the latest opinion polls make dismal reading for the Labour Party in the Capital, just as they have done for the party across most of the rest of Scotland in recent weeks. There is just no getting away from that.
These are, of course, simply the latest opinion polls, no more and no less, and the pollsters have often been proved wrong – even wildly wrong on occasion – in the past. Besides, much can change over the next two-and-a-half weeks, whatever all the indicators to date. But even with those qualifications these poll results make for remarkable reading.
Edinburgh South and Edinburgh North and Leith have been generally regarded as Labour’s safest seats in Edinburgh. Its main rivals at the last election, the Liberal Democrats, have seen their support collapse, while the SNP came in a lowly fourth in both constituencies. These are not nationalist hotbeds, far from it. Voters in Edinburgh South voted almost two to one in favour of the Union in last year’s referendum.
So, if Labour can lose here, then it is entirely feasible that it could lose all its seats in the Capital. Don’t forget the polls have already suggested Alistair Darling’s former Edinburgh South West seat will fall to the SNP, which would, in theory, leave only Edinburgh East which was always likely to be more marginal than South and North and Leith.
That would be a seismic change for the Capital. You have to go back to before the First World War to find an election where Edinburgh did not send a Labour representative to Westminster.
Of course, there is still everything to play for with 16 days to go until polling day, not least in Edinburgh South where the result does appear to be sitting on a knife edge.
This is shaping up to be a historic election for the city whichever way the results finally fall. The one thing that is beyond doubt is that everyone’s vote will count.