​Scottish Labour MPs look set to increase at next election - Susan Dalgety

​Newspaper reports suggest that the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has put the Tories on an election footing, with the smart money on a general election 2 May next year – only six months away.
Labour’s Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray MPLabour’s Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray MP
Labour’s Shadow Scotland Secretary Ian Murray MP

It can’t come soon enough for a country fed up to the back teeth of nearly 14 years of Conservative misrule. And it will make a pleasant change for the voters to be able to choose the Prime Minister.

Since 2016, three of the last four PMs have been picked, not by voters, but by a few thousand Tory Party members.

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One man who will be especially keen on the general election result will be the MP for Edinburgh South and fellow Evening News columnist Ian Murray. Poor Ian has been Labour’s sole Scottish representative in Westminster since 2015, until Michael Shanks was elected last month, and while he has done a grand job representing both his constituency and Scottish Labour, he must be desperate for some more company in London.

Recent polls suggest he may well be about to get 40 new comrades. A survey by the Scottish Election Study (SES) earlier this month showed that 38 per cent of voters planned to vote Labour at the general election, compared to just 32 per cent for the SNP.

Dr Fraser McMillan, an SES researcher, said: “…Scottish voters are ready to punish the SNP and the Conservatives, with both parties having spent a long time in power at Holyrood and Westminster respectively.”

I am no psephologist (I can barely say the word) but I have a hunch that at least two of the new Labour MPs will be from Edinburgh, with Edinburgh East and Musselburgh and Edinburgh North and Leith falling to Labour’s Chris Murray and Tracy Gilbert respectively.

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The redoubtable Joanna Cherry is likely to hold on to Edinburgh South West, and Christine Jardine will be re-elected the Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West.

One prediction I can make with certainty is that there will be no Conservative MPs in the city. And if the UK wide polls play out in real life, there are going to be very few anywhere.

The last time Labour won a landslide was in May 1997. Things did get better for a few years. Let’s hope this time the change lasts even longer.