David Cameron– The Prime Minister has had an outstanding week with the Conservatives gaining council seats against the odds and the No to AV campaign convincingly the Alternative Vote Referendum. Cameron is now in the position of power in the Coalition and will likely, bar the NHS reforms, not give away any more concessions to the Lib Dems. This stance will delight his activists, the Tory leaning papers and his own back benchers.
Alex Salmond- The Scottish National Party’s ability to gain a majority against all the odds means Salmond has had an incredible week. Two issues that will be at the back of the First Minister’s mind however are how he is going to govern Scotland and the timing of an Independence Referendum. The SNP has to deliver on their manifesto fully now that they have a majority which I think will be difficult given the budget constraints in the next five years. Salmond will almost certainly hold the Independence Referendum after the General Election of 2015, with the SNP hoping for a Tory majority Government in Westminster to make their life easier campaigning for Scottish Independence.
Annabel Goldie- Although the Scottish Conservatives endured losses, their vote did not collapse anywhere near as much as the Lib Dems in Scotland. Goldie has remained leader of the Scottish Conservatives and I’d wager her party will improve on their current tally of fifteen seats in 2016.
Nick Clegg- Massive losses in the Scottish and council elections plus the Alternative Vote Referendum means the Deputy Prime Minister has had a terrible week. I expect Clegg now to distance himself in person from the Coalition’s economic policies and focus in on social led policies such as education. The Lib Dems have nowhere to go at the moment as a snap General Election would decimate their total number of MPs, so it is in their interest to adopt as more business like approach to the Coalition and try to re-establish their activist base at local level.
Ed Miliband- Miliband has has a woeful week, with a poor number of gains in the council elections, the loss of the Alternative Vote Referendum and a heavy loss in the Scottish elections. The Leader of the Opposition needs desperately to set his sights on the Conservatives and must find a resonating narrative on the economy quickly as the right of his party seem to growing restless with his leadership. A loss for Ken Livingstone in the London Mayoral Election next year may prove to be one loss too many for Miliband who I believe to be living on borrowed time as party leader already in this Parliamentary cycle.
Iain Gray- Gray swiftly resigned after his lackluster campaign led to an awful result for his party. I doubt he will be gunning for a Scottish Westminster seat anytime soon.
Tavish Scott- Scott’s party imploded spectacularly allowing in part for the SNP to gain an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. He rightfully resigned and I doubt he, like Iain Gray, will be gunning for a Scottish Westminster seat anytime soon.