East Renfrew was Jim Murphy’s seat until the SNP took it from him. This affluent area wasn’t really a ‘Labour’ seat it was a ‘New Labour’ seat. The voters there liked Tony Blair’s form of centre-left politics. It was the kind where you could pretend to care a bit about the poor but not be too taxed by socialist policies. You could feel you were a better person than those Tories especially the nasty ones that had come to dominate the party from Thatcher on.
So, East Renfrewshire is full of voters a bit to the right of the current SNP progressive agenda and they almost certainly want the SNP out this time but they have a problem. They don’t know who to vote for to get them out. Do they stick with the still pretty Blairite Scottish Labour Party of Kezia Dugdale or do they jump en masse to the Tories. The bookies make this a reasonable bet after the certain Tory gain in Borders but I think they’re thoroughly unsure. My guess is the Unionist vote will split and a reduced SNP vote will still take it. My grin will be painfully wide.
Here’s a good example of the confusion in the Unionist ranks. I’m grateful to Dazz316 who posted the photo above on Reddit yesterday and wrote under it:
‘This is terrible, terrible advertising. People are going to be driving by these, seeing a big sign that says VOTE CONSERVATIVE and then driving on. What did the small print say? Dunno couldn’t read it.’Bottom of Form
On the one hand, it’s just plain stupid on the other it reveals the deep hatred of the SNP that will allow Scottish Labour to say or do anything to damage them even if it helps the Tories win. If there was a chance UKIP could win it would they post Vote UKIP? Is there a Nazi party in East Ren?
Yet, see this
‘SNP and Labour freeze out Tories in East Renfrewshire’
‘The SNP and Labour are set to run East Renfrewshire Council despite the Conservatives winning the most seats…..The two parties, along with a local independent councillor, have said they will work together to protect local services…..The Conservatives took seven seats to become the largest party at the recent elections…..However, the SNP with five councillors and Labour with four have excluded them from a deal to form an administration.’
So, on the ground in East Ren, the Labour Party looks like it might still be the old Labour party of progressive values. Are they going to turn out to vote for a Tory just to keep the SNP out when they’ve just formed a local alliance with them ‘to protect local services’?