From the Daily Record 22/01/15
The polls in Scotland leave beaming smiles the faces of SNP politicians. But not even they can quite work out what is going on, far less predict the final effect on the general election.
Our own Daily Record polling shows that 47 per cent of people thought the SNP “did not tell the truth” on the economy during the referendum campaign. The evidence of plummeting oil prices and a consequent £7 billion gap in independence finances bear this out.
But Nicola Sturgeon emerges as the most trusted political leader by streets and the SNP appear to be on track to demolish Labour across Scotland in a few months.
To inject analysis into this topsy turvey world enter the not the voting experts, but the publishers of bridal magazines.
They explain that most young brides start buying their magazines a year before the big day.
But the business model relies on a huge percentage of readers continuing to buy the magazines up to a year after exchanging their bridal vows.
Recently married readers continue to buy into the product to maintain a link to an event in which they invested so much emotional energy.
Less generous people dismiss this as the bridezilla effect, but as an explanation of the SNP surge it serves as well as any other analogy.
The comparison breaks down in Scotland’s case, of course, because the groom said No at the alter in September.
The jilted bride, still with this huge emotional investment in the big day,is angry.
“People are in the mood to give us a kicking, it just depends how angry they are,” said one phlegmatic Scottish Labour MP, back in Westminster from a discouraging weekend on the doorsteps.
The job of defusing that anger falls on Jim Murphy and the footslogging determination of Labour activists.
For Murphy, so far so good. He has established himself as a credible figure with the Scottish media, but that is only one circle of influence.
Out in the real world people haven’t really heard his reforming message and, 104 days to go, time is his enemy. He has made a priority of oil, jobs and the economy, issues that connect with the voters.
The SNP, having bet on black gold and lost, cannot go on the economy. It is back to core vote issues like Trident and being Scotland’s defenders.
Which approach will woo this jilted bride, none can yet tell.