Could Alistair Darling lead Scottish Labour?

Alistair Darling

Following Johann Lamont’s resignation as leader of Scottish Labour, one man not talked about could be right for the job - Alistair Darling

Many of those who have been linked to the role as potential leaders have been reported as not to be standing.

Anas Sarwar, currently Scottish Labour’s acting leader, will not be standing James Matthews of Sky News tweeted on Monday that: ‘Anas Sarwar supporters say he'll concentrate on role as 'party unifier' rather than stand for Scottish Labour leadership’.

Sky Newsdesk also tweeted: ‘Deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party Anas Sarwar announces he will not stand for the role of party leader’.

As for Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minster who despite his loss in 2010 remains popular in Scotland, it has also been reported by Sky that anonomous sources say he is unlikely to stand.

Additionally, another top contender, Jackie Baillie MSP, who has been in the Holyrood chamber since 1999 has ruled out standing, telling Good Morning Scotland that she will support whoever is elected leader.

Speaking on the show she said: ‘I would much rather play a supporting role than be the leader and that's always been my position.’

Jenny Marra MSP and Kezia Dugdale MSP have also ruled themselves out.

Other potential names include Douglas Alexander MP, Ken Macintosh MSP,  among others. One other heavy weight talked about - Jim Murphy - has not yet said anything on the issue though it is arguable that with him being the current Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, and Labour in with a chance of winning the UK’s general election next May, he could stay out of the race to play a key role in fighting for Labour in 2015.

However, there is one individual whose name has been rarely mentioned in connection to the vacant role - Alistair Darling.

Mr. Darling led the fight on behalf of Better Together earlier this year, securing victory for the pro-union side. In some ways he is seen as ‘the man who saved the union’, however, with an arguably bad performance in the second TV debate against Mr. Salmond there would be questions surrounding his role. Additionally, the fact that support for Scottish independence increased to 45% (whilst he led Better Together) could come back to haunt Mr. Darling.

The former Chancellor of the Exchequer would also bring valuable experience to the position of Scottish Labour leader. But again the disadvantage of not being an MSP would be not having a direct voice in Holyrood. However, with the Edinburgh Evening News reporting last Tuesday that Mr. Darling could lose his seat in Westminster next May, entering Holyrood could be a great opportunity for him.

He has also never been short of ambition, having been involved in politics since his time at University. Leading Scottish Labour could just be the next step in his political career, taking the fight to the SNP once more.

Johann Lamont has had her time and its now time for a new leader to step forward. Whether that be Alistair Darling or someone else, it is clear that Scottish Labour have a tough time ahead.