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23 January 2007


Grant Thoms

What was odd in Colin Boyd's case and now the present Lord Advocate, is that he wasn't ennobled on appointment. Previous Lord Advocates were made peers on appointment so that they could answer for the Government in the House of Lords on Scottish judicial matters (a wholly unsatisfactory role considering they are also head of the prosecution service but that's another matter). Still, when mud is flying it is amazing where it will stick.

On Falkirk West, I think you should give credit to Canavan creating an anti-Labour vote as much as retaining some old Labour supporters. The Council being elected the same day has an SNP-led administration which has won a string of by-elections in the area over the past 2 years - some with thumping majorities.


First of all, I was unaware of Denis Canavan's family history which is deeply saddening. The BBC has a good run down of his "colourful" past and the man has gone way up in my estimation, and he was starting off from a fairly lofty point to begin with.

But I think his stepping down will combine with other factors to give a largely uneventful night come May the 3rd. The other contributing factors include Jean Turner's omission in Strathkelvin & Bearsden, the return of Iain Gray (complete with red cape and suspected Westminster backing), the fiercely staunch Labour stance of most Glaswegians, the splitting of the SSP list vote by Comrade Tommy's Solidarity party and some fairly unintentionally biased polling data giving some nationalist false hope (chiefly YouGov).

One or two seats will probably make all the difference in 2007 from what I can see so Denis Canavan stepping down for Labour to get in in Falkirk West (and I just can't see the SNP winning in Falkirk somehow) will be a fairly significant moment in retrospect come the beginning of Jack's 3rd term.

3rd term, it seems bizarre even to comtemplate it.

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