Inverclyde win “sends clear message to David Cameron”


The Labour Party had a great boost yesterday by winning a by-election in Inverclyde. A traditional Labour stronghold, victorious new MP and former Inverclyde councillor Iain McKenzie said: ”With a result like this I think we can safely say the SNP bandwagon has ground to a halt. Labour won this election because we listened hard and took nothing for granted.

”This is the start of Labour’s fightback and there will be a lot more listening to do over the coming months and years.”

I send my hearty congratulations to McKenzie and his team, but Scottish Labour’s announcement that this marks a comebackfor Holyrood could have been marked differently. Firstly, this was an election for a Westminster seat, and secondly Labour have a much greater chance of succeeding in this arena than in Holyrood. McKenzie is wise in his words – taking things for granted cost Scottish Labour the last general election to the Scottish Parliament.This year saw the Scottish National Party (SNP) win a landslide victory at Holyrood, with Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) ensuring a majority government. Iain Gray’s lack of charisma and Scottish Labour’s complacency lost them many seats. However, deep and swingeing cuts going too far and too fast could shift popularity from the Tories back to the Labour Party

Commenting after the by-election, Labour leader Ed Miliband focussed on helping people find jobs. Scottish unemployment rose by 35,000 in the last quarter, according to official figures. McKenzie’s win will hopefully inspire people in Scotland to see that Labour can win seats. However, a greater issue is whether or not Labour can hang on to this inspiration and work out a way to win new voters.

In addition, David Cameron has been reminded that Scotland remains hostile ground for the Conservatives. With the current coalition implementing radical and irresponsible policies that no-one voted for, perhaps in Scotland we’ll always have a strong left-wing fortress. My message to the people of Inverclyde – job well done.


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