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An early night

Posted on October 25, 2013 by

We couldn’t be bothered staying up for the Dunfermline by-election result. Roughly 60 seconds into the coverage we switched over to Family Guy on BBC3, and then – faced with the unwelcome prospect of all the same old faces spouting all the same old guff as they filled dead air with deathly waffle for a few hours – we went to bed.

Since the disgraced Bill Walker’s resignation (if you can call it that, so unwillingly was he dragged out by the ankles), it’s been obvious that Labour would win, and you don’t stay up into the wee small hours watching a TV show you already know the end of.

dunfresults

So with the benefit of a new day’s eye, let’s have a wee delve.

We’ve been saying on the record for days now that a 3000 majority for Labour was the barest minimum the party should consider acceptable. As it happened, they couldn’t quite reach even that modest target, despite throwing everything they had at the seat and enjoying a surprisingly high turnout (almost 43%), possibly in part due to an unseasonably mild and sunny day for Scotland in late October.

Let’s be clear – despite being a gain, 2875 is a desperately weak result for Labour here. Dunfermline is traditional Labour heartland, safe territory right up to 2007 when the Lib Dems surprised everyone. Cara Hilton attracted slightly fewer votes than Labour’s losing 2011 candidate, despite (or perhaps because of) the spotlight being directly on her rather than just being one among 70-odd seats.

She did that despite the Lib Dems – the 2007 winners, remember – shedding almost exactly half of their vote. As we predicted elsewhere, it seems to have largely stayed at home rather than defecting. The party’s vote share has now collapsed from 33% in 2007 to just 12%, and interestingly fell almost as much again last night as in 2011. In Scotland at least, it seems the effect of their alliance with the toxic Tories still isn’t even levelling off, let alone beginning to recover.

In Aberdeen Donside, a seat that’s far more SNP-friendly territory than Dunfermline and on a lower turnout, Labour cut the SNP’s majority by more than 5000. To achieve barely more than half that, with more people voting, in the specific circumstances of the seat (Labour played the “Bill Walker” card loudly and often), is as feeble a performance as could possibly have been predicted.

(Not a single candidate last night picked up more votes than their party got in 2011, with the Tory vote staying almost exactly static and only 1662 votes going to new fringe candidates who didn’t stand at the general election. UKIP, happily, kept up their 100% record of lost deposits in Scotland, and also got a lower vote share than they did in Donside despite theoretically more fertile territory.)

Of course, Labour types have already been shouting to anyone who’ll listen that it’s the win that matters, not the majority. But it really doesn’t. The win is as close to meaningless as could be. It has no technical effect on the SNP’s majority (since Walker was an independent when he resigned and therefore officially a member of the opposition), and no practical one either – while the SNP’s majority is (still) strictly speaking just one, it’s hard to envisage the scenario where they’re not backed up by former SNP members John Finnie, Jean Urquhart and Margo McDonald on any significant vote, giving them a margin of error even without the Greens.

We haven’t seen Cara Hilton’s acceptance speech, but apparently it was a graceless, tasteless thing entirely in keeping with her “express all possible views at once” campaigning – we’re told she accused the SNP of being both “scared to mention”, and “obsessed with”, independence. We’re sure she’ll be a vital addition to the ranks of Labour MSPs baying and jeering and banging their desks impotently in the Holyrood chamber during FMQs.

But we’re willing to bet she’ll also be as invisible and inaudible the rest of the time as Labour’s victorious candidate in the Inverclyde by-election of 2011. (Go on, tell us his name right now without Googling.) If we were the parents of a child at Pitcorthie primary school, we suspect we’d be in for a nervous next few months.

carahiltonpish

Cara Hilton pledged that if elected she’d reduce the cost of living. Let’s see how that one turns out. (Her other promises, above, were so vacuous that she doesn’t have much to live up to.) But the political reality is that absolutely nothing changed last night, except that the momentum Labour threatened in Donside appears to have rather burst a tyre and veered into a muddy ditch.

Whether that was due to a candidate who was robotic and hapless even by Scottish Labour standards, or symptomatic of a deeper malaise for the struggling party, only time will tell for sure. But if we were the SNP this morning, we’d be pretty happy about a solid bit of firefighting in what was a pretty sticky spot, and cautiously confident that we were moving in the right direction again.

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    253 to “An early night”

    1. desimond says:

      Those pledges….they should have been on the ballot paper to remind people how empty they really are.

      Cost of living, is that when you dont need to pay for school dinners as theres no school anymore…hmm

      Stop SNP bleating on ( has she got a big MUTE button on her remote control?)

      Demand improved bus services..does it say “Boo Brian Soutar boo in tiny letters on the end of that per chance? And what is exactly is “a demand”..remember when a pledge meant a promise to get things done, not “I’ll write, or get a SPAD to write, a very stern letter!”

      Another one in the long line of Labour nobodies. A new recruit to a ghost party. Another one to make spooky noises in the chamber and offer nothing else. Todays Woman joins Yesterdays Men.

      I look forward to the next voting Generation stepping forward and watching Scottish Labour slide into oblivion like the Tories did post the 70s.

    2. Stuart Black says:

      Has anyone in the media pressed her on this ‘pledge’ to reduce the cost of living?
       
      Or can you just come out with any old shite now, as long as you’re Labour? (don’t need an answer to  that one). 😉

    3. scottish_skier says:

      Yes, that about sums it up.
       
      Labour making basically no headway if not going backwards.
       
      Also, based on some comments on the previous article, people should not make the mistake of equating SNP vote share with independence. The two are not comparable; they just have the most overlap. If you link SNP directly with independence you are just blurting out what the pro-union campaign say all the time.
       
      Note that a large shift to Yes will not correspond to a large shift to the SNP as from 2011 they are at the maximum they could ever likely get. In fact, a large shift to yes is likely to correspond with a modest drop in SNP share for very obvious reasons.

    4. Brian Powell says:

      Hilton’s speech, the little I heard, was simply about the SNP and Alex Salmond, not a positive note in it.
       
      That was how it was throughout her campaign. I agree nothing more will be heard, apart from her voice, in terms of benefits to Dunfermline.
       
      My impression was she was a Councillor and she is still a Councillor. Holyrood is not gaining.
       
      Somervillie was in a different class. If she wanted to stand against the replacement for Ming Campbell in Fife at the GE, if we have one, I’d vote for her without hesitation. She is MSP, MP material.

    5. rabb says:

      Stuart,
      It would appear that Labour can come out with any old shite now and the guardians of democracy (The free press) will cover their arse.
       
      On the upside though. The people of Scotland are most definately waking up to it now 🙂
       
      Tick tock………..

    6. Taranaich says:

      But we’re willing to bet she’ll also be as invisible and inaudible the rest of the time as Labour’s victorious candidate in the Inverclyde by-election of 2011. (Go on, tell us his name right now without Googling.)
       
      I know his name, but I’m from Inverclyde, so I’d obviously know (at least I’d hope most Inverclyde residents would know) 😛

    7. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      At a 43% turnout I knew SNP couldn’t win. I went to bed as they started the count. 
      Labour (and all their unionist allies) tactics doesn’t increase their votes, merely keeps potential SNP voters away from the polls. 

    8. Jeannie says:

      @Desimond
       
      Todays Woman joins Yesterdays Men.
       
      Funny you should say that, Desimond, because at one point, as I was watching Cara Hilton being interviewed on the streets of Dunfermline during the campaign, it occurred to me that if you removed the big hair and the bright red lipstick, you’d see the bone structure of Jim Murphy lurking underneath.  Has anyone ever seen them in the same room at the same time?  
       
      I mean, if we vote for independence, Jim won’t have a job, so maybe he’s just hedging his bets and getting into the Scottish Parliament early. 🙂
       

    9. Juteman says:

      I think the result simply shows what we all know. Some folk will always vote Labour, no matter how bad the candidate. Bill Walker would probably have received the same amount of votes,  if he was the Labour candidate.

    10. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Just heard James Naughtie’s first dispatch from the battle front on R4.

      Suitably, and more subtley than BBC Jockland, his piece was full of doom and gloom and an element of the inevitability of it all.
      We cannot be sure that Ineos will accept the TU’s offer and even then how long has the plant to live?

      The “expert” commentary came from someone introduced as an economics columnist on the Scotsman, Alf Young FFS!  Alf Young, late of the Herald, labour party card carrying member, and ex employee too.

      Can the BBC change Mr Bateman, no feckin chance, just more of the same but dressed up differently. 
      You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.

    11. Oliver says:

      ” you don’t stay up into the wee small hours watching a TV show you already know the end of.”

      So I take it that you won’t be staying up to watch the results of the Scottish Independence referendum?

    12. What was sad was seeing a young woman in her 20s carp out the standard ‘i’ve always voted labour’ mantra .  others ‘my grandad was a miner’ etc etc.   It saves them from thinking. Clearly a dangerous thing to do. That’s why labour get away with printing anything on their leaflets – their constituency doesn’t bother. Even the blatant one about the bridge tolls, doesn’t register as a lie and something to be questioned.  negative campaign wins the day. #sad 

    13. John grant says:

      The really depressing thing is people could vote for someone who is clearly way out of her depth , just like the rest 

    14. mealer says:

      “LABOUR” will not appear on the referendum ballot.

    15. Atypical_Scot says:

      Tories – 2000 – in Dunfermline? Pitreavie Golf Club membership is up for grabs at a discounted rate at the moment.
       
      I can’t believe there’s only three and a bit SNP voters for one Tory.

    16. gordoz says:

      She was a very poor cooncillor and will be a worse MSP – way out of her depth.
      Thats what Labour wants – muppets at Holyrood.

    17. Marcia says:

      With all the negative publicity of  the Walkers saga going on for a few months, the 30% vote share, considering the seat is a better result than I expected. Still the SNP’s second best vote share for this and the Westminster comparable seat.

    18. john king says:

      bugger the panda says
      “You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig.”
      Thats spooky
      my very thought but not of Alf Young 😉
        

    19. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      JK
      The BBC

    20. Gillie says:

      Two mid terms by-elections after 6 years in continuous government and the SNP are still on course to win in 2016. 
       
      For Labour they will now have great difficulty in explaining to voters in Scotland how they support and oppose in different parts of the country, all the same time, popular SNP policies on a whole range of issues. 
       
      One thing for sure no party which opposes the council tax freeze and a whole range of personal benefits from free bus passes to free personal care is going to win in 2016. 
       
      Labour lost night and they know it.

    21. Ken500 says:

      FibDems voting for lying Labour

      What’s new news? Same old, same old.

      Votes for the Neo ConDemLav Party

    22. HulloHulot says:

      In the first few paragraphs of the BBC’s report on the by-election, I had the odd experience of agreeing with one point made by the Labour candidate:
      ‘Cara Hilton, the parliament’s newest MSP, said the people of Dunfermline “deserved better”.’
       
      Aye, that they do.

    23. faolie says:

      Listened to Naughtie chatting with the Prof on GMS. Thought pretty good really. If he’d been of a mind to, the Prof could have tore into the Labour result, but as it was he said it was pretty poor and agreed with AS (who’d been on just before) that the result doesn’t really change much.
       
      But it all went a bit sideways at the end, when Naughtie asked him about the effect Grangemouth would have on the referendum. I thought for a second that the Prof was a wee bit hesitant before answering that people might now think that the oil thing wasn’t as great an asset as we’re being led to believe. Eh? So the Prof’s an expert on oil revenues too now? It was a stupid question and the Prof should have side-stepped it.

    24. kendomacaroonbar says:

      I still can’t get my head around this result.
       
      What unique selling point did Labour have over the SNP candidate ?   I fully understand the old addage of ‘a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still’, but given the debate, the individuals concerned, and the current stewardship of Scotland, why would anyone want to vote for Cara Hilton ?  For the life of me I can see no redeeming qualities that would inspire me to actually go out and vote for her.

    25. john king says:

      bugger the panda says
      “JK

      The BBC”
      should that have a question mark? 
      the answer is to be found in a certain election winner
      but yes you could say that and be just as accurate

        

    26. gerry parker says:

      Poor Dunfermline, I come from a place like that. Hoist a pig’s bladder on a stick and put a red rosette on it. Victory assured.
      g.p

    27. Luigi says:

      I also thought that the newly elected MSP for Dunfermline does look very much like Jim Murphy.  Not that I would hold that against her, but the resemblence is uncanny.

    28. Craig P says:

      It keeps Johann Lamont in a job (as Lindsay Roy (remember him??) did Gordon Brown) and the new MSP is better than the old one. So comfort to be gained there.
       
      The only down side is Shirley-Anne Somerville is clearly more capable, but people vote for all sorts of reasons and the quality of the candidate is usually pretty far down the list. 
       
      PS I also know the name of the Inverclyde MP 😉

    29. Bunter says:

       It’s the compliant media wot dunnit. It’s not normal in a democracy for a party such as Labour to get away with the blatant lying and misinformation we have just witnessed. When you have a media which controls the message and are unwilling to hold those who indulge in such tactics to account, then this is the result. 

    30. balgayboy says:

      Rev Stu’s quite precise prediction comment @LPW yesterday.
      Oh, Labour and SNP in 1st and 2nd, I don’t think there can be any sensible doubt about that. The Lib Dem vote might be sturdy but their candidate is a complete numpty, I suspect they’ll stay home rather than defect. As I say, it’s about the majority for me. Below 3K is really solid mid-term firefighting from the SNP in a challenging spot, 3-5K is the range I’m expecting, and 5K+ is a real fillip for Labour.

    31. chalks says:

      Let’s be honest though, did the SNP really inspire voters to come out and vote for them?  Saying that they oppose school closures, which in reality they have no control over, as it’s a council decision isn’t enough.  People aren’t daft, believe it or not, floating voters know both sides are full of rubbish on the schools issue. 

      Commenting on their record in government is good, but surely if Hilton is voiceless in Labour, the same applies to Somerville? 

      It’s not really a point, as it’s just the way parliament is, if your not in the cabinet etc then you are just another spoke on the wheel.

      I’m an SNP member etc, but maybe the leaflets SHOULD have been about Grangemouth and how having more powers can help the people of Dunfermline and Scotland.  They may as well try it as Donside and now this, they defended their record in government and had a big loss in Donside, partly due to a roundabout issue (literally) still won, yet they missed a trick about full powers bringing them the levarage to be able to improve infrastructure.

      It’s a small point, but I’m sick of the gloves being on, I wish they would take them off and start shouting from the rooftops about what independence can mean for real issues like school closures and infrastructure, it’s where the votes will be won. 

      They were never going to win here, I just think they’ve missed a chance to experiment a little bit. 

    32. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      JK
      Aunty as the BBC is called

    33. Luigi says:

      She was a very poor cooncillor and will be a worse MSP – way out of her depth.
      Thats what Labour wants – muppets at Holyrood.
       
      This is one of the main reasons why they lost so badly in 2011, when ability, leadership and personality (having one!) really do matter.  Same old Labour – they never learn.

    34. Jeannie says:

      Feel quite outraged when I hear Unionists complaining that the SNP is obsessed with independence.
       
      Politicians stand for election based on a party manifesto.  The SNP’s manifesto clearly stated they would hold a referendum on independence.  People then voted the SNP into power on the basis of that manifesto.  The unionists now insist that the SNP should ditch their manifesto promise to hold a referendum.
       
      At the same time, the same unionists are saying that we should vote No, because they will include unspecified, to be decided at a later date, promises for more powers for Holyrood in their manifestos for the 2015 General Election.  But if the Unionists think it would be perfectly ok for the SNP to renege on their manifesto promise, and not have a referendum after all, then why should we believe that the Unionists won’t renege on their promises of more powers?
       
      If politicians genuinely think it’s ok to ditch the policies contained in their manifestos once elected into power, what exactly is the point of democracy?

    35. HandandShrimp says:

      I don’t bother watching either, I think the result was predictable. As I said last night if the SNP had held this Lamont would have been looking down a barrel of a gun.
       
      Walker won this narrowly on a crest of a remarkable wave, the SNP had been third in this seat. By rights it was a Lib Dem/Labour fight. I’m not convinced they were ever going to retain this seat even if as seems very likely the SNP win in 2016. The final collapse of the Lib Dem vote in a seat they held in 2007 (I know there was a boundary change that favoured Labour but most of the seat 90%+ is the same) also seems to have played a part too. The Unionist lightning rod in this case being Labour.
       
      A shame for Dunfermline as the Labour candidate is not a particularly strong one. However, she will no doubt serve as lobby fodder. The promises on her leaflet seem to suggest that Labour have completely ditched their something for nothing crap and are behind just about every SNP policy bar independence. If they are not that leaflet will haunt Cara for her duration as an MSP. Liars are easy to taunt.  

    36. Luigi says:

      It keeps Johann Lamont in a job (as Lindsay Roy (remember him??) did Gordon Brown) and the new MSP is better than the old one. So comfort to be gained there.
       
      Well done, Craig!
      I feel better already!

    37. Iain Ross says:

       “It’s the compliant media wot dunnit.”
       
      Sad to say it but no, it was the people that dunnit. I find it truly saddening that people in Scotland can not seem to break the habit of voting Labour. A blind man can see that the Labour party is an empty shell, it certainly is not the party of the left, if anything the SNP occupy that ground now. They (Labour) have little policy or vision but still THEY vote for them. Bewildering.

    38. Dcanmore says:

      I think what we saw last night was a tale of party core votes. The floating voters were absent hence the drop of 10 per cent in turnout compared to 2011. These floating voters boosted the SNP vote of 2011, probably as a reaction to the LIb Dems being the king makers for the Tories. In turn the Lib Dems got a boost by giving Tony Blair and Labour a kicking as he left office in 2007. So, yesterday the floating vote didn’t bother with the by-election and it was down to the party core vote, and simply Labour had more of a core vote in the area than anybody else.
       
      It was a win but by no means a victory for Labour as it is quite clear that over the past five years the Labour vote as either stagnated or fallen in Scotland. 

    39. jake says:

      I stayed up last night to watch the result. Best bit was the wee retrospective of Govan and Sillars.

      What I found particularly interesting about the Dunfermline result though was was right at the very end when Glenn Campbell interviewed Ms Hilton.

      It shouldn’t have been a difficult interview, even at 2.30 in the morning, but she struggled ( without a minder) to give answers to pretty straight forward questions and was noticably evasive If anyone took the trouble to record it, it’s well worth a look.

    40. desimond says:

      Saddest Labour story I saw yesterday, Euan Blair and his new bride buy a £3m house in lovely London and he is now looking for a safe Labour seat in somewhere like Coventry to begin his Political career. His bride is PPE at Uni so i wouldnt be surprised if she gets a safe seat somewhere too.

      If you think the voters of Dunfermline never learn, just wait 12-15 years or so and stand agog when this boy ( and possibly his Mrs)  has power within his grasp! Please lets hope we have escaped by then!

    41. Luigi says:

      I would like to thank the people of Dunfermline for the big sacrifice they made in ensuring that JL stays in place for another 11 months.  You never know, she may now be tempted to come out of her bunker more often, and recommence her highly effective personal campaign for Scottish independence.

    42. Jeannie says:

      @Luigi
       
      I also thought that the newly elected MSP for Dunfermline does look very much like Jim Murphy
       
      Not just me then!  I even googled their pictures just to be sure and they could be evil twins separated at birth.  Or, there again, maybe Jim’s just trying to do his bit to get more women elected. 

    43. Brian Powell says:

      The Nationwide BS announces it is to close 25 branches of the Dunfermline Building Society across Scotland.
       
      The amalgamation of these Building Societies was forced through by Jim Murphy on the false information he gave that the Dunfermline was a risk from exposure to sub-prime mortgages, not true.
       
      I’m sure there is a metaphor in there for the by-election!

    44. Cath says:

      “But we’re willing to bet she’ll also be as invisible and inaudible the rest of the time as Labour’s victorious candidate in the Inverclyde by-election of 2011.”
       
      I’m not sure she’ll be allowed to be. Her voting record on all those things she pledge to be for on her leaflet will be scrutinised I’d think. Although her victory speech did make it quite clear that she considers a vote for Labour nothing but a vote of confidence in Westminster, so anyone thinking they were voting for them for anything else is doomed to disappointment anyway.

    45. Ken MacColl says:

      When I heard Sarah Boyack last night , a politician that I thought had some integrity although she is hardly endowed with charisma, defending the blatant mistruths on the SLAB Benefits leaflet I was saddened.
      Surely she is not related to Jim Boyack who worked so hard for a Scottish Parliament?

    46. Doug Daniel says:

      Despite the result, I enjoyed Colin Mackay’s summation of Cara Hilton – basically saying he wasn’t impressed with her at all and expected her to be nothing more than voting fodder. Can’t remember the exact words, but he was pretty scathing.
       
      Got to agree with Chalks, I thought the SNP’s campaign was pretty uninspiring, and I say that as a big fan of Shirley-Anne (she’s been excellent in her role at Yes Scotland). I’m sure they were good when going door-to-door, and Shirley-Anne was usually good when I saw her on TV (certainly better than Hilton), but the leaflets I’ve seen would not have convinced me to vote SNP if I was a Dunfermline voter who wasn’t already going to vote for them.
       
      It’s what I was alluding to in my comment on the LPW post Rev links to – the whole “vote for us or all these things will be put at risk” rubbish, as if the election of Cara Hilton is suddenly going to herald a sea change in Holyrood. But then, it’s difficult if you’re the incumbent government in a by-election, especially in a seat that isn’t your natural territory. It’s far too easy for opposition parties to make up wild claims of fantastic things they’ll do if you elect them, and it’s easy to fall for the idea that voting contrary to the government is more likely to get your constituency noticed.
       
      But anyone who hasn’t seen Cara Hilton’s “victory” speech really needs to try and find it – it’s almost in Glasgow 2010 territory, if anyone remembers some of the bitter speeches by victorious Glasgow Labour MPs then. I couldn’t believe she was *still* playing the Bill Walker card. Mind you, it’s pretty obvious that the only reason she was nominated in the first place was because of the whole “let’s have an all-female shortlist to make a spurious point” thing. Well, at least you’d hope that’s the case – Fife Labour is in big trouble if she is truly the best they have to offer…

    47. Brian Powell says:

      You might want to sign this petition against politician’s greed! Might alleviate a bit of bad feeling.
       
      It is about the MPs payrise, below from the petition:
       
      ‘Within weeks David Cameron will be making a decision on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority recommendation for a 11% pay rise on MPs’ salaries.

      Initially the pay rise was meant to come with the scrapping of expenses (they use our taxes to pay for their daily meals, travel, expenses for second homes and duck ponds etc) but now they are demanding the pay rise whilst keeping their expenses intact.’
       
      You can find it here:www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/david-cameron-stop-the-11-pay-rise-for-mps-salaries

    48. jake says:

      Pretty poor turnout all things considered.
      How much I wonder was postal.

    49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “How much I wonder was postal.”

      Someone said 8000 last night (which would be a third of the vote), but I haven’t seen official figures.

    50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Her voting record on all those things she pledge to be for on her leaflet will be scrutinised I’d think.”

      By us, maybe. But the media? Ha. It’ll get as much scrutiny as Better Together’s illegal lottery.

    51. balgayboy says:

      desimond says:
      I wonder how the unemployed or underemployed 29 year old young Dunfermline man feels reading this after he voted Labour yesterday? No justice.
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2467474/Tony-Blairs-son-Euan-buys-3-6m-6-bedroom-Georgian-townhouse.html

    52. Bigheed says:

      First of all, SS, thank you your analytical breakdowns always bring a little sunshine to a wet gloomy day.
       
      Nothing whatsoever to do with the Dunfermline result but it backs up what I have been saying to my friends. We need a game changer in the next year!!! the general Scottish public are sleep walking into a NO vote. We can moan about ALL the papers and ALL the tv channels, I have written these off totally in helping us obtain a YES vote. 
       
      We need something that alters the thinking and mindset of our fellow North London Regioners or we are going to lose this thing. We are not that far away but we will need to get on the front foot next year.

    53. Molly says:

      kendomacaroonbar ,”what unique point did the Labour candidate have?” Well if I heard Glenn Campbell correctly , Cathie Peattie is her Mum. Kind of like Terry Kerry and his elected daughter or Michael Mcmahon and his daughter. 

      I know obviously Annabel Ewings connection and the BBC connections aside it would be interesting to see who is related to who in the small world of Scottish politics, it would perhaps explain some of the attitudes and decisions taken on our behalf whether at local level or party level.

    54. Ken500 says:

      The MSM want the ‘right to freedom of speech’, while they censor others.

    55. scotchwoman says:

      @ Ken MacColl – I agree, it was surprising to see Sarah Boyack supporting wholeheartedly the half-truths and distortions presented in that leaflet.
       
      @ Bigheed – the game changer can only be a more radical view of a new Scotland. There appears to be a growing feeling that small change isn’t going to be enough and more people are now seeking something significantly different to the UK model. There must be many, many people willing to enthusiastically drive a YES message which offers a common weal-based approach.

    56. Ken500 says:

      8000 Postal votes – A third of the vote – Why aren’t they being checked out.

    57. Cath says:

      “the general Scottish public are sleep walking into a NO vote.”
       
      Yup, this is a huge issue. Yes has won the argument by a country mile and that shows in debates where there are huge swings to yes just after people have watched a wee debate! When people have a lot of information they tend to move to Yes. But the No camp have a compliant media, rely on low information voters, and they will absolutely swamp Scotland on referendum day with Labour activists out scaring the living daylights out of people to vote no.
       
      There are probably about 30% definite yes, 30% definite no and the rest are basically up for grabs. But how many of the rest will engage, become informed, listen to the arguments etc, and how many will just vote the way the media and the Labour councillors on their doorstep tell them to vote? Because that’s what winning or losing is going to come down to.

    58. Craig P says:

      Luigi, a silver lining in every cloud!
       
      Mind you, if Johann Lamont stood down, who would become leader in her place? Michael McMahon? Jackie Baillie? There are some decent Labour MSPs (I am thinking Malcolm Chisholm for example) but Scottish Labour seem incapable of putting them in positions of authority.

    59. john king says:

      jeannie says
      “If politicians genuinely think it’s ok to ditch the policies contained in their manifestos once elected into power, what exactly is the point of democracy?”
      Hear hear
      well said jeannie

    60. Cath says:

      OT sounds like Grangemouth is staying open.

    61. Geoff Huijer says:

      So, a candidate punting misinformation on political leaflets gets voted in.
       
      Although it saddens me that people will continue to vote for Labour, seemingly
      blindly, it also angers me that politicians can flat out lie and get away with it.
       
      Democracy my arse.

    62. muttley79 says:

      @Oliver
       
      So I take it that you won’t be staying up to watch the results of the Scottish Independence referendum?
       
      So you know the result of the referendum already then?  Go on enlighten us?

    63. Footsoldier says:

      There are many factors to consider in the result of the Dunfermline by-election but the most important one is that the Labour Party will be very happy. Imagine the SNP had won by 1 vote. Would we have been happy or commiserating that the percentage swing to us was not enough? Labour has also taken Hamilton, Fife and Govan in local government by-elections. Do I therefore take solace that the swing to Labour was only 7%? No I do not, nor am I happy at Labour successes in local government elections.
       
      Despite the Bill Walker issue, the portents were actually quite good. An excellent candidate, Scottish Government (SG) is very popular with a positive track record, recent SNP conference had good publicity, Alex Salmond and John Swinney came over very positively in the Grangemouth crisis, the SNP campaign team was huge and the SNP support the provision of universal benefits.
       
      On the downside for Labour, nothing personal, but I did not think the Labour candidate was as capable as the SNP candidate. Grangemouth was a potential further industrial catastrophe for Scotland under the UK and Unite banging on in 1970’s style. Labour must have been worried that the Unite/Falkirk issue was going to emerge again and many Labour policies were in contradiction especially on universal benefits and most importantly the local Labour administration including the candidate, had voted to close some local schools which was a big issue.
       
      It has often been suggested that political parties should never under estimate the intelligence of voters and if we give credence to that, the Dunfermline result is baffling.
       
      Are the voters of Dunfermline saying Labour MSP’s are better for them even although the SG is doing well, are they protesting against independence or are they hoodwinked by the relentless stream of negativism from the MSM against independence and the SNP or do they fully heartedly accept Labour propaganda?
       
      We are not understanding what drives people to keep supporting Labour. Scottish Labour is not very inspiring and British Labour is now far removed from Scottish ideals in wooing the middle England vote.
       
      Whatever the answers, we need to up our game because as the referendum gets closer, it is going to get very messy and the British establishment will throw everything at us and worry about the legalities and niceties afterwards.

    64. HandandShrimp says:

      BBC saying that Grangemouth will stay open. Workers are in a meeting right now. I think the Scottish Government put in a fair shift on this. However, I am slightly bemused by Len’s take on it all. He seems oblivious to the fact that a lot of the workers are not pleased with what went down this week and who knows what further concessions have been extracted by Ineos.

    65. balgayboy says:

      Cath says:
      If so, great news. And if so, let us get Independence and sort this shit out once and for all.
       
      No more vital industrial assets to our country being used as poker chip to hold our country to ransom and no more mad union political dogma encouraging the capitalist owners to use them as an excuse.

    66. chalks says:

      @Cath Which is why the SNP and Greens should be using the real issues of by elections and things going on just now to push independence on the door step.  Labour are actually sleep walking and have their head in the sand when it comes to what their hardcore are thinking…

      The news I received was that 50% of Labour voters in areas of Dunfermline were in favour of independence. 

      It’s time to move the argument on and speak about indy on the doorsteps on these by elections.  Labour say the SNP are scared to talk about it, which isn’t true, what is true is that it might look like they are neglecting local issues, but the national issue can sort out the local issue.

    67. Molly says:

      Can I also suggest someone with better computer skills than me,as the Referendum is unique, can a petition be started to state All postal votes be returned to something like the electoral commission to be counted?

    68. liz says:

      Even though i twas inevitable I’m still feeling down. I am starting to believe that a lot of voters are thick – and I know some undecides might be reading this.
       
      I watched a bit of newsnight last night with trepidation and I wasn’t wrong.
       
      Right from the start the presenter – and I admit I don’t know his name – managed to allow everyone to talk without interuption except one – can you guess?
       
      Also the Labour woman on the panel was a disgrace – she actually started talking about supporting abused womwn across society and admiring their courage – at first I thought what the hell is she on about and then it clicked.
       
      Also an interesting point, all 3 unionists were anti-SNP and the conservative guy said people on the doorstep were worried about independence and the NHS! So Eleanor Bradfords efforts have not been in vain.
       
      Lastly oneplus point – Blether came up with ‘that’ notorious labour leaflet twice and was not impressed.
      I think Brian has had a change of heart – not saying he’s pro indy, but I think he was shamed by that BBC internal broadcast and is trying to be more impartial.
       

    69. MajorBloodnok says:

      I notice the BBC saying that the Prime Minister was involved in this turnaround.  Not aware of Cameron having done anything substantive other than dispatch that bumbler Carmichael to Grangemouth.

    70. The Man in the Jar says:

      To be fair Cara Hiltons first ever interview as a MSP conducted by Glen Campbell at the end of the program last night he didn’t hold back pulling her up on a couple of items from “that” election leaflet. Rabbit in headlights stuff.

    71. Bubbles says:

      Thanks Stu (and everyone else). I was getting damn close to topping myself this morning. Not really but it’s getting bloody hard to stay positive in this current climate.

    72. Kenny Campbell says:

      “It’s a small point, but I’m sick of the gloves being on, I wish they would take them off and start shouting from the rooftops about what independence can mean for real issues like school closures and infrastructure, it’s where the votes will be won”
       
      I’m in total agreement with this para from Chalks, its time to change tactic. It appears that the SNP have become the Ajax of politics. I think the party are trying to walk the YES vote into the net and it doesn’t seem to me to be hitting home outside of those already convinced.
       
      Labour were there to be taken, Grangemouth, schools and a weak candidate. It may not matter in the short term but it stalls progress towards a bigger YES vote. Changing hearts and minds requires momentum. We appear to have none.

    73. ronnie anderson says:

      Chalks could nt agree with you more I posted my rant on Yes Scot site ( no pc literate to transfer here , but yes jaikits aff fists boots heids whaterver it takes but attack the BBC/MSM at every turn

    74. Big AL says:

      Having watched to the bitter end last night the cynic in me believes that some Labour voters went to the poll firmly of the mind that their vote will put an end to Shirley Anne Somerville’s wife beating and that Cara Hilton will end all further wife beating in the UK.

    75. Training Day says:

      It will be no solace to point out to the voters of Dunfermline their folly when things come back to bite them on the posterior, just as it will be no solace to point out the same to No voters in the event of a No vote when a similar biting process occurs thereafter.
       
      Will sufficient numbers of them care anyway?

    76. balgayboy says:

      MajorBloodnok says:
      The bumbler was there standing silently while John Swinney was doing the hard stuff. Not to be missed by Unite I would assume!

    77. Training Day says:

      @chalks and Kenny Campbell
       
      “It’s a small point, but I’m sick of the gloves being on, I wish they would take them off and start shouting from the rooftops about what independence can mean for real issues like school closures and infrastructure, it’s where the votes will be won”
       
      Yup, the tactic of not frightening the birds, the dread that someone, somewhere might be offended by anything more imaginative than a statement that there’s no need to worry is failing.  We need to get visceral here  – this vote is about identity, about culture, about self-respect, about dignity and responsibility.  It is most certainly not about whether we’re thruppence ha’penny better off here or tuppence worse off there.

    78. kininvie says:

      ‘ It is plainly absurd that responsibility for monitoring the relationship
      between Scotland and Westminster – or between Scotland and
      the rest of the United Kingdom – should be held by the Scotland
      Office, now a wizened relic of its former self. ‘
      (Steel Commission report to LibDem conference 2006)

    79. Clare Gallagher says:

      Cara Hilton’s speech was hate filled, and vile!! The sneer she wore made me feel physically sick! If this is the calibre of candidates SLAB are prepared to put up, I worry for the future if we don’t get a yes vote next September!

    80. James Westland says:

      So has any of the MSM puppets come out with “Garscadden” yet? Wouldnt surprise me if they did. I am sure they are itching to experience a “Garscadden moment”

    81. MochaChoca says:

      O/T Grangemouth Petrochemical plant to re-open – BBC News

    82. Luigi says:

      Dunfermline lost, Grangemouth saved.
       
      A major economic catastophy averted, and further down the Forth valley, a temporary political setback for the SNP (in the face of a huge Labour core vote).  Given how things could have turned out, I am sure that the FM (and YES Scotland) will take the latter on the chin, and move on, working hard to persuade the majority of people that an independent Scotland is economically viable.

    83. Ken500 says:

      The non voters will turn out for the Referendum and Vote YES

      The unequal Union is destroying Democracy in Scotland.

    84. Cath says:

      ” Which is why the SNP and Greens should be using the real issues of by elections and things going on just now to push independence on the door step.”
       
      I agree. I get incredibly frustrated with the Lab-SNP back and forth on bedroom tax which invariably focusses on no evictions and dry, technical details of how the Scottish government are funding this and that then a “we’ll reverse it first, no we’ll reverse it…”
       
      On bedroom tax it needs to be rammed home again and again that this is a Westminster policy and the way to end it, and all such London-driven policies is for welfare to be under the control of the Scottish parliament and decided here. Labour do not support that – Labour support it being left at Westminster. This is the key point. The SNP should be constantly asking Labour why they don’t want all welfare contolled here in Scotland, not pussy-footing about confusing and boring everyone into a coma.

    85. Scott38 says:

      Apparently a third of the votes were postal votes. Heaven help us if 33% of the referendum votes are postal votes.

    86. Footsoldier says:

      There are many factors to consider in the Dunfermline by-election result but the Labour Party will be happy. Imagine the SNP had won by 1 single vote. Would we have been happy or commiserating that the swing to us should have been better?

      The general portents for the SNP were quite good despite the Bill walker issue but the voters have chosen Labour as they did also in Hamilton, Fife and Govan in local government elections. Labour voted to close schools as did the Labour candidate and that was a big issue, the SNP were to protect the schools.

      It is often suggested that political parties should not understimate the intelligence of the electorate, and if we give credence to that, the result is baffling.

      Are the voters of Dunfermline saying Labour MSP’s are better for them despite the SG track record or are they voting against independence already? Maybe they are hoodwinked by the relentless stream of negativism emanating from the MSM against independence and the SNP or do they full heartedly accept Labour propaganda. Perhaps they are masochists?

      We are not counteracting what drives people to vote Labour, a party more concerned in wooing the voters of middle England. Currently Scottish Labour must be the most uninspiring set of people ever to make up their team.

      Whatever the answers, we need to up our game soon. As the referendum gets closer, it will get very messy and the British establishment in all its guises will throw everything at us and worry about the legalities, finances and niceties afterwards.

      I am beginning to wonder if our message is being diluted with an SNP campaign and a YES Scotland campaign. I know we need YES in order to include pro independence supporters who do not necessarily support the SNP or are apolitical but is this dividing our effort?

    87. Papadocx says:

      The problem with liars is half the lies they tell ar’nt true! To the good People of dunfermlin; be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. Well done AS & JS.

    88. Cath says:

      “Heaven help us if 33% of the referendum votes are postal votes.”
       
      I really think there should be special rules for the referendum. No postal votes unless you can provide a good reason, and a strict process for being given one.

    89. MajorBloodnok says:

      I think the remarkable Grangemouth decision will take the shine off whatever momentum Labour think they can get from the Dunfermline win.  It also takes the shine off Unite and draws quite a bit of attention to the goings on at Falkirk… and without doubt shows the Scottish Government in an exceptionally positive light.

    90. scotchwoman says:

      Rev – how about looking into postal voting in some detail, especially the arrangements for the Referendum (if it also applies there) and any lessons for YES campaign. Can’t helping feeling labour are ahead of the game on this and increasing their vote by lining up postal votes for their former or traditional supporters who can’t be bothered to vote in person.

    91. tartanfever says:

      Ok so we lost Dunfermline, that was to be expected. Considering the swing and the head start we gave them with Bill Walker, the lying leaflets and that they threw everything including the kitchen sink at the canvassing I don’t think the labour party will be too impressed with their result.

      We gave a 14 handicap golfer an extra 10 shots and they managed to win the comp by shooting an 85 on a par 72 course.

      If anyone believes that this result will be a guide on the referendum vote then I suggest getting down to the doctors for a course of anti-depressants immediately.

      Yes, labour will spin it, so will the media – but we know that. Fortunately Grangemouth is happier news and that will dominate the headlines.

      Cara Hilton as given her back a rod with those pamphlets and they will be rolled out time and again over the coming months to question not just her, but the whole labour party in Scotland.

      Those leaflets are going to come back and bite them severely on the arse

    92. Doug Daniel says:

      Hmmmm. I think we need to keep things in perspective here, folks. It was a by-election, not a mini referendum. Word is that half of the Labour voters spoken to on the doorsteps are voting for independence, and as someone said earlier (can’t remember if it was this thread or the last one), the referendum will not have “LABOUR” on it.
       
      It amazes me that we’re always keen to stress to people that “independence is not just about the SNP”, yet when the SNP lose a by-election, suddenly it’s panic stations and Yes are going to lose if we don’t do something drastic. We had almost 300 folk at the Blair Jenkins event in Aberdeen last night, and there were people there identifying themselves as undecided voters, and even in one case having shifted from a 5 or 6 to a 2 or 3 (because he thinks too much emphasis is being placed on left-wing ideology). But despite that, he was still there, eager to listen to what we’ve got to say.
       
      People WANT to be convinced, and the SNP losing a by-election in natural Labour territory is not going to change that. And let’s not forget the other piece of news we had last night – a Panelbase poll showing independence at 46%. 46% with almost a year to go is pretty much exactly where we want to be, and the White Paper hasn’t even been released yet.

    93. ronnie anderson says:

      AYE Brian Taylor he of the Bbc presenters truth team  You may weil sing Cald Winter Wis Howlin ( rd tae Dundee ) bit I ll be living this CALD WINTER wi Esa stopped £16.45 tae live on this week Am no better thegither  AM FKIN BITTER THANK God ah have a SNP MSP Alex Neil 5min after I phoned his local office He phoned me from Hollyrood  Thanks Alex nae westminster Mps would do that they ve nae time fur ordinary peoples problems

    94. HandandShrimp says:

      I think it highly likely that Cara will disappear to the back benches and in two years time people will say Cara who? Her performance in interviews and in the media is poor and embarrasing so she will be low profile for some time. Her leaflet will be another source of embarrassment because I don’t believe she believes in her own promises and Lamont and Balls certainly do not.

    95. muttley79 says:

      @Kenny Campbell
       
      Changing hearts and minds requires momentum. We appear to have none.
       
      Agreed, that is what I feel as well.  The simple fact is that the Yes campaign have built up no momentum for any length of time.  It is glaring.  Some people don’t like this pointed out, but I can’t really see the point in being a cheerleader, or an applauding seal, for the Yes campaign.  I am a definite Yes, and have been since I can remember.  I just think there is clear warning signs.     

    96. HandandShrimp says:

      The fact that Alex Salmond knew that Grangemouth was saved well before the 11 o’clock announcement indicates that he has been at the coal face over this one and John Swinney was clearly taking the lead with Alistair Carmichael. Anyone can see that the Scottish Government worked hard with Ineos, Westminster and Unite to get the best outcome for the workforce with Ineos saying this is 15 to 20 year lifeline. That is a result. One hopes that Better Together think so too.    

    97. MajorBloodnok says:

      Doug Daniel siad: And let’s not forget the other piece of news we had last night – a Panelbase poll showing independence at 46%.
       
      What?  Where?!

    98. chalks says:

      @Doug, interesting poll, where did you see that?  Just did a google search and see no mention, is it being held back for the sunday papers?

      My point is, is that the SNP and Greens could prosper by pushing indy on the doorsteps, as we’ve said 50% of Labour supporters are in favour of indy….so in my opinion are there to be swung over to the SNP/Greens based on their ideals for an indy Scotland.

      As for the Aberdeen event, was there last night, it was good, glad to see ALOT of undecideds and out right no voters there.  Some of the issues though, oh ma heid, the german standing up and asking if we were scared about not getting into the UN…..LOL

    99. Marcia says:

      Dougie Daniel is correct that the by-election was not a mini referendum and that the Labour votes does not equal No.
       
      Having met up with a lot retired colleagues this week it was interesting to see how some have moved from being against Independence or now coming off the fence to say they will  vote Yes.  I was very surprised at this. I used to think I was in the minority but I am now with the majority of my fellow retirees. We now talk openly about Independence where in the past we didn’t. There is movement.

    100. sneddon says:

      Just a thought about Cara Hilton.  As an MSP she can do less harm to the people of Dunfermline than as a councillor. Small comfort for the parents, children and staff of the threatened schools and anyone in arrears because of Bedroom Tax.

    101. Bunter says:

      BBC in London tried to make political capital out of the Grangemouth rescue when the burd tried to suggest while  live on air that Westminsters loan guarantee saved the plant. Salmond then gave her a quizzical look and said “I don’t understand what your point is” then went on to explain that was good both Govs worked together on this issue. He then went on to inform her that while Westminster gave a loan guarantee, the Scot Gov is putting in hard cash. The interview has now been edited and now excludes the quizzical look and his grumpy “I don’t understand the point you are trying to make”.

    102. Macart says:

      The MSM made a great deal of the FMs stepping into Grangemouth, probably in the hopes it was a no win situation. Wonder how they’ll play it now catastrophe has been averted in the short term?

    103. HandandShrimp says:

      Chalks
       
      LOL – No, Scotland will be the only country on the planet barred from the UN…disqualified for being drunk and disorderly.
       
      Muttley
       
      I agree that the fight is going to be a hard one and I don’t think Yes is certain.  Nothing is certain (apart from death and taxes), but 11 months is a long time in politics and a lot will happen over the coming year..not least Labour trying to distance themselves from their Better Together buddies and chums. 
       
      Labour held Glenrothes back in 2008 and people thought that was a turning point after the 2007 disappointment. It wasn’t. By-elections sometimes are indicative of something…but mostly they are not and exist in a little bubble. This was not a SNP stronghold falling it was a seat that the SNP had surprised even themselves by winning in 2011 albeit by a slender majority. Holding it was always going to be hard because it was the No 1 target seat for Labour. Holding in the circumstances prevailing? Not a chance, although Labour raised hopes by choosing an incompetent as their candidate.
       
      Looking beyond this, the Lib Dems must be really worried. They are nowhere and they held this seat in 2007 although the boundaries were a little different.   

    104. Helena Brown says:

      As I live in Dunfermline I am just waiting on the numpties crying when Labour do close the two schools they have on the cards. Labour previously built two primary school with the assistance of PFI, they were full after two years. The SNP administration built Carnegie. I will be very interested to see what happens to the two school sites when they shut them and where the kids will be sent.

      Does anyone have the result for the council seat that was also up for grabs yesterday. I expect the numpties voted labour again as well.

      I agree that the SNP should have mounted a better attack on them, but how does one do it when the media is hostile. Let us be honest Labour could be a better party if they were actually subject to some criticism.

    105. Macart says:

      @Bunter
       
      That answers that question then. 🙁

    106. muttley79 says:

      @Macart
       
      They will give the SG absolutely no credit in all likelihood. 

    107. Macart says:

      @muttley 79
       
      I’m really starting to build up a serious dislike for our media.

    108. muttley79 says:

      @HandandShrimp
       
      It is not really about the by-election result.  It is about the fact that we appear to have had no sustained momentum so far.  The White Paper will get savaged by the MSM and the No campaign.  We laugh at the No campaign, but the fact is fear and the uncertainty card can be very effective.   

    109. Castle Rock says:

      I don’t think we can compare this by election with the possible outcome of the referendum but it does worry me that so many people will still vote for such a bitter, lying and twisted person (have a look at her “victory” speech, nothing about Dunfermline only hate and bile against the Scottish Government)
       
      Its funny, people worry about what the Tories will do to Scotland if we vote No, its not the Tories we have to worry about it’s the British Labour Party that will strip us bare with their One Nation English nationalism.
       
      The enemy of Scotland has always been the British Labour Party and until we get shot of them they always will be.

    110. Cath says:

      ” Word is that half of the Labour voters spoken to on the doorsteps are voting for independence”
       
      Where I am is a Labour stronghold and, though I’ve not done much canvassing, from what I have done I’d echo that. Labour voters are nowhere near as against it as their leaders are. Given that it surprises me that their leaders are so keen to make even by-elections all about a no vote.

    111. eva says:

      We need to get this result in perspective; as is known, some folk will always vote Labour because they always have and so did their Dads before them, they don’t see any reason to re-examine what Labour/Westminster actually do, or don’t do, for Scotland nowadays or for at least the last generation or so. IMO, that unthinking core voter is a lost cause for Yes at the moment. But, that attitude will soften in time because the positive message about the true potential of standing on our own two feet is beginning to get through, slowly and surely, as are the obvious and very dangerous hazards of sticking with the Union.

      The Yes! campaign is doing very well on the ground. The direction of travel is their way. Some No’s and Don’t Know’s are becoming Yes; nobody is going the other way and the grassroots approach is beginning to get through. Jeanne Freeman and Blair Jenkins both spoke in Alloa earlier this week about the Labour supporters they know who intend to vote Yes, but are not saying so publicly – yet.

      A tipping point will come, it is known that when people get honest answers they gravitate to favouring independence. It just takes time and patience.

    112. Bunter says:

      I make it a personal mission of mine to enlighten my circle of friends as to the shenanigans the MSM get up to and use social media to the full to get the message across. Do not underestimate the power we have to damage these discreditable institutions.

    113. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Bunter – regarding the loan guarentee – with the BBC’s implication that we couldn’t have done it without a UK subsidy.  Firstly, it’s just a loan guarantee, rather than  £9m grant that the SG is providing; secondly the UK Govt is providing a lot of these loans to businesses across the UK and I suspect that the Grangemouth one is the only Scottish one.
       
      However, we in Scotland contribute from our taxes for this ‘UK subsidy’ as it is and like as not Scotland will get back less than we put into the pot, as per bloody usual.  It’s like having a kitty in the pub and one bastard keeps ordering cocktails while you stuck on the cheap cooking lager.

    114. Another London Dividend says:

      Unionists complaining about Alan Cumming getting a vote in the referendum.
      What about rich Tories holiday homes in the highlands?
      http://archive.is/Ys87Q

    115. Cath says:

      Gosh, hold onto your chairs folks
       
      euan mccolm ?@euanmccolm scottish labour politicians must be acutely aware of just how impressive salmond and swinney have been during the grangemouth crisis.

    116. scottish_skier says:

      Doug Daniel siad: And let’s not forget the other piece of news we had last night – a Panelbase poll showing independence at 46%.
       
      That’s after DKs (who are giving indy due consideration, otherwise they’d say N) are excluded I understand. No idea what the source is but was apparently mentioned on newsnight. Assuming DK levels are around average, you’re looking at something like 37Y/43N 20 DK. Coming on the back of TNS No = 44% too.
       
      We’ll have to wait and see but the gap between Y and No has halved or more since late 2012 from over 20 points to 10 or less (5% swing needed for parity). If the above is a real result, then it would add more weight to the current trend of polls heading for parity by end 2013/early 2014.

    117. HandandShrimp says:

      Cath
       
      I have just fallen off my chair :O

    118. Bunter says:

      Oh and another part of Salmonds live BBC interview now edited out, is where he took the media to task  with its doom and gloom coverage. He said he didn’t understand this as both sides repeatedly agreed that Grangemouth had a great future, if agreement could be achieved. You may get the full interview later, but then, mibbes naw…..

    119. muttley79 says:

      @Macart
       
      The MSM made a great deal of the FMs stepping into Grangemouth, probably in the hopes it was a no win situation. Wonder how they’ll play it now catastrophe has been averted in the short term?
       
      I just thought that the MSM will probably not ignore the SG’s actions on Grangemouth.  You can just see the headlines in a few days time:
       
      “Salmond gives asset stripping, tax dodging, Billionaire tax payers money.”

    120. balgayboy says:

      muttley79 says:
      Please explain what this lack of momentum is?  Presently the Yes camp and the excellent performance by the SG has got the MSM, BBC & the UK establishment scrambling to smear it & the Scottish people without agreeing on one positive fact why Independence would be to the good of Scotland. 
       
      The yes vote will come from the Scottish people’s decision  that their future is better decided by themselves. You are correct that this can be embellished by more positive trumpeting by the pro-independence party’s, but it’s all about timing just now.
      The BT lot know this and realise they are rapidly running out of ammunition whilst the big salvo from YES will come a couple of months before the big day.
       
      Wait and see.

    121. muttley79 says:

      @balgaboy
       
      Please explain what this lack of momentum is?  Presently the Yes camp and the excellent performance by the SG has got the MSM, BBC & the UK establishment scrambling to smear it & the Scottish people without agreeing on one positive fact why Independence would be to the good of Scotland.
       
      The yes vote will come from the Scottish people’s decision  that their future is better decided by themselves. You are correct that this can be embellished by more positive trumpeting by the pro-independence party’s, but it’s all about timing just now.
      The BT lot know this and realise they are rapidly running out of ammunition whilst the big salvo from YES will come a couple of months before the big day.
       
      Wait and see.
       
      I hope you are right.   

    122. cirsium says:

      A third of the votes were postal?   That seems very high.    Will there be a sampling to check that everything was above board?  
       
      @ Cath, 11.50.  Agreed.  I hope that the postal voting requirements are tighter for the referendum.
      @Bubbles, for you, A H Clough’s poem (apologies in advance for the formatting, RevStu)
      SAY not the struggle naught availeth,
         The labour and the wounds are vain,
      The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
         And as things have been they remain.
      If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
         It may be, in yon smoke conceal’d,
      Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
         And, but for you, possess the field.
      For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
         Seem here no painful inch to gain,
      Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
         Comes silent, flooding in, the main.
      And not by eastern windows only,
         When daylight comes, comes in the light;
      In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!
         But westward, look, the land is bright!

    123. Murray McCallum says:

      At the outset the BBC did report Alex Salmond’s pledge to get the site open. I haven’t seen todays coverage though.
       
      Will be interesting to see if Len McCluskey comes out and urges Unite members in Scotland to vote Yes. I noted yesterday that McCluskey only ever referred to SG involvement in talks (in coverage I saw).
       
      Unite in Grangemouth have to do some hard thinking about strategy and communications with members, but wouldn’t it be odd if one of the British Labour Party’s biggest donors came out in support of independence? Even staying neutral is peculiar.

    124. muttley79 says:

      Catriona Shearer is presenting the News at 1:30.  Looking lovely, do I need to say any more?….

    125. proudscot says:

      Re the Dunfermline by-election, in my opinion in a few months time when it becomes evident to the Labour voters how useless their chosen MSP is, it will be difficult to find anyone who will admit to voting for her.
       
      Re Grangemouth, I wonder how long it will take for the blustering Alistair Carmichael to claim full credit for the plant remaining open. The SNP Scottish Government’s hard working efforts by the likes of First Minister Alex Salmond and Finance Secretary John Swinney will be wholly ignored by our wonderful Scottish press and media.

    126. Macart says:

      @Cath
       
      Re McColm … 😮 Speechless
       
      @muttley 79
       
      I’m still waiting for Salmond revealed as true Son of Sam. 😛

    127. chalks says:

      @muttley79 is she doing the positive facial expressions bateman was on about? : )
       
      The poll must be coming out tomorrow or on sunday….interesting weekend ahead.

    128. bunter says:

      @ Murray McCallum
      I too watched the live interview with Len McCluskey where at the start, he made a point of praising Salmond for stating that he would not accept closure and said that he was at one with Salmond on this. He made no mention of the UK Gov from memory. Sorry to say, that this wee bit was edited out on all later BBC news bulletins. ( I dont work during the day and sadly spend my time watching the BBC like a hawk lol).

    129. dmw42 says:

      @proudscout “I wonder how long it will take for the blustering Alistair Carmichael to claim full credit…
       
      He had his press statement issued at 10:45
      News story: Carmichael welcomes Ineos announcement
       
      A-hole

    130. Onwards says:

      >A third of the votes were postal.

      How exactly does that work?
      Can activists present voters with a form to fill in on the doorstep?
      Or do folks have to apply for it personally ?

    131. kininvie says:

      On the question of momentum….
       
      I had two people come to me today to ask for badges and car stickers. I’ve known they were Yes voters for some time, but they are obviously now ready to go public with the fact.
       
      I think it’s time to move on from the social media just a wee bit. We’ve won that, and likely convinced a few people. But the next stage is to normalise Yes, and that can best be done by getting as many as we can to show their support by carrying stickers on their car, stickers on their windows, badges on their coats and jackets…
       
      I’d have really liked it if the SNP,SSP & SGP had all said they weren’t fighting Dunfermline as they had a more important thing to get done, and left Labour to fight it all by themselves. But I suppose it would have been unfair on the voters.

    132. mealer says:

      Yes.Rev,could you please  take a look at postal voting and tell us how it works,and what the situation is for the referendum.

    133. Gloves are off just heard FM berate the BBC on R4 in trying to bring in the constitution into the Grangemouth restart.

    134. Jon D says:

      @balgayboy
      Exactly. I have posted words to this effect numerous times and am getting weary with the bad mouthing of the YES campaign –
      -those like me and countless others who are out 3/4 days a week, in the pissing rain and the dark doing their bit.
      Does no one heed what SS says in relation to the gap between Y and N having halved etc etc. That = momentum,jeez.
      I, too, will say it again it’s in the timing. It’s not possible, nay counter productive to have an assault on MSM for the next 11 months- their doing much of our work for us. 

    135. Juteman says:

      If the Scottish Government doesn’t tighten up the postal voting rules for the referendum, then I fear they will be partly responsible if the result is a close No.

    136. muttley79 says:

      @chalks
       
      muttley79 is she doing the positive facial expressions bateman was on about? : )
       
      Don’t know.  She was looking absolutely stunning as usual though…

    137. muttley79 says:

      @Jon D
       
      Exactly. I have posted words to this effect numerous times and am getting weary with the bad mouthing of the YES campaign –
       
      Are Yes supporters not allowed to voice their fears over the campaign?  Why do you say it is bad mouthing?

    138. James Morton says:

      Seems to me the Bill Walker affair, had more of an impact on the SNP vote than labours campaigning. SNP lost this seat largely because of this incident blotting its copy book with the voters. The vote spread tends to support this. Other parties seemed to benefit from it, not Labour. The tory vote stayed static and the lib dems saw their vote share halved.
      Labour it seems won because just under 3k voters switched to independents, the greens or stayed @ home.
      Very disappointing though

    139. Juteman says:

      I mentioned earlier, that I don’t think Bill Walker had much of an effect. If he stood yesterday as a Labour candidate, the result would have probably been the same.

    140. balgayboy says:

      Jon D says:
      Agree, to much expectation without participation in my view. For what it’s worth I’m heading back home to Scotland next year after 30 years working abroad with the main purpose to assist the YES vote and the people of Scotland achieve a better future other than what is their present outlook is.

    141. Onwards says:

      To be honest , a 7% swing to labour from SNP is not as bad as it could have been in the circumstances. I feared a total humping, after the ridiculous accusations that the party deliberately chose a known wifebeater as a candidate.
      I think the Cara Hiltons somewhat glossy style would have turned off a lot of female voters, but anyway, it was always going to be a hard one, given tactical voting as well.
      I imagine that leaflet of all labour’s promises will be kept at hand, when the next budget comes up.
       
      Incidentally, Alex Neil had some interesting statistics on the STV show, saying a large 10,000 sample on the referendum in the constituency had YES/NO vote at 50-50, with a third undecided at this stage.
      So plenty of labour voters will be voting yes, even while voting for the labour candidate on this occasion.

    142. Macart says:

      @Jon D
       
      I’m sure you understand that most of us are just huge supporters of independence and are naturally apprehensive at the seeming lack of visible progress. All we have is anecdotal evidence of change on the doorstep and personal encounters. We’re naturally kept in the dark by the media, who’d rather we didn’t exist at all and who actively try convince everyone out there that we don’t. Also keep in mind we’re all different in our approach to the campaign. Some will be more aggressive in their approach than others who will be quite prepared to play the patient game. You should take some heart that they care enough and are champing at the bit.

    143. Morag says:

      Incidentally, Alex Neil had some interesting statistics on the STV show, saying a large 10,000 sample on the referendum in the constituency had YES/NO vote at 50-50, with a third undecided at this stage.
      So plenty of labour voters will be voting yes, even while voting for the labour candidate on this occasion.

      That’s interesting.  I don’t think they would have said that if it wasn’t true, so even if it does include a bit of “tell the canvasser what they want to hear”, it’s not at all bad.

      What I DON’T believe is this Labour tale of hordes of people lining up on their doorsteps to declare how sick and tired they are of the Scottish government banging on about independence.  To be honest I wouldn’t believe it if that lot said grass is green, but that one had all the hallmarks of “say it because we wish it to be so”.

    144. Big Jock says:

      Had the media dealt with the Labour lies on their leaflets the way they deal with the SNP. Then we would be looking at a different result altogether. But outwith a few columns in here and other specialist websites Joe Public would not even be aware of the lies on their leaflets. Are you listening Derek Bateman. BBC Scotland are unionist and don’t even hide it now. It’s not a mistake it is a deliberate attempt to misinform or not inform at all. We even had that horrible woman on GMS trying to press Alex Salmond into agreeing that it was fantastic that all parties came together over the Grangemouth saga. It was on the tip of her tongue to say :”See that’s how great the union is now stop picking fights with Westminster”. Salmond resisted saying what point are you trying to make here as it was so obvious. Terrible scandalous behaviour. They are ignoring at least 40% of the licence payers in Scotland who have indicated voting for independence.

    145. Juteman says:

      On GMS this morning, Jenny Marra said that 80 to 90 percent of folk on the doorstep in Dunfermline said they were sick of Alex Salmond ignoring issues, and only being interested in his referendum. Or words to that effect. It would be nice to see her evidence.

    146. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Och I’m not that bothered……
       
      SG appeared competent and genuinely dedicated to saving the plant and I’ve no doubts this will be remembered by the electorate around Falkirk and beyond.
       
      They could have made a stushie about the Stephen Deans thing and tried to label Labour as being responsible for the closure…..
      They chose to follow a ‘it disnae matter how we got here…what important is where we’re going’ strategy and I think not making political hay out of this will benefit them in the long term in that part of the world.
      Meanwhile Unite owe the Scottish Govt one…..I wouldn’t be surprised to see them at the very least decide not to campaign for a No Vote and advising their members to vote as they saw fit. 
       
      It’s the least McCluskey and Rafferty can do given the SG could have embarrassed them but chose not to

    147. Murray McCallum says:

      Jenny Marra said that 80 to 90 percent of [five] folk on the doorstep [of the Labour Party office] in Dunfermline [while posing for a campaign photograph] said they were sick of Alex Salmond ignoring issues, and only being interested in his referendum.
       
      That’s better

    148. HandandShrimp says:

      No one bangs on more about independence than Labour. It is in every interview, every broadcast, every leaflet. Lamont uses FMQT as Better Together’s direct porthole into Holyrood, she rarely uses it actually hold the Government to account for its day to day business. She has totally sacrificed her own role as leader of the opposition for the betterment of Better Together. She is just a glove puppet for Darling and dances to his tune.  

    149. john king says:

      muttley 79 says
      “Salmond gives asset stripping, tax dodging, Billionaire tax payers money.”
      Dont do their job for them muttley 🙂

    150. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And let’s not forget the other piece of news we had last night – a Panelbase poll showing independence at 46%.”

      I’ve just spoken to Panelbase, who say that’s not our poll, and that they have no other polls in the field. So someone’s just imagined it.

      (Although obviously ours might well come out in that approximate ballpark – I don’t know.)

    151. david says:

      i always thought people would easy see through slab because people arent fooled by lies, nasty rhetoric and media bias. how wrong was i?. shattered

    152. Murray McCallum says:

       “She [J. Lamont] is just a glove puppet for Darling and dances to his tune.”
       
      Which must surely be by Radiohead – How To Disappear Completely

    153. Jeannie says:

      Noticed on the lunchtime news that Cara Hilton was criticising the SNP for “putting the country on pause” whilst focusing on the referendum.  Is THAT what Alex Salmond has been doing all week?  Maybe Cara was just too busy campaigning to notice that he and John Swinney were working flat-out trying to save thousands of jobs at Grangemouth.
       
      But Dunfermline can take comfort in the thought that if things go Labour’s way and there’s ever a threat to a significant employer in the Dunfermline area, then they won’t have to worry – they’ll have Johann Lamont, Margaret Curran and Cara Hilton getting right in there to battle with big international companies and powerful oligarchs like Jim Ratcliffe on Dunfermline’s behalf.  What a comforting thought that must be to anybody worried about their job.

    154. david says:

      i feel like i dont want any more of my tax going to amazon or any other corporation we subsidise in dunfermline. suppose im a bad loser.

    155. Onwards says:

      I just don’t get this line of attack – that the Scottish Government should concentrate on using the powers it has right now.
      Of course they use the powers they have now, but they are obviously limited.
       
      It’s basically saying to people that less powers are better than more powers, and we should never want more… we should just know our place.

    156. Jingly Jangly says:

      Think the panelbase poll referenced to last night on newsnicht was the poll of polls that Poultice had a graph up about. He had a graph which showed all the panelbase polls and two others, although they have different results he was showing that they had not moved much this year.

      Which is totally different to what I see, as there seems to be a lot more don’t knows than before.

    157. Doug Daniel says:

      kininvie: “I think it’s time to move on from the social media just a wee bit. We’ve won that, and likely convinced a few people. But the next stage is to normalise Yes, and that can best be done by getting as many as we can to show their support by carrying stickers on their car, stickers on their windows, badges on their coats and jackets…”
       
      This. a thousand times this. I was driving to Glasgow last weekend, and before I’d even gotten out of Aberdeen, I saw someone with a Yes car sticker in their back window. Had me buzzing for the whole trip to Glasgow.
       
      The more people see the Yes logo on normal people, the less weird it seems as a concept. The biggest enemy of independence has been the idea that it’s some strange little obsession of a small group of folk who want to kick the English out – hence why unionists try to make the whole Yes campaign out to be like that. If folk see their friends, colleagues and family members wearing Yes badges etc, then they’ll think “oh, normal folk want this as well. There must be something in this after all…”
       
      We dished out loads of badges and stickers at the Blair Jenkins event last night. Not everyone can go out campaigning – it can be scary speaking to people on doorsteps if you’ve not done it before, and some people are simply too shy to do such a thing, or just aren’t very good at articulating their thoughts. But one thing that EVERYONE can surely do is to wear a badge, put a sticker on the car, display a sign in a window, get a YES tattoo (okay, I’ve taken that too far perhaps…) It might not seem like much, but it could be one of the biggest weapons we have – especially as BetterTogether stand absolutely no chance of doing the same.

    158. Embradon says:

      “8000 Postal votes – A third of the vote – Why aren’t they being checked out”
      Maybe someone has accidentally thrown out the marked up voter roll again.The whole thing reminded me of Glenrothes – especially the Labour minders marching their candidate into the hall to orchestrated clapping. Marching and swaggering like “stewards” at an Orange walk.

    159. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “But one thing that EVERYONE can surely do is to wear a badge, put a sticker on the car, display a sign in a window, get a YES tattoo”

      Top volunteering!

    160. Juteman says:

      I notice Comrade Kelly is calling for a boycott of Ineos products.
      I wonder if he will post my comment asking if that means Better Together should hand back the £500,000 from Ian Taylor. Ratcliffe worked for Taylor at Vitoil.

    161. Doug Daniel says:

      “Top volunteering!”
       
      My face may be scarred forever, but it’s worth it.

    162. Murray McCallum says:

      I’ve been boycotting Ineos products for years. Ever since I ate too much Propylene Oxide. May have been past its use by date, but I blame Ineos.

    163. david says:

      if everyone boycotts ineos, wont it result in them going out of business and all those saved jobs will be lost ?

    164. Juteman says:

      It would be a Wonderous Story to get a Yes tattoo.

    165. Piemonteis says:

      I heard mentioned last night that the SNP campaigners had been carrying out a survey on independence throughout the constituency over the course of the campaign. The same was carried out in Donside and the results were released early on the night of the by-election there. If these results have stayed private, I can only imagine they’re bad news. Does anyone have any info?
       
      Also, a couple of points on last night’s results:
       
      I’m not sure I agree with it being a case of the Lib Dems staying at home. I rather think those who stayed at home were the SNP and Labour. I’ve always considered Lib Dem voters in Scotland to be of generally good democratic principles, who will largely go out and vote. However, half of the 2011 Lib Dem voters who thought the party were in with a chance against Labour in the election year will most likely have moved to Labour or the SNP, and considering the average profile of the 2011 Lib Dem voter, I would imagine most of this will have went Labour.
       
      There was also anecdotal evidence of Tories voting Labour to keep the SNP out, but the party got almost the same number of votes as two years ago. Might this mean that people identifying as Tories in the constituency are actually higher than the 7-8% in the constituency, and that they’ve switched from Lib Dem or even SNP last time around, to Labour this time? The Labour vote was down, but the SNP was down by some 4,300 votes.
       
      Also, a word on the SNP candidate. I thought she was petty in not congratulating the Labour winner in her speech. The party does not need to exacerbate the loathing between the two parties, as this will only drive away potential pro-independence Labour voters. And although she was the better candidate, I thought that in the debates she showed an air of swanning into the constituency from outside and not giving a sense of belonging to the constituency, which the Labour candidate, despite her mediocrity, did show. She wasn’t entirely convincing that she’d stay behind after her defeat to support the parents against school closures, which, although it might not matter, is important in people’s perceptions of her. I would at least hope she shadows the constituency to stand again in 2016.

    166. Andrew Morton says:

      Here’s an interesting thing. My wife is half English, has two sons living permanently down there and another son in Australia who is virulently anti independence to the point that he says he’ll never come back to Scotland again if we vote Yes (although he was born and brought up in Wales). From things she has said in the past I had her down as a 100% committed No voter, to the point where I never discuss anything to do with the Referendum with her.
       
      We were in the car on Wednesday evening just after the Grangemouth closure announcement when she suddenly asked me if I thought that it had anything to do with the Referendum. I said that I thought not, that it was probably just a case of a capitalist cracking the whip. She replied that the timing looked very suspicious, coming just after the SNP conference.
       
      When the announcement of the reopening was made, she repeated her suspicions. I would now put her down as a doubtful No. How many other convinced Nos are going through the same thought process?

    167. Murray McCallum says:

      Comrade Kelly’s call for a boycott is as hollow as his head. How do you boycott petrol, diesel, and plastics?
      What a numpty!

    168. Rubberbelly says:

      Hello folks,
      I’ve never posted on any internet discussion before but I have been an avid stalker for a few years.

      It fair cheers me up reading posts from like minded souls and fellow travellers. I’ve learned quite a bit and been entertained but there is a tendency when things don’t go according to plan for a bit of despair to creep in.

      There will be good days and bad before the referendum vote and remember this cannot be won by only SNP voters so in that respect by election results are not reliable pointers to the big vote.

      Please stay positive.

    169. Jamie Arriere says:

      I am disappointed but not terribly upset at the result last night – Cara Hilton will be another in the long line of nobodies who will rise without trace in the Labour Party, and look forward to her getting demolished by an SNP frontbencher hopefully in full view of the media in time.
       
      However, I would say that Bill Walker was a very big influence on the vote, and I can imagine it would not play well with many female voters to choose a party which had inadvertently selected a wife-beater in the ensuing by-election. The candidates and media didn’t need to raise it directly, but the VERY FIRST people that Hilton thanked in her speech were the three women who testified against Walker.
       
      Anyway, Dunfermline did deserve better, but they haven’t got that much better.
       
      Roll on the White Paper when the real work starts.

    170. Jim Mitchell says:

      tartanfever., I agree with you and another thing the first thing we should be doing instead of having a moan is to thank and congratulate those voters who DID vote SNP!

      It was a by election, which as has been shown in the past tend to be different beasties from the norm. I am as disappointed as anyone but when you get down to really looking at things closely, as those who analyze things for the Labour party will be doing, they could and maybe should have done better, just like us however, if we were in the same situation, they will not admit it, but that doesn’t stop us from knowing the truth  and from them knowing that we know.

      As for momentum in the YES campaign, someone yesterday gave details of yet another successful YES meeting, well there was another on tuesday night in Alloa town hall, it was full, good natured, informative, with literature etc being handed out and new folk volunteering for leafleting, just because folk are not screaming from the rooftops,, as yet anyway, doesn’t say different.

      We are dealing with another and different type of electioneering now, momentum has to be built over the long term, I refuse to believe that Dunfermline is some kind of indicator that the NO campaign, such as it is, has zoomed ahead momentum wise, the media apart, as far as I can tell they do not have much of a campaign at all, it’s not to say this will not change, but I do not know where it is going to come from, but increased momentum from our side, especially over the next 9 months or so I can see happening because it makes more sense.  momentum based on the solid ground work that has been done and continues to be done all over Scotland.

      As I have said before, we have to stick with our campaign and refuse to be deflected from it (especially by this one, very expected defeat), just as I would not have expected us to become that enthused by the Donside victory that we thought the referendum  result was a certainty and had all stopped working! 

      Momentum, as in a visible increase in support, if all those folk who turned out on Calton Hill a few weeks back, weren’t that. then what is?

    171. HandandShrimp says:

      Re my discussions with Prof Swales yesterday, he did say that he had thought the whole campaign had been rather flat and unispiring but he has noticed a substantial change over the last couple of months and there is now most definitely a sharp increase in both interest and hunger for information. He anticipates the debate becoming much livelier over the coming months.  

    172. Jimbo says:

      Congratulations to Cara Hilton for winning the Dunfermline by-election.
       
      I’m now really looking forward (with un-bated breath) to seeing prices tumble as I’m absolutely sure she’ll keep her pledge to reduce the cost of living.

    173. david says:

      jesus sufferin, just had a look at cllr terry kelly website. what an individual. must be fab having that guy as a neighbour. this man is poison. didnt realise how low anyone could go in this referendum debate. just realised he must have got voted in to be a councilor. im definately losing faith.

    174. HandandShrimp says:

      Given Grangemouth supplies Scotland and much of the north of England with fuel where is Mr Kelly going for his petrol? Driving to Manchester to fill up seems…well a bit odd really.

    175. Jamie Arriere says:

      @Piemonteis
      Also, a word on the SNP candidate. I thought she was petty in not congratulating the Labour winner in her speech.
       
      Nonsense. it was about the first thing she said, after warmly shaking her hand. I know it was late but she did say it before the BBC cut her off about 20 seconds in.
       
      Please don’t make it up!

    176. Jon D says:

      @balgayboy 1.36pm
      Rest assured everyone in Yes will welcome you with open arms next year – good man.

      Join your local group:-
      I can only speak for Edinburgh, but the key groups set up here liaise 24/7 offering advice, help and support across all yes events; leafleting, canvassing, street hubs, public meetings, social events, fundraisers volunteer training etc and have a strategy for the next 10 months that although flexible is as tight as nuns knickers in its determination to achieve its goals. You should be impressed by the level of networking and coordination. 

      @Others. My apologies if my previous post was a touch brusque but as a result of enthusiasm and expectation, passion runs high and no offence was intended. I do, of course, understand and appreciate that we are all singing from the same him sheet. and will do so until next September.

    177. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      David
       
      If you ever meet him, wither on blogs or heaven forfend, just call him “baffled” and watch him crumple

    178. Jim Mitchell says:

      Piemonteis said ”The party does not need to exacerbate the loathing between the two parties’, (extract from post).
      The party on it’s own site, has congratulated the Labour winner!

    179. david says:

      If you ever meet him, wither on blogs or heaven forfend, just call him “baffled” and watch him crumple
      thanks for the advice but after reading his rhetoric i would bodyswerve.

    180. Piemonteis says:

      @Jamie Arriere
       
      I saw the melodramatic handshake, but I was listening out for a congratulations and didn’t hear it. She started off by congratulating election staff and never got round to saying “well done”. However, if I’m proved wrong, and if I completely misunderstood her and she did actually congratulate the winner, then obviously I’ll admit I’ve got it wrong. Does anyone know where it can be heard again?

    181. Doug Daniel says:

      Piemonteis – “I heard mentioned last night that the SNP campaigners had been carrying out a survey on independence throughout the constituency over the course of the campaign. The same was carried out in Donside and the results were released early on the night of the by-election there. If these results have stayed private, I can only imagine they’re bad news. Does anyone have any info?”
       
      The results are private because it’s not done for the purpose of getting a headline in the newspapers, unlike the polls done by polling companies. SNP canvassers always ask people about independence, and were doing so long before there was even a referendum on the horizon. It’s how the party knows the true level of support for independence, and why it doesn’t pay much attention to polls saying only 25% will be voting Yes, or whatever.
       
      But it’s not been kept private anyway. Alex Neil mentioned the poll on Scotland Tonight, saying it showed a 50/50 split (once you removed undecideds, I think).
       
      And Shirley-Anne was far more gracious in defeat than the sore winner from the Labour party!

    182. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      That was his moniker on the old Herald blogsire, when he was daily, nae hourly, disabused and abused. 
      Baffled has not evolved and we know what happens to lower order bonobos who stay still.

    183. chalks says:

      @Piemonteis
      Polling by SNP indicates 50%…..so this must be where they are getting the 46% from…donside was a majority from 26,000 polled or thereabouts.
       

    184. Semus says:

      Has The Sheriff Clerk’s Office been broken into for the postal votes to be shredded by the labour party yet? As for car stickers.Co incidentally my car has been damaged twice in a Doctor’s car park when displaying a YES sticker. My YES sticker is at home, and the car has received no further damage.Better Together?But I live in a  real numpty part of Scotia.It should be twinned with either Carstairs or Dunfermline

    185. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      terry kelly aka Bononobo le Baffled
      http://tinyurl.com/kq37e8m
       
       

    186. desimond says:

      Apols if elsewhere but I havent seen anyone mention Anas’ performance on Scotland Tonight.

      I only turned the TV over at the point where Alex Neil was laughing loudly at him and then said “Yes, you can! Your Shadow Chancellor has openly confirmed your party will follow  The Coalition cuts…do you want me to answer the question for you!”.

      It was bliss with the funniest patronising-style tone. I was smiling from ear to ear and the impressive Neil calmly handled big Bernards questions with aplomb including a dignified “I couldnt comment given my position” style reply when Bernard had got Anas and Jackson Carlaw to dish out the blame on Unions and INEOS management at Grangemouth.

    187. Piemonteis says:

      @Doug Daniel
       
      I’m sure the SNP’s data on referendum voting intention will be more complete than that picked up by polling companies since their sample seems to include everyone in the constituency rather than just the 1,000 nationwide picked up by polling companies.
       
      However, it seems a mistake to me that they released the results of the survey for Donside, when they were largely positive, and it has kept private for Dunfermline. The surprising aspect of the Donside survey results was the high percentage of “don’t knows”, so it would surprise me if either: a) there were no “don’t knows”, or b) they had been removed from the figures.

    188. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      No and I don’t give a bonobo’s.

      http://tinyurl.com/kq37e8m

    189. Juteman says:

      @Semus.
      My old care was ‘keyed’ twice whilst sporting a Yes sticker. I’ve recently bought a new car, and am too feart to put a sticker on it.

    190. Alba4Eva says:

      Stu, Can we have a ‘Grangemouth Latest’ thread now please?  Last Nights Dunfermline thing is history, lets put it behind us and move onto the huge news that is Grangemouth re-opening.
       
      Cheers. 

    191. Andrew Morton says:

      Does anyone know if Jim Ratcliffe is a donor to the Tory Party?

    192. Alan Gerrish says:

      I’m sure AS ,JS and the SNP generally will earn a deserved boost in support following the Grangemouth outcome. Part of this will be due to the media heightening the Scottish Governments exposure early on whilst thinking there would be/ hoping for a disaster which they would have immediately reported as being due to the incompetence of the SNP and their “regional”government.  Now the successful outcome is in place the media are doing all they can to suggest it was really Westminster what dunnit, but folk  know full well, thanks to the media’s failed strategy earlier, who was doing the hard graft at the coal face and therefore  who really deserves the credit.

      I think AS could gain a lot more support for the independence movement in the aftermath of Grangemouth by articulating how the INEOS debacle could be a lot less likely to occur in an independent Scotland with a written constitution. What I hope to see in that constitution is reference to a new labour relations model along Scandinavian lines , and also a statement that any large utility company cannot be owned outright by a few individuals but will have a substantial state involvement with the possibility of renationalisation in some cases.  This would seem to be an excellent time to start portraying “the vision thing” based on current events showing how things WILL be better in future following a Yes vote.

      I realise the White Paper may refer to these things and discussion may have to wait until its release,  but I don’t think it would be out of order to use this opportunity to reinforce the point that labour relations cannot function fairly or effectively if we stick with the Westminster model . In the process we might gain increasing support from the STUC who must surely be seriously thinking the only logical way forward is to take control of our own affairs?

    193. Jamie Arriere says:

      @Piemonteis
       
      Realised I was a bit sharp with you there, sorry. Melodramatic? Well it was made to be seen, as it were, but I did think she was trying to defuse any ill-feeling there may have been. I did think she congratulated her on her victory but quickly moved to thank the staff more clearly. I may be wrong too
       
      I did think that Cara Hilton referred in her stumbling thanks to her fellow candidates as “those standing behind me”, which didn’t strike me as particularly gracious or personable either but ….hey ho

    194. Training Day says:

      @Alan Gerrish
       
      Yup, yesterday’s Daily Mail spewed vitriol about how Salmond would be responsible for the closure of Grangemouth – and that this would signal ‘almost certain defeat’ for Yes in the refrendum.
       
      Tomorrow’s Daily Mail will inform us that the UK Government and the Union saved Grangemouth – and that this will signal ‘almost certain defeat’ for Yes in the referendum.
       
      Alan Roden gets money for old rope, does he not?

    195. Archie [not Erchie] says:

      I do enjoy a good caricature or cartoon and it was with this in mind that I tried to see Cara Hilton in that medium.
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/2sqt0kf57xp5mui/Cruella%20Deville2.jpg

    196. Piemonteis says:

      @Jamie Arriere
       
      You’re quite right, the handshake was “made to be seen” rather than melodramatic. I think it was the opening remarks of her speech (which, I thought, struck a more skeptical tone certainly than the 2011 speeches) which changed my perspective on the nature of the handshake.
       
      But don’t get me wrong, Hilton’s speech was septic. So much for the “positive campaign” she introduced the speech with.

    197. handclapping says:

      I dont think we’re done with Dunfermlone yet. IMO Cara Hilton’s success has put the gas out under Alex Rowley’s hopes to succeed Dr Brown as MP when said Brown gets the privelege of wearing skunk round his ears. Rowley is not making much of an impression as Leader on Fife Council and with his performance against Bill Walker being shewn up by Hilton’s success then I reckon his chance has gone.
       
      That said I’m not sure that Dr Brown is willing to go to the Lords. He’s getting much more money as an MP and he doesn’t even have to attend Westminster, which he would have to if he was Lord Brown and wanted his dosh.

    198. Luigi says:

      Anyone worried about their car being keyed because of a YES sticker should just keep a YES board in the boot, for display during journeys.  It is easily put out of site when the car is parked.  Unless you encounter a Ben Hur unionist fanatic on the road, overtaking you in a 60 mph chariot, your car should be safe.

    199. Luigi says:

      Out of “site” – how embarrassing!- I really should proof read before I post.  Apologies also for my atroshus spellin.

    200. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      why Luigi, did you right out of syhte?
      Friday beckons
      BtP

    201. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Stu, Can we have a ‘Grangemouth Latest’ thread now please? Last Nights Dunfermline thing is history, lets put it behind us and move onto the huge news that is Grangemouth re-opening.”

      News: Grangemouth is re-opening. Um, that’s kind of the whole story there.

    202. MajorBloodnok says:

      Press reaction to the Grangemouth story and its relevance (or otherwise) for the referendum will surely animate the MSM over the weekend though.

    203. kininvie says:

      O/T Grangemouth:
       
      Obviously, all the details are not yet public, and may never be. What I have seen mentioned, though, include:
      3 year no-strike agreement
      WM backing for £190m loan guarantees
      no guarantee there will be no redundancies
      £9m grant from the Scottish govt.
      (in addition to the ‘warts and all’ rescue plan.)
       
      I’m afraid I stick to my original contention that Grangemouth remains on Ineos ‘get rid’ list, and that it sees no long-term future for it. I fear there’s a certain unhappy coincidence between the 3 year no-strike agreement and Ineos’ original statement that the plant would have to close in 2017. Meanwhile, they have de-fanged the unions, gained £9m free money and a further £190m effectively free money, since WM will have to stump up if they default on their debt (and no doubt we’ll have to take over that guarantee with Indy).
       
      Looks to me like game set and match, frankly. Apart from re-starting the plant, I haven’t yet heard anything about what Ineos might have conceded in exchange. I guess nothing.
       
      There’s no guarantee that this ‘cheap’ US LNG is going to be sufficiently cheaper than the NS equivalent to make a real difference. FFS, the US hasn’t even started to export it yet. What does seem to be relatively clear is that the price of ethelyne on the global market took a big hit over the spring, and is not pulling back fast:
       
      http://www.platts.com/news-feature/2013/petrochemicals/pgpi/ethylene
       
      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/09/03/france-petrochemicals-total-idUKL6N0GZ3AB20130903
       
      Now, let’s take this a little further and tie it to Indyref
      Here’s a map of the UK ethelyne pipeline network:
       
      http://www.ukopa.co.uk/pdfs/UKOPA-09-0016.pdf
       
      Beautifully integrated for UK needs, no? Let us suppose that post indy, there’s an easy agreement to continue using this network, pro tem (suits both sides, I’d have said). But then along comes Ineos and says to SG – look chaps, we can do this more cheaply by shipping direct from US/ME to our English customers, so we don’t need you any more….unless, of course…well to keep ourselves profitable, we’d need £££m. Oh and by the way we’ve spoken to Exxon at Mossmorran, and they are of the same mind.
       
      Must say, if I were the SG, I’d be wrapping a towel around my head and reading this from cover to cover: (Commend you to do the same – it was written even before the impact of US gas was clear)
       
      http://www.kpmg.no/arch/_img/9584319.pdf
       
      The only answer, as JPMG suggests is to innovate:  Ineos will stay for as long as it has a market. How does SG create that market? Over to them (and you).

    204. MajorBloodnok says:

      As long as we get through Sept 2014 without too many bumps we can sort it out later?

    205. kininvie says:

      Got to start thinking about it Now.

    206. David Smillie says:

      Juteman and Semus
      I saw a car covered with BT stickers very badly vandalised in central Inverness.  It also had stickers extolling the virtues of Danny Alexander, and was parked just outside his constituency office.  Make of that what you will…..

    207. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Kininvie
      I follow what you are saying but, in my opinion, we need to get beyond Sept 2014 and the play the cards, as they fall.
      Logically your extrapolation has a certain logic but, I suspect that there are a lot of known unknowns and even more unknown unknowns.
      It depend how the Brothers, Ineos and the SG (whatever coulour) wish to play.
      Who knows if 5/10 years down the road the economic balance is shifted by, Clyde estuary gas, West coast and near Hebridean easy extract ethylene or some mad scientist invents a pathway to convert ethylene gas into biodegradable something which we use everyday and otherwise would go to a 2,000 year landfill.
      I am being semi-flippant but the SG needs to buy time here.
      non?

    208. Juteman says:

      @David.
      Maybe it’s not a good idea to have political slogans on your car if you live in a city, and your car is parked on the street overnight?
      Drink is a terrible thing.

    209. MajorBloodnok says:

      Could be some sort of partial or total public ownership then if INEOS don’t want it.  They may not consider it profitable in the long term but that depends on what parameters it’s being compared with.
       
      If such a facility has a strategic function beyond it being a mere profit vehicle for a billionaire (and we know that BP had a hand in this ‘rescue’), and no doubt the SG will be painfully aware of this, then I am sure alternative options, post independence will be looked at.  AS is after all an oil economist and may know something about all this.

    210. For those wishing to hear the FM on World at One about 11+ mins in.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dvn18

    211. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Boorach
      I welcome your erudite and knowledgeable contribution, particularly with respect to oil stuff but, I am unsure whether you are a known unknown, an unknown known or an unknown unknown.
      I am following.

    212. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      CH
      excellent and thanks for that link.
      AS just batting away the agenda nonsense from the BBC drone.
       
      easy peasy, lemon sqweezy
       

    213. Robbie says:

      David Smillie.
       
      The BBC could have set it up, they parked a car in the Gallowgate covered in the St George flag and paid actors( kiddy on anti English  Glaswegian neds) to trash it.

    214. Macsenex says:

      The local SNP need to get her constituents to queue up at her surgeries asking for her help to reduce their bills.

      O/t Bill Walker might win his appeal
      Evidence at trial seemed thin

    215. Dramfineday says:

      For those of you raging about the result, can I recommend a therapeutic course of leafleting? I throughly enjoyed myself today,despite the weather, posting the Yes newspaper, the Aye Right communications leaflet but especially the Labour voters for independence leaflet. I have to admit to a certain grim glee as I pushed that one through the letter boxes. It’s there to be won guys, so let’s get out there and do it and leave the mumping to the unionists, BritNats, BritScots or whatever they call themselves.Chins up abody!

    216. Brian Mark says:

      The bigger a lie the more it sounds like the truth Copyright: The National Socialist Party Germany 1933 and the Scottish Labour Party Dunfermline 2013

    217. kininvie says:

      Major & BTP
       
      Thanks for the input. I’m all for buying time, but we do need to use the time we’ve bought. And that includes this year.
       
      US shale gas was one of Talib’s Black Swans, and it has changed the whole pattern of risk/reward in the industry. And places such as Grangemouth are the losers.
       
      I’m not any sort of expert in the industry, but I think the SG has only two medium-term options:
      1) Accept that Grangemouth petrochemicals has no future, and start, now, looking at alternative industries to attract to the region.
      2) Think how to attract the kind of industries that use Grangemouth product into the area, so there’s sufficient volume within Scotland, to keep the petrochemical plant in business.
       
      If we’re not bloody careful, we’re going to be faced with another Ravenscraig/Linwood/Bathgate situation, in which we prop up an uneconomic industry because we have nothing else to offer the workforce. And I doubt we’ll be able to afford that for long. So let’s scratch our brains….
       
      I’d keep the refinery going, at whatever cost, because that is truly strategic. Petrochems – I’m not so sure.
       
      Take a wee read of this if you need to be convinced of the urgency:
       
      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/britain-refinery-idUKL5N0IE2MF20131024

    218. @Bugger (the Panda)
      Glad you enjoyed it because I did as well.
      We need lots more of that from others to show the BBC for what they are.

    219. Cath says:

      “Thanks for the input. I’m all for buying time, but we do need to use the time we’ve bought. And that includes this year.”
       
      I’m sure people in both the SG and Westminster one will be drawing up various plans. But for obvious reasons they wont be able to make public or discuss what’s all on the table for after September next year.

    220. MajorBloodnok says:

      kininvie said: I’d keep the refinery going, at whatever cost, because that is truly strategic. Petrochems – I’m not so sure.
       
      Yes, I think you are right.  Unfortunately most of the jobs (at least at the moment) are in the petrochemical part but a bit of long term thinking and planning is needed – and we’ll hardly get that from Westminster!
       
      Basically, some time has been bought and hopefully the Scottish Government will get the power to do something with this after the refererndum because the SG has clearly demonstrated that it has the ability and will to do something, if not all of the economic levers we need to do the job properly.

    221. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Kininvie
      Arte we singing off the same hymn-sheet?
      I hope so.
      Talib’s Black Swan is what politics are all about. Circumstances said McMillan.
      Yes we do need a strategy but until 2014 this is all big load of conjecture before mastication.
      Politically, what had been bought is time, for the neaderthals, of both sides of the industrial divide, to somehow work out which way the wind is blowing and how they should set their sails.
      There is only so much that the SG can do.
      I am reminded of a premis of the UK gov in N Ireland, that the military were really only there until the two sides had given up punch and judy politics and moved on the bettering their respective camps.
      It is up to the both sides to progress, the SG can only show the way.
      If the two pugilists are blind thenit would otherwise be up to the forces behind the, union members and god knows who for, Ineos to force a settlement in the long term benefit of fhe net present value of future projected cash flows?
       

    222. twenty14 says:

      Just in and catching up – with regards the 8000 postal votes – this seems very high.
      Is there any bonafide way of checking these votes

    223. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      correction
      Talib’s Black Swan is what politics are all about. Circumstances said McMillan.
       
      Should read events.

    224. call me dave says:

      Training Day
      You cynic you!   @:o)
       
      But he does get his money for old rope  (just like the hangman)
       

    225. Juteman says:

      BtP. Spot on.
       

    226. Footsoldier says:

      Great response from lots of people.

    227. Juteman says:

      And i’m one of the ‘neaderthals’. 🙂

    228. Peter says:

            I seem to recall lord bruce of nowheresville claiming that the evil Salmond didn’t thank the returning officer and defeated candidates when he won in 2007.  Show to be a lie by your actual video evidence but the unionists stuck to that lie through thin and thinner.  
          On another note this by election shows once again that labour is a cancer that needs to be removed from the body of Scotland.  This will never be a free, just or democratic country as long as they have any shred of power or influence.
         
        
        

    229. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I am getting absolutely fed up with the naysayers who are supposed to be on our side talking us down about “lack of momentum” and so on. Which momentum is it that they imagine we will see reported in any of our media?
      They obviously have no idea about what is being done.
      There is serious momentum going on at the moment and any informed check on the figures show the only movement is for no to don’t know and from don’t know to Yes. 
      There is a huge amount of work going on continually in our communities, round the doors and in our town and village halls. The YES fringe meeting at SNP conference was hugely impressive as it detailed the progress and the systems in place. Our enemies know and recognise nothing of this as much of it not on the radar but I know from our premises that people who would have been nowhere near us a year ago are walking in and signing up (mostly insulted by the Better Together banalities)
      Meanwhile the Better Together are showing all their hand and every one of their scare stories will be dead before we move into aspirational mode next spring. We are playing it just right.

    230. Juteman says:

      @Dave.
      I think folk are waiting for more ‘oomph’ from the leaders on the TV.

    231. Bubbles says:

      @ Cirsium
       
      Thanks for that. I don’t really read poetry well but I like it spoken. That’s a good one, even I can tell. You just managed to stop me re-branding myself as Ira Hayes, lol.

    232. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Juteman says:
       

      And i’m one of the ‘neaderthals’.
       
      thanks Dundee man.
       
      if I could, I would give you a double chin smiley.
       
       
       
       

    233. Juteman says:

      Cheers mate. 🙂

    234. Castle Rock says:

      @ cynical Highlander
       
      For those wishing to hear the FM on World at One about 11+ mins in.
       
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03dvn18

       
      For the life of me I honestly can’t understand why people in Dunfermline still voted Labour.  Here we have the First Minister explaining clearly and concisely what the Scottish Government’s role was without any point scoring or one upmanship and all we got from the Labour candidate in her “victory” speech was bitterness and bile.
       
      Parts of Scotland really do need to waken up.
       

    235. Juteman says:

      For many older folk, voting is like the rest of the dark months.
      You have the guisers, the fireworks, Christmas and Hogmanay.
      Sometimes you also go to the primary school to vote Labour.
      The local cooncilur is a bra laddie. He sometimes brings bairns singing at yir door at Christmas. An if yir reely stuck, he’ll gie ye a birl doon tae the primary skael tae vote for him. Such a nice laddie.
       
       

    236. muttley79 says:

      @Jeannie
       
      Noticed on the lunchtime news that Cara Hilton was criticising the SNP for “putting the country on pause” whilst focusing on the referendum.
       
      Yes, heard Sarah Boyack say exactly the same thing last night on the TV.  Also heard Lamont say it as well countless times.  It is obviously the favoured soundbite of SLAB.  Given that they clearly cannot think for themselves, maybe it is not surprising they have all turned into an echo chamber.
       

    237. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Juteman
      I think at the moment we need our leaders being very sensible on TV.
      There is nothing as bad as premature oomph or blowback.
       
      (I have theory that “oomph” at by elections has a counter productive effect eventually and results in a reverse effect of keeping thoroughly over-oomphed or pissed off punters at home).
      The time for oomph is the second half of next year onwards. Might write a song

    238. Juteman says:

      I hope you are right Dave.

    239. Juteman says:

      My comment is awaiting moderation?

    240. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Juteman
      There is a definite inclination in the Labour Party to favour very ordinary candidates to which many of them readily relate. There has always been a peculiar dichotomy in the Labour party between personable but very pedestrian members and elected figures on the one hand and very clever people on the other . The success of the latter has often depended on how well they can effect to be of the  former.
       
      The Tory voters on the other hand  have traditionally been deferential and prided themselves on choosing their superiors to represent them.
       
      God know where the LibDems fit into this picture. I think open toed sandals used to be very important

    241. Juteman says:

      My posts are not appearing.

    242. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Juteman
      Who are you?
      Where are you?

    243. The Flamster says:

      Juteman – I can see your comments
       
      Re; Yes Car stickers – saw two yesterday one on each side of the back window, was so excited I nearly crashed into the back of it lol 🙂

    244. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “My comment is awaiting moderation?”

      Did it say “Hail Caesar!” or anything like that? (Where “by that” I mean “some slogan”, not Gaelic.)

    245. Dramfineday says:

      Here Flamster, was that you in a steel blue Ford transit (type) that nearly rear ended me in Wester Hailes yesterday?

    246. Juteman says:

      Hail Stu. 🙂

    247. stonefree says:

      i admit to being disappointed in the result , but that’s what they voted for the Lamonts and Sarwars of the Yellow and Red Rosettes …….Still if Scotland ever needs an enema, well might I suggest……

    248. The Flamster says:

      Dramfineday
       
      Nowhere near Wester Hails – not guilty 🙂

    249. David says:

      BBC 15 April 2014: Pitcorthie Primary in Fife to close down

      Parents campaigning to save a Fife primary school have been left disappointed after councillors backed plans to close it down.

      The fate of Pitcorthie Primary was a key issue in the recent Dunfermline by-election.

      Campaigners had been hoping to convince Fife Council to overturn its original decision.

      A majority of members of the executive committee voted to go ahead with the closure.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-27041348

    250. David says:

      “COUNCILLORS have voted to close Pitcorthie Primary School after more than 90 minutes of debating this morning.

      Members of the council’s executive committee voted by 13 votes to 4 to close the school at a meeting in Glenrothes.

      Dunfermline MSP Cara Hilton made a five-minute presentation outlining why she believed the school should stay open but her views were ignored by her Labour colleagues on the committee who voted by an overwhelming majority to shut its doors for good.
      The school is now expected to close in August 2015”

      http://www.dunfermlinepress.com/news/dunfermline/articles/2014/04/15/495169-campaigners-vow-to-keep-fighting-as-councillors-vote-to-close-pitcorthie-primary-school/

    251. Paula Rose says:

      Was this part of the election campaign promises by the winning candidate?



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