Friday 11 December 2009

Lib Dems in trouble?

Those of us campaigning on the ground in Edinburgh have seen the Lib Dems' support shrinking markedly over the past couple of years, it's collapsed in North and Leith, practically disappeared in Edinburgh East, vanished in Pentlands (they call it Edinburgh South-West for Holyrood but that's such a boring name), doon the pan in Edinburgh South, and creaking into oblivion in Edinburgh West to the extent that that seat looks like being a Conservative / SNP marginal in 2011. Oftentimes people have chided me and suggested I might be being just a little disingenuous. Me, of all people!

Today's Edinburgh Evening News should make a wee startling then - Margaret Smith, the incumbent MSP, has won reselection as the Lib Dem candidate for 2011 and the tiny tale ends with the sentence
Ms Smith is also expected to put her name forward for the Lib Dems' Lothian list.

That's something she didn't feel the need to do in 1999 nor in 2003 nor in 2007. You would have been forgiven for thinking that 12 years building an incumbency factor might give her more confidence rather than less. Perhaps someone has seen the writing on the wall and run for cover - that person being John Barrett - and that has alerted Ms Smith to the parlous state of her party's fortunes in the wild west of the capital?

The danger she faces, of course, is that heading for the list when she has spurned it on the three previous occasions makes it clear that she's in trouble. Slipping it out as an afterthought to a reselection story might be a way of trying to bury it (sorry about that), but I'll lay odds she tries to retract it in the next couple of weeks (probably blaming a journalist) as someone in the Lib Dems points out that she's just making a bad position worse.

Mind how you go!


Nich Starling said...

Absolute fantasy. Keep taking the tablets !

Calum Cashley said...

An intellectual contribution to the debate on Edinburgh politics from Norfolk ...

Anonymous said...

Margaret Smith doesn't think it's fantasy or she wouldn't be standing on the list, would she?

Strathturret said...

I've met v few Lib-Dems on the door in Angus.