Four more years for Nicol

by Stephen Tall on August 4, 2007

Though the election’s not for another two months, the result looks a foregone conclusion: Nicol Stephen, Lib Dem MSP for Aberdeen South, seems set to be re-elected leader of the Scottish Lib Dems for another four years in October.

The Herald has the full story:

Mr Stephen has secured the support of all 15 of his parliamentary colleagues at Holyrood, which makes it technically impossible under the party rule book for there to be any challenge against him.

Under rules agreed in 2000, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats must be an MSP, while the deputy must be a Westminster MP, with the posts to be agreed at Scottish party conference every four years following a Holyrood poll. With all the other Holyrood members endorsing Mr Stephen, it means that although nominations do not close until August 14 the race is in effect over before it has even begun. …

Michael Moore is the current deputy but with his new role as foreign affairs spokesman it is likely he will step down, with new shadow Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael likely to take over.

A mischief-making article in the Torygraph on Thursday implied the Scottish Lib Dems now languished on 4% in the Scottish polls. Even the Telegraph felt compelled to acknowledge, this ‘poll’ was based on a sample of just 167 Scottish voters: “As such it cannot be expected to as accurately reflect voter intentions as could a bigger sample.” In other words, it’s bollocks but they couldn’t resist the headline.