Why Alex Salmond will win Gordon next year

All recent polling suggests a return to Westminster for the former first minister.

All recent polling suggests a return to Westminster for the former first minister

Anyone thinking that stepping down as first minister would mean a more leisurely pace for Alex Salmond will yesterday have been proved sorely mistaken.

The news that he intends to make a return to Westminster, this time standing in the seat of Gordon in Aberdeenshire, took few by surprise.

The move will place him at the heart of a process by which the SNP could play a pivotal role in the likely event of a hung parliament next May.

First however, Salmond needs to be elected. On that matter, the current outgoing MP for the constituency, Deputy Lib Dem leader Malcolm Bruce, is unequivocal.

Alex Salmond will, Bruce told Radio 4’s Broadcasting Housing yesterday, fail in his efforts. This morning he spoke to BBC Radio Scotland about Salmond’s “arrogant presumption” in believing that simply standing for the seat means he has won.

So what are Salmond’s chances next year of taking the seat in what will be an eagerly anticipated race?

In 2010 the seat saw the Lib Dems secure a majority of almost 7,000 over second placed SNP, with a swing from Lib Dems to the SNP of 7.6 per cent.

Despite the challenge however, Gordon should be a relatively easy win for the SNP.

In 2007 Salmond stood for the seat for the Scottish Parliament, securing a majority of just over 2,000 votes over the Lib Dems, with a swing from the Lib Dems to SNP of 10.7 per cent.

By 2011, this time in the newly named seat of Aberdeenshire East which includes much of Gordon, Salmond increased his majority to over 15,000 votes with a swing from the Lib Dems to the SNP of almost 20 per cent.

Salmond’s popularity in the area will undoubtedly propel him over the winning line. Coupled with all recent polling suggesting a victory in Gordon, and the benefit to the SNP of the sitting MP standing down, I will be very surprised if we do not see Salmond return to Westminster.

With Gordon Brown standing down next year, the former first minister will seek to carve out a space for himself as the self-styled guardian of the Scottish national interest, holding the feet of the UK-wide parties close to the fire over the promises they made on further powers for Holyrood.

If they don’t see these promises through, expect some stormy scenes in the Commons. It was, after all, Salmond who in 2008 disrupted Nigel Lawson’s budget speech so much that it lead to the Commons being suspended for 15 minutes. Who would bet against him doing something similar again?

Salmond will be a prominent figure in politics for the foreseeable future. As the Scotsman writes today: ‘those who wrote him off three months ago may yet have cause to reconsider’.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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11 Responses to “Why Alex Salmond will win Gordon next year”

  1. open_sesame

    With Gordon voting almost 2:1 against indy, tactical voting would make Salmond’s task very hard. He will try to sell himself as a constituency MP, but the more he says about being there to further the interests of the minority of Gordon that support a yes vote, the more the other two thirds will think about who is most likely to stop him.

  2. Selohesra

    Like him or not Salmond is a real character & will brighten up HoC – he will get votes from those who do not want full independence just like SNP always have. Hopefully as he pushes for more Scottish powers there will be reciprocal powers for the English & if he sticks with honourable SNP practice of not voting on English only matters then I would welcome him.

  3. RolftheGanger

    Whistling in the wind.
    All the Westminster parties are going to get a well deserved pounding in the UK and Scottish GEs.

  4. open_sesame

    Thank you. You can’t say this often enough. Please spread your macho message far and wide, making sure you include suitably violent metaphors.

  5. swat

    He’ll win because Gordon is part of his Holyrood constituency, and Salmond is a good politician and gets results although he didn’t quite get Independence just byet.

  6. RolftheGanger

    Edinburgh Evening News

    “NEW opinion poll statistics have given a big boost to SNP hopes of a major breakthrough in Edinburgh at next year’s general election.The figures from Populus suggest the party has 35 per
    cent support in the Capital, an increase of 23 per cent since the last Westminster election in 2010. To make matters even worse for Labour, the Tories emerge in second place in Edinburgh on 25 per cent support – up 5.9 per cent since 2010.

    Support for Scottish Labour fell from 37 per cent four years ago to just 24 per cent while the Liberal Democrats are on ten per cent – down 18.5 per cent – and others on six per cent”

    As and when NE figures are available I expect them to be rather more promising for the SNP.

    That is now, wait till the campaigning pulls their figures lower still.
    I call that a political pounding. Substitute any meltdown term of your choice.

  7. open_sesame

    Thank you, it is important to highlight the threat that the SNP pose to the people of Scotland and the UK.

  8. RolftheGanger

    Oh I think that Westminster not only has the threat to Scotland angle thoroughly covered, but has been delivering ongoing damage for many decades.

  9. open_sesame

    I don’t suppose quoting facts would change your mind?

  10. RolftheGanger

    When the “facts” come with a little tm marking “Made in Westminster” I am decidedly cynical.

  11. open_sesame


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