by 4,349 votes. Still an MSP.
Kezia Dugdale – rejected in Edinburgh by 5,087 votes. Still an MSP. (Irony.)
Neil Bibby – rejected in Paisley by 5,199 votes. Still an MSP.
Richard Leonard – rejected in Airdrie by 6,192 votes. Still an MSP.
Johann Lamont – rejected in Pollok by 6,482 votes. Still an MSP.
Claire Baker – rejected in Kirkcaldy by 7,395 votes. Still an MSP.
Mary Fee – rejected in Renfrewshire by 7,474 votes (3rd place). Still an MSP.
Claudia Beamish – rejected in Clydesdale by 7,826 votes (3rd place). Still an MSP.
Neil Findlay – rejected in Almond Valley by 8,393 votes. Still an MSP.
Jenny Marra – rejected in Dundee West by 8,828 votes. Still an MSP.
Mark Griffin – rejected in Cumbernauld by 9,478 votes. Still an MSP.
But our Champion Of Losers tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is:
David Stewart – rejected in Inverness by 11,786 votes (3rd place). Still an MSP.
That’s a combined losing margin of 104,399 votes. Now, readers, as it happens we don’t actually have anything against Holyrood dual candidates (although perhaps when a whopping 71% of your MSPs are people the electorate has very expressly told you it doesn’t want, that might not be the smartest strategy).
But then again, it wasn’t us who wrote the blog post about what a dreadful unfair con it was. So, Kezia, to coin a phrase: how do we actually get rid of them?