The battle for Scottish Labour: Dugdale versus Macintosh

Debating Chamber Scottish Parliament

The stage has been set for the Scottish Labour leadership battle with nominations having closed this week.

According to the BBC, the two candidates in for the running for the leadership position are Ken Macintosh MSP and Kezia Dugdale MSP.

Dugdale has been deputy leader since the election of Jim Murphy to the Labour leadership last December, but is now standing for Murphy’s position.

Macintosh ran for leader back in 2011, following the SNP’s unprecedented landslide at Holyrood, but lost out.

The results of the leadership election will be declared on the 15th of August. This will mean that Scottish Labour will have a new leader in place before UK-wide Labour who are set to announce their leader in September.

Furthermore, as well as the leadership election, the deputy leadership election is taking place as the current deputy leader is standing for leader. Alex Rowley and Richard Baker, both MSPs, are standing, as well as Glasgow Council leader Gordon Matheson.

In the recent UK election, Labour were reduced to just one MP north of the border. Their remaining MP is not standing for either of the positions.

In Scottish Labour leadership news:

  • Kezia Dudgale has written about revitalising Scottish Labour. She has written in the Scotsman that: “A major criticism of my party is that we delivered devolution but didn’t adapt to it. We devolved the nation but didn’t devolve our party.”
  • Ken Macintosh has also written for the Scotsman this Sunday, saying that: “I want to take the party in a new direction, one that’s more democratic, devolved and positive about Scotland’s future.”

Whoever wins will have a big task on their hands. The Scottish Parliamentary elections are just around the corner. And with the SNP in a better position now than when they won an outright majority in 2011 Labour will have a tough time on their hands.

If Labour fail to make a dent in the SNP's support then Scottish Labour could be faced with yet another round of leadership elections.

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