Why Is Iain Gray Doing So Badly In The Polls?..


Labour in Scotland have squandered a fifteen point lead to now be trailing the Scottish National Party by well over ten points. So why is Labour and Iain Gray doing so badly at this time? Here are three reasons why: –

Iain Gray is not as visible as Alex Salmond on the national stage- Salmond gets much, much more exposure than Gray because he is the leader of his whole party. Gray has to stay in the shadows when Ed Miliband visits Scotland as he is of a lower rank, and the voters see him as more of “Labour’s messenger from Westminster” based in Scotland than a bona fide leader.

Iain Gray looks and sounds like identikit politician- Gray has little charisma compared to Salmond or even the Scottish Tories leader Annabel Goldie. To oust the incumbent in any election you as the party leader need to show some humour, confidence and more importantly need to look like a leader. Gray has not shown any of those traits during the campaign, looking like a man out of his depth who likes to hide in famous sandwich stores when quizzed by opposition groups.

Iain Gray and Labour’s manifesto is not radical enough- There is so little to choose between the left-wing parties’ manifestos in 2011 that Labour (or any opposition party apart from the Tories) will have a tough time convincing the electorate to vote for them over the incumbent SNP. Scottish Labour’s manifesto should have been more radical to give the voters a genuine choice and increase their chances of gaining the most seats. Instead it promises much of what the SNP’s manifesto promises, leading me to believe Scottish Labour’s strategy was to simply hope Salmond and the SNP would somehow become unpopular enough to grant Gray’s party the most seats on May 5th by default.

I can’t see how Gray or his party can recover from their current position from now until polling day. I think there is real possibility of Gray losing his seat which would prove to be a major headache for the Labour party and Ed Miliband short term.

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