With a series of opinion polls predicting the Labour Party faces being hammered by the SNP at next May’s UK Election, two candidates this week said local MP Katy Clark is the party’s only hope of avoiding “sure-fire electoral defeat”.
Ms Clark is currently challenging for the position of Deputy Leader of Labour in Scotland and has set-out a radical, left-wing vision for the party. Speaking last week to the3towns.today, Katy Clark was scathing of Labour’s transformation under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, saying the New Labour project that re-branded the party as a moderate version of the Conservatives had “failed” and had taken Scottish Labour “to the edge of the abyss”.
Now, two women who have been selected as Labour parliamentary candidates have stated the party will not win seats “unless Katy Clark is elected Deputy Leader”.
Lesley Brennan and Carol Mohan have written to Labour activists across Scotland warning they are headed for “sure-fire electoral defeat” unless Ms Clark is elected to the deputy leadership position and Labour implements her left-wing vision.
Both women will be Labour candidates in seats held by the SNP, and they say their conversations with voters suggest the party is heading for defeat unless it changes.
In a joint statement supporting Katy Clark’s campaign for Deputy Leader, Ms Brennan and Ms Mohan said, “The referendum and the subsequent debate has been an exciting time to be involved in politics in Scotland. Unfortunately, it's not been our party that's excited people.”
The two candidates claim the Scottish National Party “is not a progressive party”, but acknowledge voters have flocked to the SNP because “people simply don't trust Labour anymore”.
Brennan and Mohan noted, “If we are to have a hope of winning next year we need to change and we need to show people we've listened to their anger. We can't go to the electorate with more business as usual. If we don't have the right values and policies to convince the electorate again, we will lose and so will dozens of candidates across the country.”
Opinion polls conducted by various companies show the SNP is likely to make significant gains from Labour when the UK Election is held in May 2015, with one survey indicating the Nationalists could take as many as 50 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats. SNP membership has also soared to almost 100,000 since the Independence Referendum on September 18th.
Katy Clark this week said she is “confident” of holding her North Ayrshire & Arran seat at the UK Election, but the constituency is one that polls indicate could be taken by the SNP.