Alex Salmond to stand in Gordon - can he win ?

Alex Salmond

It’s been rumoured for some time now that Alex Salmond will try to return to Westminster and now he has stated his intention. But can he win ?

The former Scottish first minister, who led the Yes campaign in this year’s Scottish independence referendum, announced his intentions to run for the Gordon seat in the North east of Scotland.

The seat has been held by Sir Malcolm Bruce since 1983, when he won under the ‘Liberal’ banner. Bruce still holds the seat, now as a Liberal Democrat, but he is stepping down in 2015. Christine Jardine is the Liberal Democrat candidate going head to head with Alex Salmond next May.

Writing on her Facebook page following Alex Salmond's announcement, she said:

'Thank you for all the good wishes and support after Alex Salmond has decided to stand for Westminster.'

Back in 2010, the Lib Dems won with 36% of the vote, ahead of the SNP on 22%. Labour received 20% of the vote, whilst the Conservatives were just behind on almost 19%.

However, in 2007 Alex Salmond won the ‘Gordon’ constituency for the Scottish Parliament with 41% of the vote. The Liberal Democrat candidate came a close second with almost 36%. Following a boundary review, the constituency was then abolished and Alex Salmond went on to win the Aberdeenshire East seat in Holyrood.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House programme, Gordon's current MP, Sir Malcolm Bruce said:

‘In the last couple of years we’ve had elections in all or parts of Gordon, in which the Liberal Democrat vote has gone up consistently’.

He then pointed out that in Alex Salmond’s own constituency, ‘independence was rejected nearly two to one’.

Additionally, the Aberdeenshire Council area also rejected independence 60.36% to 39.64%.

Alex Salmond has a fairly good chance in becoming the Gordon MP, but the Liberal Democrats have a strong presence in the area and the fact that a Liberal has held the seat for so long can only help Christine Jardine.

Of course, the Liberal Democrats are going to see losses overall next May, but in an effort to keep out Alex Salmond, unionist Labour and Conservative voters may put their differences aside and vote to keep Mr Salmond from returning to Westminster.

Whichever way Gordon votes, it is still more than likely that the SNP will increase their number of seats in the House Of Commons and could have a substantial role to play in the event of a hung parliament next May.

William Hill give odds of 6/1 for Alex Salmond becoming a Minister in the next government.

The Liberal Democrats will have a tough fight across Scotland and the rest of the UK, but a win in Gordon, which is possible, will be hailed as a massive success. As for the SNP, whether Alex Salmond wins or loses, it surely will not be the last of him.

No doubt in the coming days polling companies will take an interest in the seat, and who knows what results they will yeild.