20/06/2013 Newsnight Scotland


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 20/06/2013. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



forget. But if they spend a moment taking pictures, what is it exactly


that they will remember? Welcome to Newsnight Scotland for our


by-election special. Voters in Aberdeen Donside have been to vote


for the new MSP. The count is underway and we are only to bring


you live coverage of the result it comes. This is the scene where the


votes are stacking up. Here in Glasgow, we will have commentary


from cross panel of politicians and from our resident experts, Brian


Taylor. The SNP are defending a pretty big majority but when the


Scottish Parliament was first established, this part of Aberdeen


voted Labour. Tonight should be good. Next to you, politics


Professor John Curtice. We should not assume it will be an easy night


for the SNP. We should remember that governments usually do badly in


by-elections in the crucial question is how badly they could suffer.


by-election was called following the death of Brian Adam. They are hoping


to hold the seat and labour is hoping to reduce if not overcome the


SNP's majority. Reporting from the count, our political correspondent.


It has been a long campaign and the boxes have started to arrive with


the counting well underway. Everyone involved and this should know where


they stand by 2am. That's the hours away! A lot of talking to do between


now and then. More from Aberdeen soon but first of all, let me


introduce our panel. They are the Conservative MP David McDowell, who


is the party chairman in Scotland. The Scottish National party, Glasgow


SNP. Scottish Labour's representative is a Lothians MSP and


for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Liam McArthur, who is the MSP for


me. -- Orkney. Labour are the challengers here, what are you


hearing? Nobody wants this, it is very sad indeed under the


circumstances. 50% of the vote is the big figure I am looking for. You


are not expecting to make enough progress to overtime revote? They


have a majority of 7000 year, one of the biggest in the Scottish


Parliament. It would be a huge effort to travel that over. How big


Enoch do you think they will take? From the first opening remarks, it


is a sad occasion and people will be thinking of Brian Adam at this


election but it has a remarkable lack of ambition shown there. The


fact the SNP is and with a shout of retaining its seat six years in to


government, midterm on a second term shows how remarkable the team and


the vision have been for Scotland. Actually, we have shown in the past


that when it comes to by-elections against governing parties, we have


achieved swings of 22% and over. A much more modest swing is required


by Labour to take that seat. We will be looking to hold onto that. Should


you not be able to beat the SNP six years then? This is the SNP's


heartland with a 7000 majority which is huge. It would take a 16% swing


to bring it back into labour's hands. He has put everything he


possibly could and this. That is how important it is to the SNP. Let's


bring in the Conservatives. Eat or the last time. What would you


consider adding inevitable result? -- a poor third. We have fought a


positive campaign with the young and positive candidates to put our


message over. I am not anticipating a Conservative gain the same.


Really! We got 4% of the vote on the council elections and do not even


have a counsellor with the constituency. We just wanted to put


out a positive message to show we are out and about and they think


Ross Thomson did an excellent job on that. It is very sad, the loss of


Brian Adam, and I knew him very well back in the Scottish Parliament in


1989 and he is one of the people who shoot Scottish politics. The Liberal


Democrats starting from fourth position. Facing a challenge from


UKIP. They have set their sights on making some sort of breakthrough in


Scottish politics. Any chance they could beat you to fourth place?


Three hours away from the result, I am not privy to any advance


knowledge of how it is likely to unfold, but I would like to add my


voice to the comments from all the panellists about Brian Adam. The


respect towards and was exemplified by the tributes paid to him and he


was always a source of sound advice and good counsel. NK is of the


campaign, and very energetic campaign has been fought. I am not


expecting any great surprises but the campaign has been good in terms


of energising our supporter base. We will see what happens but I think


she has to be commended on fighting an excellent campaign. We will let


you rest your voices for rabbits because you may have a lot of


talking to do and we can go live to Aberdeen. We can talk to him now.


What is the latest, Stephen? A lot of poker faces on show at the


moment. They have been counting the votes for an hour or so. The


election agents are aware and we are trying to get a sense of what is


going on. I mention that already the rumours are starting to fly. The


first remark is of a low turnout so people are talking of our turnout


below 40%. It could be some time before we get any confirmation but


as we said, nobody giving much away so far and we are expecting that the


declaration could go between one a.m. And 2am, at the latest.


Everyone then here's hoping it comes earlier than that but the


confirmation will come and we should get a sense over the next hour of


how things are starting to unfold. Perhaps you can concern to us when


it comes in the turnout. What are you hearing from the different


camps? Labour are expecting to make some progress but not to win the


seat. The SNP are confident, as that's reflected in the code itself?


-- code. What has been said so far is that the theme is local issues,


not national issues. People are looking at this interested in how


the referendum will factor alone, but it seems very much this has been


a campaign fought on local issues. We have heard all week particularly


about the transport issue and it has been characterised as a by-election


about a roundabout. Some say that is unfair but certainly the transport


issues are of huge concern here. They have other concerns which


school closures and of course the level of funding that Aberdeen is


receiving. They are concerned with those sorts of things and the


feeling seems to be, that the SNP will hold onto the seat but what


will be interesting is to see the numbers and to see whether the 7000


majority last time, whether or not the numbers change quickly. We will


be back at the count later. We will also hear from Brian and John. There


is plenty of time to talk about the haudagain roundabout, it has been


more about the roundabout than the ends and outs of the Independence


debate but today William Hague came to Edinburgh and warned of the very


serious problems he thinks an independent Scotland would face in


joining the EU and NATO. We will discuss that in a moment.


Identity is at the centre of the Independence debate. It will be a


vote on how Scotland sees its place in the world. Will that be a small


but confident country making decisions in its own interest or


part of the United Kingdom sharing in the risks and rewards of being in


one of the world's most successful economies. As problems in Syria


reached on William Hague was in Edinburgh to speak about the latter


of the two arguments. We also had to think about how we appear to others.


Travelling from Afghanistan to Brazil, Canada to Australia, I am


baffled that anyone would try to break up a union that has been so


resilient, so successful and so admired in the world as I will -- as


ours. When outsiders look at the United Kingdom they see one of the


world's most successful examples of economic develop and, diplomatic


influence, and democracy. They speak about our institutions, our legal


systems and ourselves will service -- and our civil service. They look


at our language, sport and tradition... And William Hague said


there was another important reason to keep the union. Our world is


becoming more dangerous, our continued security depends on


defending our security ourselves, that includes our nuclear dependent


-- our nuclear deterrent. An independent Scotland would not be


able to replicate our abilities. The cost of creating new capabilities


would create an enormous burden on the Scottish taxpayer, it would take


years to build up the qualified personnel needed and Scotland would


lose the benefit of having some of the most impressive services in the


world. But some are not convinced it will get through to the everyday


person on the street. If you are a politician, you will not be at the


UN Security Council if you represent a independent Scotland or at the G8


and set with world leaders. But well that Marilyn -- will that matter to


the average voters? Does it really matter to the average Scottish


person on the street whether we have a G8 member or someone on the UN


Security Council. People are more sick cure -- people are more


concerned about their jobs. When it comes to winning the argument on


foreign affairs the SNP is wanting to play on the controversial


decisions made by the Westminster Government in Scotland's name. There


was a call for the impeachment of Tony Blair on war crimes recently.


And years of protest at Faslane, they say, shows that Scotland needs


the power to remove it from the Clyde. But when getting the argument


across to the SNP encounter the same problems as their opponents? Some


are already mobilised to vote yes, the difficult problem for the yes


campaign is looking at those in the middle who do not really mind about


foreign policy. Most people tend to be in the middle. The yes campaign


already has a lot of people who were angry about the Iraq war and about


nuclear weapons, they have to broaden the base, they have to get


above the one third that seems to be backing them. Get the men who are on


the street who may not have views on foreign policy but is not very


ideological lead driven, in that sense, it is a very difficult road


to run, they have two look at both sides. And the SNP has had its own


difficulties in foreign policy, they have been accused of making


assertions over automatic EU membership in independence. 75% of


respondents said they would wish an independent Scotland to remain...


And ending opposition to NATO membership in the SNP left deep


divisions. Angus Robertson says that the SNP is making sensible decisions


on foreign policy well the Government is scaremongering.


countries make decisions on their own behalf and represent themselves


internationally, that is one of the great pools of Scottish


independence, that we can speak with our own voice and not be represented


by parties that we did not even elect in Government. I would rather


we work directly represented in the EU and spoke up for the things that


mattered. Not have ourselves committed to illegal wars. The


advantage of Independence is that we are directly represented in the


world rather than being misrepresented by a Government we


did not elect. Foreign policy arguments advanced by both sides


today we have heard before and will hear again. But did the voters take


notice? We will pick this up with our


politicians in a moment. Both Brian and John were at the speech in


Edinburgh today. What did you think? I thought he was rehearsing


or rehashing, or setting out perhaps, the arguments on the


foreign affairs issue, stressing in his view that it would be difficult


for Scotland to gain membership of the European Union, making the same


point in a media briefing in regards to Natal later. At that media


briefing we were inclined to press about the UK Government perspective.


-- NATO. We asked if he meant that there would be a threat to our


membership of the UN Security Council. He said absolutely not. He


said it would be a continuing UK continuing to inherit is that the UK


has the world. The select committee has warned... That is certainly


contentious issue. William Hague was of the view that the rest of the UK


would be the continuing state and inherit the status that the rest of


the UK has ended -- has in the European Union. He did not look at


what Scotland could gain from the membership. He said that Scotland


game from being part of the cloud that the UK delivers. It is back to


an argument that is familiar from the time that we discussed the big


stick, the UK has a big stick that is always wielded in the interest of


the whole of the UK, and that is the interests of Scotland, by the always


coterminous? Are they always benefiting from the use of the stick


or is the big stick back home in a covered? -- in a covered? You were


also there. I wonder if you can tackle a question that the historian


in the film posed. Does this matter to the Auden -- to the ordinary


Scottish voter? It matters somewhat but not with the debt of the


argument that the Foreign Secretary gave. Not many people will follow


that. It certainly judges by the criteria of whether people think


that Scotland would have a stronger or weaker boys in the world than it


does now. It clearly isn't as important an issue for voters as the


economy is. It is more clearly related to whether we will be more


at or less of an equal society. The argument is that Scotland will have


a stronger voice, is it an argument that the yes wide -- the yes side


are winning? They say that they think that Scotland would have a


stronger voice in the world, far fewer think that it would have a


weaker voice. It is one of the stronger parts of the yes side. It


is a stronger hard for them than the issue of the economy. But at the end


of the day, the economy is still more of an important issue for


voters. June it was intriguing also that the Foreign Secretary was


reluctant to flesh at that point, the diminished status of the rest of


the UK, because he is then seeing that one of the things worries us is


a challenge from the Russians or some other nation that has always


been jealous of Britain's permanent membership... He was reluctant to go


down that route because either he thinks that the case or he could


then be seen as pursuing a selfish agenda. It is worth saying that


William Hague's speech exemplified one of the potential problems


because as soon as you start talking about how wonderful Britain is, you


may or may not think that is through but you have to be denying that the


people of Scotland are very narrowly thinking about what is and their own


interests. The Hundred years of British history may not be as


crucial as the perspective of what the union could deliver for Britain


in future. Did you watch this speech? Did you go along? I spent my


day in useful activity in Aberdeen. When it comes to William Hague, I


have seen his predictions before, in the days before devolution, when he


said we would be weaker as a country under devolution. Over time, he has


been shown to be lacking. He showed the bold as brass neck I have seen


for quite a while in regards to the EU. The senior members of the


Conservative Government are completely spot on the issue.


they not promising after the next general election to hold a


referendum having been negotiated the terms of membership? That's as


many somersaults as I have seen in question. Philip Hammond and Michael


Gove are all over the place when it comes to the issue. Scotland at the


moment does not contribute in terms of the voice of the UK. We are not


asked or consulted when it comes to decisions that are made in the UN


security council. I have been new Minister for external affairs for


nine months and William Hague has not spoken to me to ask what the


Scottish government thinks on these issues. When we do have differences


of opinion, such as that the UN vote on Palestine. The UK decided to


abstain in Scotland said we would vote for that in line with the


majority of international opinion. That is well out with your remix.


Scotland has a voice. We very legitimately have a voice. The UK


government should absolutely take note of that and they do not.


with those complaints first of all then back to some of the substance


of William Hague's speech. I think they are complete nonsense. I do


except what he does not except which is that foreign affairs as a


reserved matters all that is the responsibility of Westminster. We


have Scottish MPs at Westminster who make their voices known on this.


Many have prominent roles such as Malcolm Bruce. Scotland's voice is


heard on these issues and the Scottish Parliament has a dream. I


was at a meeting earlier this week with Fiona Hyslop about the issues


in relation to Europe, and the forthcoming European Council. It is


not the case at all that the UK government does not listen to the


default administrations. We are working closely with them. His


problem is that when he does not agree with our decision, he cannot


accept that. That is the basis of the discussions. We are listening


and trying to work on the basis of the devolved settlements and I think


it is working pretty well. When you take the noise of independence out


of the picture, they are never good day to day working relationship.


does not work well because it is not about my voice but about the


Scottish voice, and the arrack war was a good example. We had a voice


that was very different in terms of the UK government. Scottish sons and


daughters were sent out and killed. We then found out that was based on


a lie. We are the voice differentiates we should absolutely


have a voice. The fact that one MP cheer of the select committee is not


Scotland's voice! Let me make this final point. William Hague, I was


not surprised he did not touch on the point that the vast majority of


Scots do not want nuclear weapons on the soil. These are important issues


in the final point that John Curtis made was that when it comes to


international affairs and defence, time and again the majority of Scots


want the Scottish Parliament to have a voice on that issue. I certainly


do not accept that polls indicate Scots want the Scottish government


running the defence of Scotland. All the polling is quite clear that


people understand the benefits of the United Kingdom from that point


of view. We actually don't have a vote in the Scottish Parliament on


the Iraq war and the Scottish government expressed its view but


they are not responsible for these matters. The referendum will mean


the Scottish people can determine this. My view there is very much to


that of William Hague's. Scotland stands taller than FoxPro that is


part of the United Kingdom. Is this really about what is best for


Scotland or is William Hague arguing what is best for the UK? Is usually


worried about the UK and using its status and influence? What he is


arguing is that what is best for Scotland and for Britain is the


same. We want to stay united and part of the United Kingdom because


we have a strong voice... Do you agree with the foreign affairs


committee that said in the event of independence, the UN security


council rule may be called into question? I will put it in context.


Nothing will be the same after a yes vote in the referendum. We have seen


over the course of the past few months and attempt to characterise


the vote as only the things you do not click will change, but there


will be significant change. It will not be possible to predict what will


happen on a whole number of things. Is that not a difficulty for you


because William Hague argues you have had difficulty securing


independent membership of the EU and NATO. You cannot prove that is not


the case. If you look at the alone report, the EU transition, it was


the alone independent adviser, the UK Government's, who said the


timetable put for what... That is about the nature of the deal you


would get and does not discount the possibility you would have a wrangle


on your hands in order to sort out the terms of Scottish membership.


Having set a timetable, you do not have much room for manoeuvre.


quite an incredible argument that an oil-rich, sufficiently rich Scotland


that has been part of the EU for 40 years could not continue its


membership. When it comes to William Hague, is he arguing for the benefit


of Scotland are for the UK's position? It is for the UK and not


just for the security council but over how many MEPs the UK will have


and its influence and Clwyd in the European Union. That is the


contradiction at the heart of the no campaign that Scotland will be to


Luanda week, but actually we are desperate to hold on to you. That is


the ridiculous argument that only those voting in the yes campaign


ever bring up. William Hague made very clear Scotland could be


independent and I make it clear they could be, but I question whether it


would be better. I do not think that case has been made. I am sure during


the course of the programme we will return to their sand and even expand


on the discussion. We will leave it there for the moment, let's get some


more from Stephen Gordon. Is there an update? It is a slow process and


moving slowly but all 52 of the boxers have now arrived from all


over the constituency in the counting is well underway. Still too


early to make any predictions but certainly people are taking plenty


of interest on all sides of the whole. I would say, there are lot of


poker faces with nobody giving too much away about how things appears


to be up. Plenty of interest at this stage in the timeout. They were a


lot of rumours flying about with some Google putting it in the 30%


region but others at about 50%. What I can say is that was a decent day


in Aberdeen with a lovely evening so plenty of chances for people to go


out. The perfect opportunity but we will have to see how that works and


indeed whose favourite will turn out to be ended.


Let's take a quick look at the front pages of tomorrow. The Scotsman has


a picture of the Queen looking delighted having one, not


personally, but her horse winning the Gold cup at Royal Ascot. The


headline there is about Kenny McAskill angling judges in a Scots


law shake-up. They are planning to abolish corroboration. -- angering.


Those plans will be formally laid before Parliament tomorrow. The


front page of the Daily Mail features the Queen and the Gold cup


again. The main story is on the main story is only kidnapped teacher, the


teacher convicted of kidnapping a 15-year-old pupil and you'll bring


-- eloping to France together. They are still a couple according to this


story. The Independent, I will, round, dark continent. Full stop


this is the story about the Care Quality Commission in England which


has under very controversial circumstances said that former


bosses at the commission sought to suppress a report criticising the


way in which the commission itself had handled the controversy over


hospital care in Cumbria. We also have the daily Telegraph wheel again


the Queen is smiling at Ascot. The main headline is about the NHS and


the price racket, a Telegraph investigation. They have the William


Hague speech in the bottom left-hand corner. And according to the


Telegraph, two day is the happiest day of the year. After a bitterly


cold Spring and months of economic gloom, it appears Britain is finally


feeling some optimism when approaching holidays in the hope


that Andy Murray will when Wimbledon, meaning today is the


happiest day of the year. Wee will find a happy hour panellists are


after midnight. -- we will find out how happy.


Of course the by-election was called following the death of the previous


MSP, Brian Adam, following his battle with cancer. He had held the


seat for the Scottish National Party since 2003 when it was known as


Aberdeen North. The by-election is being contested by nine candidates.


And as Steven Duff reports, despite the fact that this is an election


for the Scottish Parliament, it has been a campaign dominated very much


by local and not national issues. Brian Adam being elected for the


first time as an MSP in 2003, he was popular in his constituency and in


Holyrood, his death was mourned by politicians of all parties, it was a


by-election that nobody wanted. The housing estates of lobar -- of


Labour strongholds, at one time. am proud to be the first Nationalist


MSP for Aberdeen. Many believed that his personal popularity here was key


in turning voters to the SNP. SNP candidate Mark McDonald resigned his


list seat at the Scottish Parliament to stand in the by-election. He has


faced claims from opponents that Aberdonians feel underfunded and


neglected from the Scottish Government. If you look at the


dental School and the new health constituent -- at the new health


centres within the constituency, and the new schools, then the word --


then the work at the haudagain roundabout, there is money which we


think is benefiting the constituency from the Scottish Government.


Aberdeen is getting a good deal from the Scottish Government. In 2011


Labour finished 7000 votes behind Brian Adam. Willie Young is the


finance convener of the council, he has had a rough ride during the


campaign. First for questioning the wisdom of the freeze on council tax


and the pressure on the Imrie school closures in the constituency.


your arm waving your SNP badge so I think you might be voting for them.


Yes. We have not had enough money from central Government, we have


been short changed, that is what has been happening. He promised that


there would be lower that the -- that we would not fall below, we are


short. On top of that, Aberdeen is the launch -- is the only local


authority that gives more money to Edinburgh than it gets back.


many reports of people talking about independence or next year's


referendum on the doorstep, but they have been talking about this... The


haddock and roundabout -- the haudagain roundabout at the heart of


the constituency. Every politician has promised to do something about


it for a very long time, the SNP says it well but not until the


Aberdeen bypass is built on that could be at Slate -- as late as


2018. We are a world energy help and the oil capital of Europe, we do


look at infrastructure and see the big concerns, we want to invest, and


the structure is not fit for purpose, we are getting things done,


but we need to see commitment. Obviously we are not like the other


big parties, they see road-building is the effective solution to


congestion, we want to concentrate on public transport. The Liberal


Democrats once did well in the Donside suburbs but last year's


elections they were reduced to romp of councillors after sharing the


city council for more than a decade. Everyone has a record to defend, the


Labour Party on the council here, the SNP at the Scottish Government,


we have a record to defend at the Westminster Parliament, but through


all of that we have delivered here for more than 30 years, we have run


the council, we have delivered schools. We will stand up for the


people of Aberdeen. For other candidates gently placed their hats


into the campaign, UKIP among them, Nigel Farage had an unusually


laid-back visit to Scotland to support his candidate. The SNP has


been hot with the bookies since the start, it might disappoint some


politicos when it doesn't show clues before the big around -- before the


big referendum. Let us now go to Steven Godden in


Aberdeen. I am joined by two local MSP 's. --


MSPs. Either any indications of how this might turn out? It has been a


hard-fought and marvellous campaign. Early indications are quite positive


but we will wait and see. Anything less than a convincing victory would


be a disappointment for you. Absolutely not. Brian Adam had 457


when he first won the seat, anything above that would be good for our


candidate to build from. But we expected to be better than that.


have had a positive campaign. We have faced some negative campaigning


from the SNP which we were quite taken aback by, especially the


personal attacks. But we come with a strong and positive message for


Aberdeen. We are making a case for a change. The other interesting


respect has been seeing just how the SNP have avoided mentioning the


dreaded word of independence throughout the campaign. It is not a


surprise that Mark McDonald has conceded to the referendum. It gives


us a good indication. I think it will be closer this time. Can he


win? Yes, he can. Support has grown. We take a tremendous and in our vote


hopefully. -- increase. We will find out in an hour or two. Is this a


sheet -- is this a seat that you should win? It is an ambition. We


want to bring an end to this SNP Government, they have wasted their


years. Many voters tell us that even those who voted SNP before do not


want to break up written and do not want a nationalist estate. -- to


break up Britain. Why do not talking about independence? SNP canvassers


have asked the question about independence. We ask it every time


we are on our doorstep, that is absolutely not true. We have asked


voters what they think, well there are people who are undecided we have


had positive feedback from voters of various parties wanting


independence. Others are in leading convinced but are open to being


convinced. This is an election to replace my colleague Brian Adam, in


the mid-term, as has been said, Labour should be looking for a


victory, that is if they are going for a comeback, we do not link that


that is going to happen. We think we will win and win comfortably.


you not talking about it because people are uncomfortable with that?


We are talking about independence, that is what I'm saying. We hear


that it has been fought on local issues, why is that? Local issues


matter to the people of Donside. They are matters for the local


council and for a Scottish parliament. Local issues have been


brought to the fore, of course. is where you give it away, you have


talked about what local issues instead of talking about what the


Scottish parliament should be doing. I have looked through the literature


and I cannot find one piece of reference to independence in any of


the leaflets. It is not an election about independence, it is an


election to replace Brian Adam. We will get a chance to look at that


vote in 2014. How can an MSP from the SNP stands here and say it is


not about independence? You cannot have it both ways, you cannot say we


talk about independence all the time and then that we don't see enough


about it. You talk about us talking about it all the time and not


focusing on anything else, you cannot have it both ways! But you


did not mention it once! We do not vote -- we do not focus on it all


the time. Their programme is dominated by the referendum but when


it comes to this... Do not contradict yourself. They know as


well as we do that most voters do not want to break up the United


Kingdom. Think you need to wait till September 2014 to talk about that.


We are talking about the by-election. This is a campaign


about the issues that affect the people of Donside. We will see


whether opinion has shifted in Donside. I think we will see a shift


away from the SNP, I would be surprised indeed if parties standing


from an -- for independence achieved any great majority. Speaking to


people, what I have heard over and over again, is that these are issues


that have been here four years, transport concerns have been present


for a long time. People say that there has been a lot of talk and no


action. For both of you, what difference for your candidate make?


The haudagain roundabout. The legal challenge has been dealt with. We


are moving ahead and we have seen demolition of buildings along the


route, work is in process. We have said that the haudagain will be


dealt with. We cannot do both things because they would be chaos around


the haudagain. The key local issue has been the haudagain, the SNP will


not touch it for the next few years. We want to drive the haudagain


project. Experts say that... What about the rest, they're expendable?


We're looking at agreements between the council the Government about


minor disruption during construction. That would be an


improvement them waiting five or six years. It would be a distraction. We


are only going to build the houses and how long would that take?


want a Labour MSP to make the case in the Scottish Parliament for the


Scottish Government to come forward, not only to put the money


in the investment in improving the haudagain but also to invest in that


housing to allow people to be rehoused. And the plans haven't come


forward from the council. It is a shocking record. With the Liberal


Democrats and Labour administration it didn't. If they were serious,


they would not just bring it forward but find a way to ensure that the


tennants are rehoused into high quality property. They choose to


with hold that. Just as they choose not to even begin work on the


haudagain until 2018. That is a scandal and a disgrace. Many voters


told us how angry that they were, that the Government said that would


do it but not until 2018. On the issue of schools, you are


looking to merge schools, close schools. You have made this


difficult? There are consultations for two school mergers. Both in


Donside. The SNP candidates were complaining about this, they closed


four schools. We built ten schools in the whole of Aberdeen. He didn't


replace many schools. All of the four school schools which Mark


McDonald closed were not replaced. But pupils were put into new


schools. We have looked at new schools with a view to educational


benefits for the children. Without it, the children will not go forward


it is in contrast to the way that Mark McDonald took an axe to good


schools, even new schools, just to save money because of the financial


crisis. Ten schools were built between #20


2007 and 2011 under the SNP administration and a Scottish SNP


Government. So, Lewis, nothing was built in yours. On housing, the SNP


is on target with its housing policy. The schools built in


Aberdeen were from money granted by a Labour/liberal government in


2003/2004. It was before the 2007 election.


Those models were no in -- not in place.


We are about to get an update. There is lots of passion here. It has been


a long campaign but the passions are running high.


Thank you very much, Steven. I'm not sure that they like each other!


love the set. It looks like a talent show. You expect the winner to come


out... Tonight, Matthew, I will be the MSP for Donside. Wonderful.


You have spent a bit of time in Aberdeen during the campaign, was it


the haudagain roundabout by-election? There is nothing wrong


with that. It is representing constituency issues and it is a huge


issue, it is not just the roundabout but the state of the transport. It


is the third Don crossing. It is all of the issues about the


infrastructure. It is more than that. I started my journalistic


career in the 80s in Aberdeen. I love the city, buttion can see


alongside the prosperity, the wealth, there is almost no


unemployment. Yet there is a sense of anxiety. A sense of insecurity.


Aberdeen wonders where it is going. It is a combination of the concerns


about the union Street, the Union Terrace Gardens re-development. The


issues on transport, infrastructure, the wonder, the concern that other


cities are overtalking it not in wealth -- overtaking it, not in


wealth but in dynamism. Even the City of Culture decision going to


Dundee it is not a sense of gloom, it really is not, how can it be when


the economy of the place is booming. It is a sense of disquiet, anxiety


and a wonder of what happens if the oil runs out. There is a real sense


of disquiet, alongside all of that prosperity. That is the conundrum.


That is what the haudagain roundabout represents. It is a Totem


for whether Aberdeen is being, late real, in this case, by-passed.


The Liberal Democrats argued that Aberdeen gets a raw deal from the


Scottish Government and from the UK Government too? I think in terms of


the raw deal from the Scottish Government it is clear in


legislation. We had assurances that a floor of 85% of funding to the


Government would be set. That nobody fall below that floor. Yet we have


seen Aberdeen fall below that floor to the tune of about �26 million.


Everyone will have their ideas about how to invest that �26 million, but


the obvious example, this comes back to Brian's point is in terms of not


just the haudagain roundabout but the transport infrastructure. There


is a contrast in terms of the success and the dynamism that is


there in the North East and in Aberdeen, but with an infrastructure


that is not able to sustain and support that. Therefore that plays


into the anxieties. But it isn't that as much the fault


of the Labour/liberal Democrat, executive of the past. Of


councillors, of all hues who have been in charge down the years of


Aberdeen? You can't point the finger at one? There have been concerns


over a period. I think what we saw was a series of bold claims and


promising from the commitments of the SNP in opposition. Indeed, into


government about what they would deliver for the North East. They


have fallen short of that. That was going to be coming back off


the doorsteps when I was there. As well as, I have to say, the issue of


independence. I think that Maureen Watt was right. You did not have to


have it on the leaf thes, it was coming off the doors spontaneously.


Whatever the success of the SNP in the North East, it was dramatic,


that was not a vote for independence. What we will see is


the slipping back of support for the SNP. Although Maureen's suggestion


that anything over 450 votes being a triumph for Mark McDonald took a


little bit of doubting. But the constitution did not catch


on as an issue in the by-election that is what it seemed when I was


there? It was not the SNP leaf thes it was not in there. That is clear


from the groups, from the conversations on the doorsteps that


independence is not popular. They did all they could not to talk about


When you saw or heard voxpops and people talking of what they regarded


as the issues, it did not seem to come up, did it? Or was it own when


you prompted that issue to be dealt with? It is clear from the time I


was in Aberdeen. A huge amount of people were undecided about how to


vote. That is to be the story of tonight. How the undecided voters


break. For them the independence was an issue. They did not want it. It


is the type of voter who looks to the SNP, they have not done a bad


job in government but I don't want independence, what do I do with the


vote? That is the biggest debate tonight.


Is it not an issue to make this part of the campaign when we know that


independence is part of this one way or the other? But this is about home


affairs, global affairs, the discussion we earlier is tant mount


to that. Had if I can tell you that the biggest thing in my inbox is


about global poverty and the Enough Food If campaign, we would not have


had a voice if we had been independent. Scotland would not have


been a part of the discussions around the table. Those are the


issues that people care about. That is what I take from the campaign.


That the SNP wanted to do anything about talking about independence on


the doorstep but it is all that they talk about in Holyrood.


You did not mention this in the campaign, ous but -- Yousaf Raza


Gillani but what did you think? Well, there was phone can vansing


about independence, we put out a survey asking the question about


independence and the results of that were positive. 19,000 responses. A


third of the Donside constituency. I'll give you the results of this.


29% want wanted the status quo. 34 for independence, 37% don't know. A


huge shift, actual', in regards to that. It is positive. The idea that


we don't talk about independence, I have given four examples. Labour


saying that they don't think it should be about independence but the


leaflet they put out today, was your chance to say "no" to separation. So


they are trying to make a verdict. Joanne Lamont, don't forget, when it


comes to the election, this is her first electoral challenge,


opportunity if she wishes, after the cuts commission agenda to cut public


services. It could be endorsements from Sir


Alex Ferguson, Alex McLeish or anyone else. They have tried to make


this about independence. We have kept to local issues and talking


about independence but if Labour don't win the seat that they once


held, this will be a dramatic verdict on her leadership and indeed


the campaign and scaremongering against independence.


We have had several council by-elections, the SNP has not won


one. It is ridiculous for you to say that this is a test against Joanne


Lamont. Every time we have been put to the voters we have won well.


After the cuts commission speech she has not had an electoral challenge


on this kale. Labour have hit everything Donside. The fact that


you think that is great result... You you had leaf thes, you had


former footballers? I am more than happy to say we have put effort into


the Donside campaign. Yes had Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond. Heavyweight


figures coming up. We have put in the effort. We believe that the


people of Aberdeen should be represented as well as they were


with Brian Adam as they were with Mark McDonald.


And now the votes have been verified in Donside, the count proper is now


under way. We can give a figure for the turn out it is certainly not


impressive. The figure for Donside, 38%. That is


a pretty low turn out, but how does it compare, Professor John Curtice?


Well, it is not that bad given what we expect for by-elections these


days. It is better than the Glasgow kut cart by-election when only 32%


turned out, but it is lower than the last by-election, when 46% turned


out. This is a constituency where I think this is about the turn out


that we expect, given the past records, and the difficulties of


getting voters to come to the polls for anything.


It is not a huge boost to democracy but they have given the


circumstances, it was a bright day in abdeeb. It either encouraged


people to think about politics or... Think about sunning themselveses!


really hate to pick up on a couple of things but let's do it.


When Hamza says that the Labour Party were going for endorsements,


the MPs were stressing that Joey was back. And proud of my connections.


And Lewis McDonald said that the, the Labour Party, rather, had been


suffering personal attacks from the SNP. The Labour candidate strike


Mark McDonald as a boy trying to do a man's job. If that is not insult,


I'm not sure what is. I wonder if like ruth Davidson he


should have to present ID if he turned up at a bar? Oh! If I had


been asked for ID, that really would have been something.


You sent your party leader to buy the round? ! She offered to buy me a


drink in our egalitarian approach, glen for uch events.


This was at a Bruce Springsteen concert? Yes, a great concert for a


63-year-old guy to give his very best.


I didn't realise you were 63! You played it differently in the


campaign. Trying to rise above the battle between the two main parties


contesting the election, do you think that will have paid off for


you? I think that we wanted to present a positive campaign. We saw


in the clip a while ago that Labour and SNP were at each other's


throats. I think for an outsider to the Aberdeen area, it was almost an


election about who is to blame for the Irish us that the people face.


Was it is the SNP Government or the Labour-led Council? Rather than


anybody presenting a positive alternative to issues in the


community, but I think what is clear is that this by-election will have


absolutely no impact whatsoever on the referendum.


That is your candidate, Ross Thomson. A young councillor on the


City of Aberdeen and the Tories in administration with the Labour


Party. Labour in the lead. A quick word on your choice of


candidate. Do you think you made a mistake to choose the finances


convener on a council which, for whatever reason is having to make


cuts for which he is ultimately responsible? He has given years of


public service, but he is also a successful businessman. A lot of


people in Aberdeen would like that type of candidate that has


experience of business and public service. You got an honest appraisal


of the big issues that matter. To honest? Not at all, I like honesty!


That is him on the campaign trail. We will talk more about the


panellists in a little while. Those who have followed this campaign


closely might think people in Aberdeen spent all day going round


and round on the roundabout. But it is a part of Scotland which has a


rich political history, often described as SMP heartland. What


makes the north-east tech? What do people care about? Is there more to


There is no doubting the colour of the north-east, it was once a sea of


Tory blue, but then a few shoots of yellow began to grow around the


edges. It felt ripped -- it very quickly took root, and now, like the


rape seed in the countryside, SMP Dello dominates. After the slump of


1979, the Nationalists struggled to make inroads. But it was in coastal


communities that the Conservatives started lose their grip. The


fisheries policy was hitting the industry hard, deep blue was fading,


and the Tory MP represented the government would force allowing this


Brussels rule. There was a new kid on the block, and in the face of


these damaging European restrictions, he was offering to be


the fisherman's friend. The UK entered the fishing industry, and


that led to a raft of new rules and regulations that fisherman had not


faced before. When we arrived in 1987, when the election was fought,


the immunity had affinity for the MP, but with all of these things


ongoing and the distress in the industry, what you saw what the


fisherman saying, we do not like this policy. Alex Salmond one in


1987, and fishing has been a significant part of his policies


since. The Nationalists' resurgence in the north-east was taking shape.


More support would come with devolution, especially in rural


areas. Farming an important part of the local economy. But with next


year looming, some of the farmers are turning their backs on the


yellow and launching a campaign against independence. But even they


accept the SNP have not been their enemies. The SNP have done a


reasonably acceptable job, as far as we are concerned, north of the


border. That is pretty well accepted by the farming community. That is a


very approachable -- the is an approachable guy, he does his best


to address issues when he can. But having said that, I still believe


that the majority of farming folk are conservatives at heart, although


they might have voted SNP as a protest vote from time to time.


After conquering the rule vote, the city would be next. Brian Adam


driving home a big victory in 2003. Guess what was a big issue even


then. Infrastructure has been a hot topic, but in Aberdeen, there is


The oil and gas industry is what makes Aberdeen unique, the


politicians love it because it raises tax, lots of it. Its


businesses care deeply about taxation and economic stability, but


seem reluctant to enter any debate about independence. Businesses do


not have a vote, each of their employees have a vote. Businesses


are sensitive to a tapestry of opinions. They are reluctant to


express a -- to express an opinion because they do not have the


information yet. The chamber will try to put together the analysis for


its members over the next year, but it will take the whole year to


winkle it out and lay it out so people can understand the options.


The north-east might have a top coat of yellow at Holyrood, but there is


a multicoloured rainbow of political allegiances. All four main parties


have a splattering of representatives, and there is a


splash of green and independence as well. The irony is that the


fisherman supported the SNP in the 1980s because the Conservatives were


a pro-Europe party. Many felt the Common fisheries policy was


destroying their industry. It was the SNP who were banging the drum.


Fast forward, and it is the SNP who are talking about an independent


Scotland being part of Europe and the Conservatives who are offering


the option of the United Kingdom outside Europe. Tings have changed


and many fishermen believe that could leave the Nationalists high


and dry. I like the fast forward trick, I


wonder if we have got a button here that could fast forward as to the


result! The count is underway, hopefully we can bring you the


result before 2am. That is our hope, if not necessarily our expectation.


Let's talk about the north-east. The SMP -- the SNP seem to have carved


out the territory and made it their own. How did they do it? Primarily,


by being able to exploit local issues. Perhaps suggesting that what


he was talking about, Aberdeen feeling left out, but also, the SNP


managed to champion local interest in the north-east, to do with


farming and fishing. What is also true, having managed to capture some


of those seats, they have managed to embed themselves in them through the


popularity of the representatives. If you define the north-east,


including Perth and Moray, nine of the ten top SNP seats are in the


area. It has become a remarkable concentration. We do not know if it


is to do with independence, very few independent opinion polls give us


evidence about the regional breakdown, but we are not aware of


any particular evidence that north-east are particularly keen.


underline the remarkable situation that exists in that part of the


country, with Mark McDonald having resigned to stand as a candidate, if


he is elected, if anything happened to anybody else on the ten Mac row


list, there is not a replacement. Yes, and you are talking about Alex


Salmond's majority, notionally, if the Labour Party were to win the


seat, one of the opposition party wins, in practice, the independent,


those who stepped down over NATO, tend to vote with the SNP, we are


talking about a notional majority. The north-east generally is a SNP


stronghold, but you have some real Liberal Democrat positions. This


patch of Aberdeen, to the north of the city, Brian Adam was a list MSP


in 1999, he took it with a tiny majority, and he has increased it


exponentially to a large figure, but this patch of Aberdeen, the northern


half of the city, has been Labour in the past. You look at the days of


Bob Hughes, , you did not count. This is an area they have had to


win, through hard, diligent effort. Brian Adam did three things. There


was a personal vote, somebody said that he took the new members and


gave them support, he said, diligent, hard constituency work,


but the third thing was organisation, we saw the Chief


Executive of the party. Nothing was being left to chance. He was talking


about the swing that might go from one side to the other.


north-west constituency is still a Labour Party seat. If we were


talking about a by-election in Aberdeen North, we would be


anticipating a Labour victory, so that exemplifies a crucial truth


about Scottish politics, that voters in Scotland about differently in


Scottish Parliamentary elections from in Westminster elections, and


ironically, devolution, which was meant to keep the Nationalists in


their box, to kill nationalism, has provided the SNP with a political


platform and environment that has allowed it to be successful. That is


the reason why we have ended up with a referendum. What is interesting is


if, in voting for SNP, people are wanting to vote for independence,


rather than voting for a party which defends Scotland's interests within


the UK. The political panel has changed very slightly. Liam McArthur


has been replaced by the MP for Edinburgh West. In terms of the


Labour Party and the extent to which they have lost ground to the SNP in


this part of the country, what is the internal analysis in the Labour


Party, what do you think has happened? We have got a


sophisticated electorate, who are happy to vote for a political party


in Westminster and do something different in the Scottish


Parliament. Why do voters in Aberdeen Donside prefer to be


represented by the Nationalists, why have they preferred that for the


last ten years, and why has the Labour Party not bounced back?


has got less to do with stun up for Scotland's interest and more to do


with individual interests. SNP stand up for tax cuts. It is looking after


the pound in the pocket. It is a sense of retail politics that they


went into the elections with. last Holyrood election, the Labour


Party supported the council tax freeze also. And then the SNP


increased the retail politics and put a better deal on the shelf,


which proves the point. But it was popular. Does that make it a bad


idea? Politics is getting cynical. It is about the top five offers that


you have got. They were putting out the leaflets today, Mark McDonald


will not save your school, because he will be voting for independence


in Holyrood. You have to make the case in your local council. A lot of


people will see through that. is the Liberal Democrat plan to win


back lost support in places like Aberdeen South, which your party


leader used to represent? Or in places like the Gordon constituency,


it used to be Liberal Democrat in Holyrood, but now is represented by


Alex Salmond. Absolutely. We will have to wait and see what the


results are in the Poulter night. You are not predicting a late


surge? A late game, yes! No, I am not at all. We took a beating two


years ago will stop let's see what the results tonight. What has


happened to the vote in those intervening two years. I am asking


about strategy. The strategy is to make it clear what we are delivering


in Westminster. Every taxpayer in Aberdeen has received 600 pounds tax


cuts in the last three years, and it will be �700 next year. Pensioners


have received the largest single increase they have ever had. We need


to talk about what we have delivered in government, and by doing that, we


can win people back. We saw Christine Jardine, a former special


adviser to the UK Government. A moment or two ago, that is the live


scene at the count as the votes stack up and we get ever closer


towards a declaration. Of course we will bring that to you live. All in


terms of numbers is 38% in the turn out. We have discussed that, but the


North East, as Kezia Dugdale said, it is SNP Heartland territory. Do


you think that could be at risk over the European issue, which is where


the report by Kevin Keane ended earlier, if there is scepticism


about the European Union among fishermen, farmers, that the


possibility of getting out of the E U when the referendum that the


Conservative Party is offering comes around, may be more attractive than


you have to offer? Well, the idea of the SNP Heartland, coming overnight


is a logical fallacy. An incredible amount of heart work, entrenchment


and as Brian Adam was saying, it is -- as Brian Taylor was saying, it is


something that Brian Adam said also, was that this was horde work and


hard graft. Exploiting the fact that Labour thought that they had devine


rule over, but in terms of the specific question with regards to


the fisherman is Scotland's voice represented in the EU. There is a


situation where if Scotland wishes to maintain its membership in the


European Union, to have a voice through the Scottish government, the


only way to do that is to vote "yes" next year.


But then you would not have the UK's clout in order to influence the


overall decision-making... That involves all 28 countries? If you


look at how successful independent small European Union nations are,


they are incredibly successful when it comes to negotiations. In fact


more nimble and they are able to make alliances with other small


countries and nations within the European Union. So it is patronising


to say that Scotland not hold its on. I think that they can do it


well. You would have fewer votes to bring


to the table to get your own way? But the voice we would have at


council meetings with the Scottish government ministers, they have made


that voice well. They could be going further with their own independent


voice. And briefly on the European theme,


David? Nonsense. He proceeds on the basis that the Nistlerooys use a lot


of time. There is no evidence of small countries coming together to


overcome the large countries it is the large countries in Europe that


call the shots. That's why the United Kingdom has been able to get


finally a good deal on fishing for Scotland which will give more


regional control over our fisheries. Scotland on its own could not have


gotten that deal. In the past, in order to protect


broader UK interests, you sacrificed the interests of the Scottish


fishing industry. That has come out in the paperwork down the years?


don't accept that. Obviously, the United Kingdom has to have a


position that takes into account the interests of the whole of the United


Kingdom, but there have been times... There have been times when


the fishing has not been a priority for the UK? No. I don't accept that.


What I point to is a very, very good example of the United Kingdom


getting a very good deal for Scotland. There is absolutely no


evidence to back up this assertion that small countries come together


to defeat the larger interests in Europe. That is not how it works.


OK. We will come back to you all in due course. Now let's go back live


to Aberdeen, to the count. Now to Steve Godden. He has guests with


him. Before you bring them in, Steven, I happen to know you


reporting from Aberdeen Donside is a bit of a home-coming is it not?


is. Yes. I grew up here in the constituency. From a personal tlefl


is a delight to come back and see the old haurts, but it is


interesting to see how things have changed and in some ways stayed the


same. I remember learning to drive on the haudagain roundabout. People


are still talking about it, that is 17 years ago. So there are long-term


concerns that the people are still talking about it, and they still


want it addressed. A little update from what is happening in the room.


I get the sense that things have calmed down after the initial flurry


of xierment. Maybe after the long campaign, the adrenaline is starting


to wear off, but what I would say is that maybe the caffeine will kick in


soon. The one thing we have had confirmed since I spoke to you was


the turnout. That is 38 peshz. With me are two gentlemen, Sir Malcolm


Bruce and how do you read that turn out? It is disappointing with a turn


out as low as that. The majority have not taken part. I think that


there has been a lack of inspiration from the two candidates. That people


are upset that Aberdeen been left the most underfunded council in


Scotland. Also they are looking at a Labour-led administration council


that seems antidevelopment. So people are angry at both the Labour


and the SNP. That is why our vote appears to have gone up. People want


to see the transport situation resolved. They want everything ready


to go. They want to see Aberdeen getting a fair funding. They


contribute a huge amount in the economy, yet people are happy to


spend that money in the central belt. People are angry about that.


How do you assess what is happening tonight? We had a poor showing last


year. We have tried to draw the support back. What we are pleased


with is that the issues we raced on the doorstep have been fed back.


People have come back to say thank you for the third Donside crossing.


Thank you for the Western peripheral Route which the Liberal Democrats


initiated with the support of others. They are asking why does the


haudagain have to wait. They are concerned -- concerned about the


school mergers that give no benefit to the community. They also feel


that they lack support from the council.


We have been talking about the issues for a long time. Your party


has been in power for that period. If I take you, the third Donside


crossing it is ready to go with the planning permission, with all of the


structure plans as the Liberal Democrats took it forward when we


left the council. It took ten years to get it to go. The Labour group


have said that they would block it if they could. They tried to, but if


people see it ready to go, the tender should be out, it should be


built. The same with the western peripheral route. Why is it not


going? They are dragging their feet on


stuff we have ready to go. It would apeefr that the SNP are


going to hold the seat, but there has been a drop in the society


share. It has drop #d from 55% in 2011 -- it has dropped from 55%. The


message from this by-election that they will not get 50% here and they


will struggle if they can't do it in their heartlands.


If independence has been a big issue on the doorsteps for the people, why


has it not been an issue in the campaign. The SNP have been allowed


to fight this on their terms, you could have done more to stop that,


couldn't you? The way in which the independence manifests sits is the


fact that people are becoming disinterested in politics. That is


partly the explanation for the low turnout. There is a measurable


distaste for some of the campaigning going on. This is why the inspect


inspect have been able to turn out with enough votes to win the


by-election. They will look at the figures and be as disappointed as


they were. What about your share of the vote?


wonder if UKIP are a factor in this? Probably not. We are in a position


where we are confident that the Conservatives and the Liberal


Democrats will take the third and the fourth place, but at the moment


we are not sure who is going to be third and who will be fourth.


Perhaps Malcolm and I can have a bet on that, but it is clear that UKIP


have picked up some votes, but I would be surprised if they held them


later tonight. Are you willing to place a bet on


the third place? I gather that our agents have a bolt of Highland Park,


but I hope that the democrats win, I would like a nip of that whisky, but


we have the potential to be squeezed. This is a by-election for


Labour to win. They have failed to do that but the SNP has failed to


galvanise people to support them. The wheels are coming off. People


are beginning to realise that the independence is a very, very big


project. I am surprised by the passion of the people saying that


they don't wish to do that. Here in the North East of Scotland, they


have been happy to take our votes but only 1% of the Scotland seat.


The control has been taken away from the fair service, they are


strangling local government with squeezes. People are beginning to


realise that this is a nasty centralising party that does not


give places like the North East room to breathe. People are angry. And


that is just the girning of the tide. When the tied turns against


the SNP in the North East it could turn a big way.


We have seen closures of schools in the by-election, but the reason for


that pressure on schools in Aberdeen is that the SNP are not giving


Aberdeen its fair share fr local government funding. So there is


pressure but the inspect. SNP are behind that.


But you are looking to close these schools? Well, the council of


administration is doing what is necessary. The Conservatives in


particular have been instruments in that. We talked about the third on


crossing. Its was a motion in the name of Ross Thomson that finally


put up Project in Motion that is something that Ross has been able to


claim as his success as a first year for at councillor. So a lot of work


is being done in Aberdeen. This is a dynamic place. An important part of


the economy, but one in which an SNP government is dragging its feet.


The other thing that came through, there is a sense of unease about the


direction in which Aberdeen is heading. Perhaps it has not the


rewards for the oil money that was flown through to this city for a


long time. People are saying this is the oil capital of the world, it


does not feel nor like like it. That is damaging to the economy. The


thing that concerns me is a lack of urgency with the Scottish Government


to unlock the dynamic that is necessary. I will not make an issue


of the fact. We don't have an overall majority, but Labour lead


the administration and Labour appear negative and hostile to a vision of


development for apdeeb. The first thing to happen was to resers the


decision on the rum -- was to reverse the decision on the Football


Club and it was to get this through. What we have is a spat between


Labour and the SNP for territory, where the people of Aberdeen are the


victims, they are not the gainers. They are not delivering of them,


either of them for the North East of Scotland. This has been


characterised as a by-election for a roundabout. How do you think that


the by-election will be remembered in terms of significance? It will be


remembered as a by-election that was fought on local issues. You have


heard, if -- that was on the impact of the local issues, Aberdeen has


problems, the bottleneck, the haudagain roundabout, most of us


will participate in that campaign will have had to suffer to get in


and out of the constituency. It has high lighted the issues. Hope that


whatever wins will go back and fight the corner for Aberdeen, for the


advertisement it needs and does not make the error of following the


Government practise. Glen, I will carry on with the trip


down memory lane. We will be back soon when I hope to hear from UKIP.


Come back soon. You are watching a Newsnight


Scotland special, and our promise is to stay on air until we get the


declaration in Aberdeen Donside. Some time, we hope, between now and


2am. The longer it takes, the more likely we are to give you a treat


from the BBC election archive. We have been looking through that


today, and we have found a classic report by Vincent Hanna on the 1982


Hillhead by-election, the Westminster by-election, one of the


famous by-elections in Scottish electoral history. We will play it


in full if we have not had a result by 1:15am. It will demonstrate how


much campaigning has changed over the last 30 years. I was six years


old in 1982. What age where you? You can go off people! I was sitting


here, trying not to disclose the fact that I covered that


by-election, as a child reporter! I was at Westminster, I went up to


have a look at it, because it was stunning. Other treats me include


the contents of John Curtice was Mike favourite oak. 1832 to 2012.


Did you have a favourite electoral pact? We tend to rule the winners


and leave the losers to their sad fate. But occasionally, losers do


something remarkable. The candidate who has done the worst ever in a


general election, Taylor Dawson in Cardiff North, the authors of the


book say they are not quite sure if it is right, but she only got one


vote. Given that you have got to get eight or ten people to nominate


you, she did rather badly! It might be that she ended up spreading her


vote to Finlay, because she did not just fight one constituency, she


fought all of them in Cardiff, and she did better elsewhere, but she


missed out in Cardiff North. Did she have a vote in that constituency? !


With a name like hers, it was not immediately obvious that she was


somebody that would appeal to everybody who comes from Wales, but


maybe that is reading too much into it. They had not invented the symbol


loser by that point! We were talking about independence and the extent to


which it played in the Aberdeen Donside campaign. It is beyond


question the dominant issue of Scottish politics, and will remain


so until the referendum on the 18th of September next year. Brian Taylor


has been looking at some of the polling on that, and here is what he


found. Here is the agreed referendum


question, should Scotland be an independent country? What will be


the answer from the people of Scotland? Academics have been


chucking opinion polls. This is the picture from polls this year, which


asked the question. The graph suggests a consistent, variable read


for those supporting the union. Support for independence ranges at


around 36%, but opposition to independence fairies. Between ten


and 21% say they are undecided. Could that picture change? Better


together campaigners said they finding the views on the doorstep


are backing the junior. But the yes campaign say they can and will sway


opinion to their side. Their canvassers asked people to place


themselves on a spectrum from one, complete opposition to independence,


to ten, total support for independence. They acknowledge that


the default position currently lies closer to one down to ten. But they


detect signs that it is moving their way. What might sway popular


opinion? The economy. Remember this? The Scottish social attitudes


survey. Respondents were asked their views if it could be guaranteed that


they would be �500 better off each year under independence. The survey


suggested they would back independence by 65 to 25. But turned


that around, voters were asked their views if it could be shown they


would be �500 worse off. Independence was rigid did. As


ever, the pound in the pocket matters.


Let's talk a bit about that. Were you surprised? That is research that


you have been involved in. Were you surprised when the �500 question


produced such marked results? were not that surprised. Underneath


that question is also the fact that, if you do what we like to do, try to


keep track of what is driving people, and asked people what they


think independence would bring, and relate that to whether they are for


or against it, the expectation about independence that most matters, is


most clearly related to whether people are for or against, is there


few as to whether the economy would be better or worse. To that extent,


it is clear that this is the issue which seems most capable of writing


public opinion. One thing to say, it is giving you some indication of the


maximum size of the yes and no vote, because it says to people, let's


shame you really were convinced that Scotland would be worse off, so if


everybody were convinced that they would be better off, maybe two


thirds of the country would vote in favour. The question is, can the yes


side persuade anything approaching that many that Scotland would be


better off? The answer seems to be they have only persuaded around a


third of people. A third thing is the God you would be worse off, and


a quarter in the middle. At the moment, it seems that the people in


the middle also seem to be inclined to say, it is not worth the bother


of leaving the union. The problem the yes side face is that they are


looking at an asymmetric race, they have to win the argument, the other


side just simply have to avoid losing. But if the yes side can win


the argument, the potential is there. Are you picking up signs that


the yes campaign and the opposite campaign are working hard on


economic arguments to seal the deal? Absolutely, but it is an


asymmetric race. It is not like a general election, where competing


propositions are tested to destruction and the one that


survived the best wins. In this case, we will examine what the


prounion parties are offering. It is a referendum, with a single


proposition of independence being the primary source to be tested.


This referendum will proceed by doubt and reassurance. The union


parties will not say Scotland cannot be independent, they will throw in


the doubts. Primarily about the economy, but also about the European


Union membership, etc. You could be independent, but the economy, at the


defence profile... It is up to the proponents of independence to offer


a more detailed form of reassurance. At the moment, it would seem that


the reassurance is not sufficient to trump the doubts that are there in


people 's minds, but the reason that the money question is so intriguing,


it indicates there is not a fixed view, people are on a spectrum, even


those who advocate independence, they concede that the swing is


towards the one rather than the 10th, they think if they can pick


away at the doubts and get it out in the open and swamp them with


reassurance, they can get the swingometer the other side. We have


a new member on our panel, Stuart Maxwell from the SNP. Humza Yousaf


has gone home to his bed! On independence, I wonder, what is it


that the yes campaign are going to do to build support? At what point


do you expect the polls to start moving in your favour, if you are


convinced you can do this? I am absolutely convinced. I cannot


predict when the pulse will shift. If you go back to 2011, the opinion


polls up to two months before showed us between ten and 15 points behind,


but we won by 18 points. The pulse will shift, next year sometime,


people will begin to seriously address the issue of the fact that


they have to make a choice in September 2014. Just now, there is a


lot of thinking going on. When I talk to people in Aberdeen Donside,


I spoke to a lot of people, they said they had not yet really


considered it. The opinion polls are not reflecting the fact that most


people are in the middle point, they are waiting to hear what everybody


has to say. When it comes to reassuring people, are we going to


hear more from the Scottish government and the broader yes side


about what Scotland would or could continue to share with the rest of


the UK? It seems to be emerging as a theme in your campaign. Both things


are important, we will say that some things will be the same, some things


we will share, it would make sense for an independent Scotland and the


rest of the UK to share certain aspects of life going forward, but


also, basic administration, we live on the same island, so a lot of


things would have to run in tandem. You could not run different


timetables for trains. There are practical, sensible things we can


run together. They do not matter whether you are independent or not.


But the positive issues that we will put forward will be about the


differences, the choices we can make, the fact that we can always


get the government we want after independence. The best people to


decide on the future of Scotland are the people that live here.


extent to which the SNP government is offering reassurance on the


pensions and welfare Administration or on staying in NATO, keeping the


Queen, the pound, do you think that is reassuring people and is


neutralising some of the doubts and fears that your side have raised?


made an excellent case for the union. What you get from the SNP,


they will say anything to anybody if it is what they want them to hear.


Their message to businesses, we will cut corporation tax, their message


to the left-wingers, we will have Scandinavian style social services,


but they do not talk about how they can marry together. How can you have


both? People are waking up to the arguments, they understand the


challenges and they are scrutinising the detail. They want more than a


shared assertion from the SNP. you look at the polls that we have


been discussing, do you think, this is in the bag? Not at all, we will


work every day until the 18th of September next year. We will fight


for every vote to make sure we stay strong within the UK. We will


continue to do that. The legwork is for the yes campaign is to make if


they want to see a yes vote next year, they know they have got a


problem with young people and with women. We will hear a lot more


retail politics, assertion, ideas thrown towards women and young


people to tempt them over. Is this a term you recognise? I understand


what she means, she was complaining earlier that this is what people


were talking about. This is a debate about two things. It is in part


about what independence would or would not ring to Scotland in terms


of a better life people. But it also has to be said, it is about


identity, how we feel and who we want to share our lives with. The


inch reading thing that we have uncovered, ironically, this is not


really a debate about Scottish nurse, so much as a debate about the


edition is. The truth is, Scotland... Virtually everybody in


Scotland feels strongly Scottish. Two thirds of people in Scotland,


when asked to say how Scottish they feel, they were six or seven on the


scale out of seven. What divides people is whether they acknowledge


feeling British or not. Those who are reluctant to vote for


independence are those who retain that sense of Britishness.


Ironically, although the proposition on the ballot paper, should Scotland


be an independent country, it looks for many voters the proposition they


are addressing is, should Scotland remain in the UK?


We should talk about the smaller parties standing in Aberdeen


Donside. We should talk about the UK Independence Party, they have been


hoping for a breakthrough in the campaign. We can cross now to Lord


Monckton, who is at the count in Aberdeen. Thank you very much for


joining us, Lord Monckton. Your leader, Nigel Farage, campaigned in


Donside. He made another couple of visits to Scotland during the


campaign, he promised a breakthrough, do you think you have


made it? We have made a breakthrough. I think it is clear


now that we are going to keep our deposit. You may think 5% of the


vote, how is that a breakthrough but for a party that has never before


fielded a candidate in this way to come close to keeping his deposit in


a national election rather than a European one, this is a significant


breakthrough. No doubt about it, we are here in Scotland, we are here to


stay and we are building from here. It is not quite a revolution, though


is it? No. Most revolutions are slow. UKIP has been around for 20


years. It took 20 years for UKIP to achieve the real breakthrough south


of the border, we hope it will take a little less for that breakthrough


north of the border but this is the first significant step.


During the campaign, the most prominent political moment in the


campaign did not happen in Aberdeen but in Edinburgh. Your leader was


mobbed at a pub where he was holding a press conference. In fact he had


to be barricaded inside the pub for his own safety and security. He was


then led away by the police. They used a riot van to get him out of


there. He accused the pro tersers of being anti-English. -- protesters of


being anti-English. Do you think that helped him to pick up votes or


might he have done better if he had handled things differently?


protesters said get back to England, we don't want your sort here. Get


back to England. They don't want the English in Scotland. If that is not


anti-English, xenophobic, , what is it? There is an element in the SNP


that does take that nasty line. We have come across it on the


doorsteps. The people who have not made us welcome have been the


hardliners in the SNP. They have become a very anticrowd.


I think it was a group called Radical Independence that led that


campaign. Although they believe in independence...


INAUDIBLE I would accept it was a faction of


the SNP or it has overlaps of the SNP.


You are asserting that, I don't think there is evidence for it, do


you have evidence of it? Yes. They are connected with an outfit called


the Antifascist Alliance. That puts pictures of some of its people on


the website. Some of those are definitely SNP members at well.


They say that they were campaigning against racism, actually it is UK


independence -- it is the UK Independence Party, the policies,


certainly you have had to discipline and remove some of the members from


the party for expressing certain views? Let be clear. We are not a


racist party it is a very funny way to accuse another party of being


racist, when you shout racist slogans at it. It was not we who got


arrested by the police as a result of that incident but they. Let's


remember who was badly behaved here it was not us. Merely we wish to


leave the European Union, that does not mean that we are anti-European.


On the contrary, we are the most pro-European. We realise that the


antidemocratic structure of the European Union represents for the


whole of Europe. I spent years studying the civilisation of Ancient


Greece and Rome... I would not get into that now, let's ask another


question... We are not anti-European, we are not


anti-English. I would like to ask you where you


stand on the Scottish dlsh British identity question. Where do you


stand on that? Do you identify as a Scottish party in Scotland? Well,


all of us who are Scottish are proud to be Scottish. One of the great


glories of the Scottish nation is that we remain proud of our


nationhood while, at the same time, being at ease with Europe, though


increasingly ill at ease with the European Union. So I think that


there is a Scottish identity but also a British identity, that we


have come across strongly among all parties on the street. Many, even in


the SNP, who do not want jut right independence. The SNP has been


unable to recent weeks to answer questions about how to pay for not


just defence but welfare which applies very much in this questions


and also health services. After the Barnet formula... Hang on a minute.


Health service is being paid for... OK. Thank you very much.


At the moment there is no doubt that the numbers do not add up. The


numbers have not been done. Thank you very much. The UK


Independence Party member, Lord Monckton live. He said that the SNP


was the Scottish nasty party, but Sir Malcolm Bruce described the SNP


as being nasty earlier, would you like to respond? I would not dignify


them with any responses, but there is a way to point out that clearly


members of UKIP and unfortunately Malcolm Bruce have taken negative


commentary about others putting forward a legitimate position.


But you are the -- but you failed when asked, to condemn the language


used in that demonstration, it was not the only way in which the pro


testers against Nigel Farage expressed themselves but they did


suggest where he might like to place the Union flag and your leader


failed to condemn that? He said hefrn a right to protest. Peaceful


protest is a reasonable thing in our society. We accept that people have


a right to say to may members of UKIP that we don't agree with the


policies, we don't support nor want them here that is acceptable in


terms of the policies of UKIP. I would agree with the protesters in


that sense, but many were not members of the SNP a number were


English people. The idea that there was some SNP anti-English protest is


ridiculous it is a slur on the SNP, I absolutely reject it.


If UKIP held their deposit, would you accept, David, that it is a


borough for them in Scottish terms and is it worrying for you given


that they steal votes from you in England? I don't think it is a


borough. UKIP's pitch is a pitch, a plague on


all your houses. It is a protest vote it is no doubt about that, by


people unhappy with the EU, unhappy about immigration. I don't think it


is from people who look at a person who they thought that they would


elect as their MSP tonight it is a message. We all have to listen to


that. We can't ignore the fact that the voters in Scotland, just as


elsewhere in the United Kingdom are concerned about immigration I


issues. For example, politicians have to be able to speak about the


issues, to put them forward in a coherent and reasonable proposals so


that UKIP don't get a groundswell on the basis that the issues are not


talked about, but I don't see them making significant headway in


Scotland. We have a Nistlerooy party in Scotland.


-- we have a nationalist party in Scotland that is what UKIP.


Mike Crockhart, are you worried that UKIP could finish ahead in the


by-election? I don't think so. If they can save their deposit, they


can be happy with that, but there is no great support for UKIP's policies


in Scotland. Of that I am sure. We used to benefit from being the party


of protest. That Mantell has been taken away from us. We have been in


Government in Westminster. We can no longer be the party that people turn


to when they want to, as David has said, to be a plague on the rest of


your houses. They are turning to UKIP for that but it is not an


endorsement of the policies of UKIP. How do you assess Nigel Farage and


the UKIP party? I think that people are mostly protesting at the Lib


Demes now, rather than giving their votes for that reason. I don't agree


for what UKIP stand for but I respect their right to say it. I


wish that those who protested that day had put their energy into the


arguments rather than shouting them down in the streets it was not


edifying for the country, but what excited me most about the package


was the arrival of Willie Young into the Aberdeen count there. So good


news. Firstly, I am hearing good news from Glenrothes. We are seeing


a significant swing to Labour in Aberdeen now as well. If it is


right, if what I am hearing is right, it is a 6 or 7% swing. Enough


to take out cask cask cask, and -- Kenny McAfghanistanily and Nicola


Sturgeon and that is why you are seeing the smiles on Labour faces.


Thank you very much. We can go back to Aberdeen, to Steve Godden at the


count with an update. Steven. The lull I spoke about is over.


People over there by the door lining up waiting for the arrival of Mark


McDonald, the SNP candidate. Willie Young arrived, the Labour candidate,


to huge applause. A sense that we are building to a kind of climax.


There is is a picture starting to emerge. All of the usual caveats


apply, but a picture of ral the SNP win winning -- really the SNP


winning the majority and Labour coming second and the Liberal


Democrats coming third. The feeling from the Liberal Democrats side of


thing is that they have picked up support in areas where they have


traditionally done well but were deserted in 2011. I am talking about


Dyce and Bridge of Don. So there is the perception that work has paid


off. The figures in terms of the share of the vote that are about 40%


for the SNP, about 30% for Labour and 8% or 9% for the Liberal


Democrats with the Conservatives in fourth. So things are starting to


emerge. Still no firm news on when the declaration will be made. Some


saying about 1. 30am. Others saying 2.00am. The voice of experience,


people saying probably nearer to 2.00am than 1. 30am. So we will


await the SNP's arrival here, so things starting to pick up here now.


And a quick word with Professor John Curtice on the provisional numbers


that Steven shared with us. There is a comparison nobody


mentioned. It is what happened in the constituency in the 2012 local


elections, we cannot say exactly what happened as the boundaries


don't much. On my calculations, the SNP got about 38% of the vote in the


questions in 2012. It sounds as though that this will be the same


again. Labour getting about 30%. So, yes, the gap between the parties is


closer. That, should say is the arrival of


Mark McDonald, the SNP candidate. Perhaps the next MSP for Aberdeen


Donside. So the gap will be closer but this


does not suggest that the SNP have gotten less popular now than they


were over 12 months ago, but we have to recognise that they do not retain


the high popularity that they had in 2011. We should not be surprised


that the Liberal Democrats came third. So again in truth, this is


going to maintain where they managed to be over 12 months ago, that is


what they should achieve. Now, I think that is visually, it


looks like a declaration of victory from Mark McDonald, even though we


don't have the formal results. He has his fists clenched for the


photographers. We have to say something about UKIP


it is a question of whether or not the glass is half full or half


empty. 5% of the vote would have been regarded as a remarkable


performance. They got 1% on the list vote in 2011.


Have they held a deposit in a first-past-the-post test in


Scotland? Not to my memory. But y what to bare in find is short


of the 20% vote that they got in Rotherham, in Middlesbrough, in


south shields or the average 25% of the vote that they were getting in


the English elections. This confirms that message that Scotland is not


immune to the rise of UKIP that's been going on but that like London,


UKIP are finding that Scotland is a much more difficult territory, not


least as in Scotland if you do feel strong strongly about what you are


concerned about, the feeling that you are being governed unnecessarily


by London, whereas in England the issue is about being governed too


much by Brussels and the immigration of immigration is an essential one


for UKIP. Lots of holding going on, perhaps


they know more than 32, although everybody is expecting that the SNP


will be victorious in Aberdeen Donside tonight. The question is, to


what extent do they win, do what extent to the finish with a lead


over Labour, and to what extent does the Labour Party eat into the


league? If it is true that the Westminster coalition parties


flip-flopped their positions and the Liberal Democrats finish ahead of


the Conservatives, how do you view that? It was only in 2011 that Ross


Thomson manage to beat the Liberal Democrats. The Liberal Democrats


were third in 2007, 2003 and 1999. But they had a much higher share of


the vote, 17.1% in 1999, 15.4 in 2007. It is the 2011 Scottish


Parliament, the general election result, that was the anomaly.


Re-establishing their position as being third in the constituency. It


would be remarkable if UKIP had not gained something of a bounce, cause


of their successes relatively in England, but 5% will not win too


many pies and peas. The candidates are in place at the camp, which


might mean that things are getting closer. What can you tell us?


getting there. All of the candidates are here. The last to arrive, Mark


McDonald. Use all the shots of him coming into the hall at the Beacon


Centre, he had his fists clenched, a triumphant entrance to the hall. The


feeling is he has done enough to win this, but the majority will be


reduced, that is the consensus. We are still waiting for the


declaration. We will find out what has happened. Willie Young came in


ten minutes before Mark McDonald, there was a big cheer for his


arrival, so they are all in the hall, still a fair bit of activity


going on, waiting for the declaration, but as I said, there is


a picture starting to emerge of the SNP winning this seat with a reduced


majority, the Labour Party share around 30%, compared to the SNP's


40%, and the Liberal Democrats in third place with nine or 10%. The


Conservatives in fourth place. All of the usual caveats apply, but that


is the chatter here in the Beacon Centre, so we are waiting for the


declaration, as we have been waiting all night. How is your trip down


memory lane going? It is going fairly well. I have been here


before, I played football outside, so this is a new experience, the


hall. I have spoken about some horror stories about the roundabout,


learning to drive there, and one of the schools that is involved in the


controversy about mergers, they were our bitter rivals at primary


school, so it has been ingesting -- ingesting, speaking to people where


I grew up, seeing some familiar faces, but it does not matter why I


am here, it is why these people are here, and the declaration. We will


be their life when it happens. Talking of memory lane, it is that


time, it is 1:15am, and I promised that if we had not had a


declaration, we would take a trip down memory lane and dip into the


by-election archive. In 1982, Glasgow Hillhead was fiercely fought


by all parties. The SDP worthy winners, with Roy Jenkins taking


what had been a safe Tory seat. He is a look at how Vincent Hanna saw


Cheering election time, Lascaux Corporation thence disused buildings


to political parties at �5 a week. The SDP grabbed the day centre. And


they stocked it with many of the ladies who do social democratic


afternoon. He arrived with the flourish that befitted the tradition


of English politicians who have carpet in Scotland. Did not his


mentor Herbert Asquith find a seat in Scotland? He became Prime


Minister. Herbert Asquith was never reduced to campaigning outside the


Partick bingo hall. 43. It is not the sort of thing that he is good


at. Especially when there are not many voters around. Good afternoon,


Roy Jenkins. How are you? Do you do you live? Clydebank. Quite a long


way? Not too bad.Outside the constituency. Only one person he


spoke to actually lived in Hillhead, and he was voting Labour. Good


afternoon, Roy Jenkins, where do you live? Hillhead.Outside the


constituency? He was finally forced to talk to the press for a while,


before wandering off to his committee rooms. Gerry Malone is 31,


a local solicitor who has been engaging and hard-working. As a


loyal defender of government policy, it was his bad luck that the


announcement of the Trident project last week provoked an alarmed


reaction even from Hillhead Tories, who live only 25 miles from the


base. He has paraded around with visiting politicians, like Ted


Heath, who always manages to conceal his distaste for the party


leadership. He is a Roman Catholic, anti-abortion and pro-hunting. He


was carefully -- he has carefully concealed any disagreements on party


policy. There now follows a party political cliche. There has been


speculation about whether he is wet. The Labour Party is the only party


that has the alternative to the disastrous economic policy of the


government. David Wiseman has been described as a Marxist, which he


does not deny. Helen Liddell, the Scottish party secretary, acted as a


nanny to ensure that her candidate kept to his or her script.


Everywhere he went, he was accompanied by political figures.


This MP even gave him the rosette with which at Warrington he gained


the lowest Labour vote since the war. Hillhead is usually on fertile


ground for Scottish Nationalists, but the polls have shown that by


dint of energy and personality, its cancer to James Heavey had made


tonight be a crucial factor in determining who wins or loses. In


the last few days, the polls have been dancing wildly about,


predicting a victory for conservatives, labour and SDP, and


the nerves of the party workers have been more than a little frayed,


which is why at the weekend no gimmick was left untried, no stop


left and pulled. Hillhead went completely crazy. Early morning


found us shivering in a car park at the top of Crow Road, with 60


excited Conservatives, doing strange things with their cars. Unused


onlookers hinted darkly of ancient Celtic rights and the party


organisers explained that it was a media event. They were trying to


spell their candidate's name in cars. Nobody seemed to know why. It


took an awfully long time. Meanwhile, the Labour campaign was


similar -- formidable political machine, and the effort on Saturday


was immense. The tactics of keeping Mr Wiseman smiling and waving but


not saying a lot was having an effect on the polls. The


Conservatives had sent for a hoist, so that a handful of people other


than passing pilots could inspect their handiwork. We looked down and


waved. They looked up and waved back. Where do you live? Roy Jenkins


was canvassing of the Dumbarton Road. The press had been complaining


for days that they had not been able to watch him doing it, but when it


came, it was worth waiting for. is difficult being separated. How


are you? With great courtesy, he gave the voters the benefit of his


advice. Roy Jenkins is moving along. But he was accompanied by Bill


Rogers, doing his loudspeaker act, and who positioned himself as to


make it unlikely that anybody could hear a word that Roy Jenkins said.


The whole of the campaign was filled to the last day with loudspeakers,


music and cavalcades of canvases, harassing an electorate who were


traditionally very cynical about all # Some folks work for Labour.


# Some follow the Tory cloth. # In Westminster I will be.


# I'll leave behind my brains and mind.


# And try for an MBE. Campaigning has changed a bit since


then! You would be hard pushed to find haggis for 18p a pound! As


Vincent Hanna said, no gimmick left untried. That is still a feature of


by-elections. To remind you, this is a special from Newsnight Scotland,


for the Aberdeen Donside by-election. The SNP seeming


confident about their prospects of retaining the seat, with Mark


McDonald, just to the right of the screen, hoping to be elected as the


new MSP for Aberdeen Donside. Sometime between now and 2am, we


hope, we think, we will keep you across developments. Let's continue


the trip down memory lane. You have confessed already, Brian, that you


were there. I was the young face in the background. Gerry Malone later


became an MP for Aberdeen South. I caught a glimpse in that car park


stunt of a very active conservative but later and even more active


nationalist, he left the Tories over the steel industry. It looked like


him. I recall Roy Jenkins then, he was offered a glass of wine in the


elegant constituency rooms, and he said, a courageous vintage! I


thought that was very Roy Jenkins! Vincent Hanna, I did a piece at a


party conference, there was a search to get some jokes into Tony Blair's


speech, and I asked Vincent Hanna, and Neil Callan -- Neil Kinnock had


talked about winning the last time, and it went, knock knock, Neal who?


That is politics! The Labour Party does not field Marxists!


knowingly! It was Helen Liddell, she is now in the House of Lords. I was


six years old in 1982, what about you? I was born in 1981.Just a


baby! What about you? I was 19. Do you remember it? Yes, I was a lowly


party worker, but not for the SNP. I was a member of the Labour Party. I


was a supporter of the Labour Party, I helped out, and I subsequently saw


the light. I joined the SNP left and ten years later. I left the Labour


Party in the late 80s and join the SNP in 1990. I had always been a


supporter of devolution and devolution -- and independents. It


was almost inevitable that you got your party card with your 16th


birthday card, and that is what happened to me, but when I grew up a


bit, I decided it was not the party I wanted to support. It is the idea


of party workers, you heard it in the song, we have got to shout to


the party activists, they have done the hard graft, many of them were up


at the crack of dawn, they are watching the programme tonight, with


a suntan and a weary feeling in their legs. A lot of ordinary people


get up to play their part, and that is very healthy. David, what would


you say the big changes and similarities are over the 30 year


period in the way we do politics and how by-elections of Fort? There is a


lot more targeting of voters in elections now. In a by-election like


that, the parties knocked all the doors, whether people were likely to


be supported -- supportive or not, but now, work is done behind the


scenes. Today, you would see the parties focusing on knocking up


their own supporters, pulling them out.


I have done two council elections in Edinburgh, but going back to 1982. I


was 16. I was not involved in politics. It was only at university


later, tla went around all of the university clubs. To Labour, to


liberal, to the SDP where, there were four of us and a dog. The SDP I


felt most at home with it was an exciting time. Breaking the mould of


British politics. We actually believed it would happen. It has


taken longer to achieve but I think we are managing it now.


Thank you very much. Lets cross to the count. Steve Godden is there.


What is happening, Steven, are we getting a result sometime soon? It


is starting to feel like we are moving towards a conclusion. The


party agents, the election agents were called into the corner a couple


of minutes ago for a final adjudication. So it feels like we


are moving to a conclusion. In the middle of the room it is not


scientific nor official but in the middle of the group of tables here,


the votes are laid out. The votes for each candidate. On the


right-handside are the votes for Mark McDonald there. Are six rows of


vouts for Mark McDonald, the SNP candidate. Next are rows of votes


for Willie Young, the Labour candidate. Four rows there. Next


down, the Liberal Democrats candidate, Christine Jardine, one


row there. Next to her the row of votes for the Conservative candidate


and fifth are the votes for UKIP. So it is not official it is not


confirmation, we are waiting for the declaration but it gives an


indication and backs up the way that people have been speaking about how


the contest is turning out. Thank you very much.


I heard Brian Taylor say if that was the very fiction stage, five minutes


do you think? I think so. It should be five minutes to then.


That is what it normally is. So, let's have a look at the results


from last time so we are aware of what we are comparing with. We will


do that in a moment or two. Are you starting to get excited, Professor


John Curtice? It could be a new fact for your book? Yes! If you asked me


at the beginning, thank goodness you did not but if indeed what we heard


earlier, it was something like 40% SNP, 30% Labour, that is what I


would have put the money on it is confirmation of what we learned in


the television 12 months ago, but it is exciting in the sense it is an


indication that this remarkably popular SNP government a government


that is popular for having been in power for six years, is, however,


beginning to find the tied a little more difficult to withstand than


perhaps was the case a few years ago. Certainly it is a reminder to


us, in context of the whole independence debate, not to assume,


even if the SNP remain pop lar, that they will do well in 2016, whether


or not we are voting as an independent country or as part of


the European Union to get an overall majority. A lot assumptions are


about what would happen if we are an independent Scotland it depends on


what the SNP do but it may be invalid. It may not be the SNP


running in Scotland, even if we were to vote for it.


I should say let's take a look at the results from the last time of


the Scottish general election in 2011. There it is, the SNP holding


the seat. Brian Adam, the return with 14,790 votes. The Labour


candidate with 7,615. Ross Thomson, the candidate for them this time


around, the Conservatives. He got 2,166. The Liberal Democrats, 1606


and the others sharing 530 votes between them. There are many more


candidates in the by-election than there were the last time. That could


change a little. The majority for the SNP in 2011. The turn out on


that occasion was 47.3%. That is the result the last time. That is what


we are comparing against, I think that I am right to say? If the


Labour Party have indeed got about 30%. They are in truth only up about


1 to %, 2% than in 2011. Ir think we will be left the questions, whatever


the difficulties are facing the SNP government, I think that the Labour


Party are left with the question, at what point is the Scottish Labour


Party to come up with a message that means it begins to reengage with the


Scottish electorate as far as the Holyrood elections are concerned?


There is still a large question mark about the ability of the Labour


Party in Scotland to recover north of the border between now and 2016.


What is the answer to the professor's question, Kezia Dugdale?


That is fair commentary. We understand the challenge. We were


outed in 2011. We understand what to do for 2016.


But compare the position of the party in Scotland with the position


of the party at Westminster two years after suffering a serious


defeat in 2010. The Labour Party south of the border recovered


quickly then, you don't show signs of recovering on anything like the


same speed. We are working on transformational


change as to how we do everything from HQ structures to the message on


devolution to the policy going forward. 2016 is a long way. Joanne


Lamont is beating Alex Salmond week in, week out. We need more than that


to offer to the electorate, though, we are working on that. By 2016 we


will have a positive, aggressive message to take to the electorate,


to move the SNP out of office. And feen if you were able to turn


around the polls and win independent, it may be up to Labour


to decide what kind of country we become? Of course. The people of


Scotland get to choose. That is the point about independence. They will


get the Government that they want in 2016. That government will be, I


hope it will be an SNP one but it is up to the people to decide. That is


important a point. Some people mix up the things about effectively,


they don't like this SNP policy, or this SNP individual, therefore they


are against independence. Independence is not about the SNP


but about the people of Scotland getting to choose their future. This


is a different question as to whether or not the SNP wins the 2016


election. In that light, is the Labour Party


giving thought to what the policies positions would be if Scotland did


become an independent country? don't see our politics from a


starting point around the constitution that is why Joanne


Lamont talks about a purpose. The values that we have as a country,


how we want to see them delivered. She started had an honest debate


about what to expect from Government, local government,


national government. We are having an honest debate. We will have an


offer on devolution and a policy platform ready for the moments that


we need them. So an independence manifesto up your


sleeve in case? What you would do with awful the powers that come with


independence? We would have a platform that talks about devolution


in the broadest sense. That is about what powers we give the local


government, what powers in the Scottish Parliament, what we do with


the powers and what we use power for should Scotland be independent.


includes the question as to whether or not if you were in a position it


run the Scottish government after 2016, it could be left in your hands


to deal with the issue of getting an independent into NATO and what stand


you take on Trident and the situation at Faslane if you find


yourself back in power. That is what the parties have to address with an


independent Scotland. At some point the Labour Party will have to tell


us as to whether or not it could be more accommodating to a UK


government on that issue, than so far we have been led by the SNP that


they would be if they were in power in Scotland. There is a duty for all


parties to spell out clear what the platforms are. What is your


position, the Labour Party's position on nuclear weapons? I don't


want to see nuclear weapons on Scottish soil. Is that Joanne


Lamont's position? You have to ask Joanne Lamont her view. I am asking


you, you are oppose opposed to nuclear weapons in Scotland, to


Trident? I want to ensure that this is no longer a tool that the


governments can levy with. I am interested, Jim Murphy is keen


on nuclear weapons, keen on replacing Trident, the leader in


London is keen on replacing Trident. It is fascinating put forward by an


SNP politician who has a broad spectrum on other policies. You are


right-wing and left-wing policies. That is very much to our credit too,


I think. But to be clear, as the issue has


been raised it is your position that the nuclear weapons that are on


Scottish territory at the moment, that the Trident programme should be


removed? It is my view I don't want to see nuclear weapons anywhere in


the world. I think that the Scots have a share shared vision.


Do you support the renewal of the Trident programme? No. It is a waste


of money. Money that could be better spent.


Thank you very much. David Mundell we have not heard from you. We


obviously know that the UK Government intends to renew Trident,


that is your stated position, but I am not clear, despite the fact...


Sorry, the Conservative spoigs to renew Trident. The Government


position is to hold a review and to make that decision in 2016.


Correct. The Conservative position is to renew. David Cameron visited a


nuclear submarine and stated that about what was not clear was whether


that would be sustainable if Scotland became an independent


country? Well the position as Mike points out for the Conservatives is


that we would renew Trident. That position is to retain the United


Kingdom. If Scotland became an independent country, might that


bounce the UK in to abandoning the plan to renew Trident? As I said


earlier, all sorts of things will be uncertain if Scotland becomes


independent. But the UK, would it be the position


of the Conservative Party it renew Trident, fully renew Trident if


Scotland became independent? The UK Government, indeed the Conservative


Party, are proceeding on the basis of Scotland remaining in the United


Kingdom. That is the answer.


The Defence Secretary conceded that contingency plans are being made?


don't they he conceded that significant contingency.


Insignificant? There are not significant contingency plans for


Scotland becoming independent. We believe that Scotland will be a


party of the United Kingdom, that our policies are based on Scotland


becoming a part of the United Kingdom. That it is a part of the


United Kingdom, sorry! It is getting very late.


It is. Our policy position is predicated on


Scotland remaining a part of the United Kingdom. Obviously it is


self-evident if Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom, a whole


range of issues will be reassessed. And David does not want to base an


argument on the existence of independence, but it is not credible


to say within the Ministry of Defence that they are not preparing


for the possibility of independence. They are soldiers, of course they


are preparing for it. It strikes me if it comes to this, if the opinion


polls currently suggest otherwise but if it comes to it, if there is


independents, then Trident would be the timetable for it, the timetable


for the removal of it would be a bargaining counter for whoever is


the head of the Scottish government. The bargain counter would anybody


there for a membership with European and NATO. Seeking support in return


for being reasonable about the timetable for the withdrawal of


Trident. Mike Crockhart where are you


personally on the Trident issue? position has been multilateral. The


maintenance of a minium deterrent. It is not a minimum deterrent. We


have managed to get the coalition government to carry out a review.


When do we get the results? Very soon. I have no idea what it says,


but I hope it identifies something which is cheaper than Trident, which


is a massive waste of money. should get rid of Trident and vote


yes in 2014, then we would be assured of it. The first Minister


has not said what the timetable would be. Some people say it might


take a decade. Can you put a time on it? No, it is part of a negotiation


settlement. It will be as thick and safe as it is possible to be. That


is the sensible approach, we would have to make sure it has got


somewhere safe to go. We understand these are dangerous weapons, and it


has to be done properly, so we can negotiated in a mature way.


become part of a nuclear reliance. All other countries in NATO sign up


to the use of nuclear weapons. An independent Scotland would take away


Trident but signup to a nuclear alliance, which all of the other


member states subscribe to the use of nuclear weapons. On that point,


all the other countries signup to NATO's rules, which include the


possibility of a first strike nuclear attack. Would an independent


Scotland, led by the SNP, signup to that? It is conditional, our


membership of NATO would be conditional on the basis we would


not support nuclear weapons, we would not be part of... You cannot


go into NATO on a conditional basis! Other countries do that. They


do not have nuclear weapons and they do not allow them to come into the


air or those waters. We would be in the same position. Being in the same


position as other members is to sign up to NATO's rules, which include


the possibility... You can aspire for nuclear disarmament, but you


have to agree that NATO reserves the right under half of all of its


members to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike. NATO is a club of


members. That is one of its rules. We would have a voice. It does not


operate as an independent body. would have to join on the basis of


the other members, you cannot come into a club and say, we are going to


have our own special rules. Will you in the event of independents accept


the existing terms of NATO membership that all other members


are signed up to? We do not support nuclear weapons. You want special


conditions of membership? Or the men -- or the terms accepted by other


members? Do you accept the existing rules or do you want special


arrangements? Neither. There are countries in NATO who do not allow


NATO nuclear weapons. Do you accept first strike? We do not. Shared


defence is a normal, sensible mechanism for all of the European


countries in NATO. We will have time later to discuss that and other


topics in more detail, unless Stephen has exciting news for us.


What is the latest? It looks like it is imminent. In the corner of the


whole, the candidates and their agents have been called into one


final Hoddle, so I do not think we are far away. I have been sensing a


new emotion, of impatience, people 's attention is split between three


things, the stage, the ballot papers and the clock on the wall, which


reads 149 AM. I am hoping it will not be too much longer before you


can come back to us for a declaration. I think the clock might


be running fast in Aberdeen! I have got 1:48am. A little bit faster.


Aberdeen is forward-looking! I am made and the boy, but on this


occasion, when you are covering that point where we need to cheer


ourselves up with another electoral fact from John Curtice. And his big


book of facts. Your second favourite fact! This book has a wonderful


section on all sorts of trivia. For example... It is all in your head!


David Mundell and his colleagues have been worrying about


constituency redistribution, and they were desperate to ensure that


they had equality of electorates, to improve their chances of winning in


2015, but some of his colleagues scuppered House of Lords reform,


which gave Mike Crocker the opportunity to scupper the boundary


review. A minor piece of comfort to David, things are not quite as bad


as they have been in the past, because in 1935, in Rommel third in


Essex, 167,000 voters on the register. There is nowhere in


England that will be doing that, the Isle of Wight is the worst. Things


are not gerrymandered as badly as that. But it will be an important


issue in 2015. The Tories might not win because of the boundary issue.


As you can see, as John Curtice shared his electoral fact with us,


the electoral officer in Aberdeen is preparing to share the result. Let's


go live for the Aberdeen Donside declaration. The candidates are


positioning themselves. Let's hear Good evening, everyone. Thank you


for your forbearance and patients. I, constituency returning officer,


declared the results of the verification process for the


Aberdeen Donside Scottish Parliament constituency. The total electorate


was 60,200 and 42. The total votes cast were 23,396. That means the


turnout was 38.8%. I hereby give notice that the total number of


votes polled for each candidate at the election was as follows. Otto


Ingles, UK Independence Party, 1128. Christine Jardine, Scottish Liberal


Democrats, 1940. David Donald, Scottish National front, 249. Mark


McDonald, Scottish National Party, 9814. Tom Morrow, Scottish Christian


party, 222. Rhonda rekey, Scottish Green party, 410. Ross Thomson,


Scottish Conservatives and Unionists, 1791. James Shoal and,


Scottish Democratic Alliance, 35. Willie Young, Scottish Labour


The total valid votes were 23,378. The total number of rejected votes


was 18 and the reason for rejection was as follows. Lack of official


mark or unique identifying mark, zero. Voting for more than one


candidate, four. Writing a mark by which the voter could be identified,


one. One mark or void for uncertainty, 13. That brings the


total to 18 rejected votes. I hereby declare that the following candidate


is duly elected to serve as a member of the Scottish parliament for the


Aberdeen Donside constituency. That is Mark McDonald, Scottish National


and your team, for all of your work to ensure that this by-election ran


smoothly? I thank all of the staff at the polling stations and those


who have been here tonight. Often, you feel like this is us going


through the motions, but genuinely, this would not be possible without


your efforts, and we thank you. I speak for all of the candidates when


I say so. I thank the police for ensuring an orderly by-election took


place. I thank my fellow candidates for a robust by-election campaign. I


wish to give special thanks to my campaign team, led by my agent,


Kevin Stewart. The many activists who came through to support me in


this campaign, and I wish to thank my family, my mother, my wife and my


children, who both should be in their beds, but for all of the


support they gave me in keeping me sane, or as sane as you can be in a


by-election campaign. It shows the people of Aberdeen Donside back the


delivery of universal benefits, free personal care and free


prescriptions. They back the council tax freeze and reject the Labour


cuts commission. They back the local schools being kept open and say to


Labour, hand off, Middleton Park and Branbrae. They back a sensible


approach to improving Aberdeen's transport infrastructure and reject


Labour's plans to eject people in Middlefield. I want to thank the


people of Aberdeen Donside for putting their faith in me. I know


that turn out is low, that serves as a lesson to all, that we as


politicians and political parties have much to do to inspire people


and take stock of that and look at what we can do to ensure that people


come out to vote at election times. I have a tough act to follow. I


pledge to work hard and earn trust in the way that Brian Adam did. I


stood in 2004, I received 51 votes. So I think that this is probably


progress. I cannot help but think of Brian at this time. In 1988, Brian


Adam was the only SNP councillor in the city of Aberdeen, today we have


15. In 2003 he became the first constituency member of Parliament in


Aberdeen, against the national swing. Brian was a pine year for the


Scottish National Party, a year for the movement. He is deeply missed by


all, but I know he would be proud of us today.


Brian was not just a friend and colleague but a machinor... The new


MSP, Mark McDonald, paying tribute to Brian Adam. His death caused the


by-election. SNP holding Aberdeen Donside. Mark McDonald with 9,814


votes. Labour's Willie Young in second place with 7,789. Christine


Jardine for the Liberal Democrats, moving to third place for her party,


1,940. Pushing Ross Thomson, the Conservative candidate, in to fourth


place with 1,791 votes and the other parties between them, sharing 2,044,


but Professor John Curtice which confirm that UKIP's performance was


not enough to hold their deposit as they predicted earlier in the


programme. So the SNP holding Aberdeen Donside, the majority over


2,000. There is the share of the 2,000. There is the share of the


vote. 42% for the SNP, 33.3% for Labour. 8.3 for the Liberal


Democrats, 7. 7% for the Conservatives, and 8. 7% tor the


others. -- for the others.


Now let's have a look at the change. The SNP down 13%. Labour up 5%. The


Lib Demes up 2%. No change for the Lib Demes up 2%. No change for the


Tories, the others gaining 7%. So in this by-election there has


been a swing to Labour from the SNP of 9.1 t 2%.


Now let's get reaction to the result. Firstly from Labour's's


Kezia Dugdale. There was -- fistly from Labour's Kezia Dugdale, there


were about 2,000 votes in it but not close enough.


That is a big headway forward. A 9.1% swing from SNP to Labour.


Enough to take out many. 0.4%, you would have had Nicola Sturgeon.


There was talk of a fight become. You have that in the result. It is a


long way to go until 2016 but a great start.


A start that has you worried? am delighted for Mark McDonald. He


did a great job. I am delighted for him. My thoughts are with Brian


Adam's family. We didn't want to be here today, but I am delighted for


Mark McDonald. This is six years into an SNP government. We have held


the seat comfortably. Professor John Curtice was talking about the


comparison with the 2012 results, our vote was 42%. 39% five years


ago. Labour was 43% then, p is 33% today. Clearly no way forward for


Labour. Theres have been swings before, and Labour has said is a


disastrous result but a 9% swing failing to make a impression is


disastrous for Labour. They have made no gains ahall. -- at all here.


And it was said that this was the endorsement for the principle of


universalism and a rejection of benefits, a rejection of Labour's


cuts commission? If that is what Mark McDonald wants to read into the


result. It suits the SNP's wider political message.


You can't get away from the fact that voters in Aberdeen Donside


endorsed the SNP. If it was not a vote for universalism, against the


cuts, what was it? It was a 9% swing to Labour. That is not endorsement


of the SNP government at all. But the SNP have been elected.


But we never expected to win. It was a 7,000 majority. The SNP going into


it with 55% share election share of the vote that is huge. We can't


expect to overturn it. We had a go at it. We have to present a


platform. I spoke to Willie Young the oter


day, he said he was going to win. Let's bring in Mike Crockhart. Some


improvement, pushing the Tories into fourth place but no real sign of a


recovery in the Lib Dem fortunes? This was the usual two-party squeeze


in a by-election it is difficult to make headway against that.


Especially with the resources thrown into it by the two parties. So a


move forward is welcomed. We were out on the doorsteps. It was far


better than it has been in the last two years. We were there enthusing


supporters, signing up members, speaking to people on the doorstep


in that local area. This is a step forward. I con congreat -- I


congratulate Christine Jardine. And from you, David, you, pushed


down the rankings into fourth, is that support leaking to UKIP, who


did relatively well? Our vote stayed the same. I think that Ross Thomson


did a good job. I am positive. I think that people like Ross Thomson


are the future of the Conservative Party. As Mike says when people


perceive there is a two-horse race, they opt for one of those parties,


but I think that holding our vote, fighting a positive campaign, I


think that is a positive message to take forward from this by-election.


Thank you very much. We will get more analysis from Brian


and John in a moment, but now let's cross to Aberdeen, to Donside, to


the new MSM for Aberdeen Donside. Firstly, congratulations to you,


Mark McDonald. Were there times when you started to bite your nails a


little? It was closer than some are predicting? Well the important thing


was that we were focussed on holding the seat. We have healed the seat.


We are satisfied we have won the by-election. Now we build ogen


legacy of Brian Adam and work hard for the communities of Aberdeen


Donside that is what I have pledged to do as the new MSP.


Obviously you have won it is an endorsement but Labour have a claim


to be making progress, eating at the? SNP's majority. As Kezia


Dugdale pointed out, swings like this would take out some of your


Cabinet ministers in a general election? Well, by-elections, glen,


as you know, they are notoriously difficult issues on which to predict


wider swings. We have seen that in many by-elections in the past.


Swings that happen and by-elections don't necessarily follow through to


a general election. There is a strong focus on a constituency for a


long period of time. What what we saw here were the opposition parties


throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the campaign. I am


delighted to have held the seat. Now it is my job to build on the trust


that has been put in me and to help build the party for the future. That


is what Brian Adam has done. Labour described you as a "yes" man


for Alex Salmond. Is there anything to say to him now that involves the


word "no"? Well, Labour have called me all sorts of things during the


campaign. They called me a boy trying to do a man's job. They have


called me a "yes" man, saying I have not had a proper job in my life.


They want to engage in name kaling -- name calling, that is fine by me,


but the idea that somehow you must be disloyal in order to ab abgood


questions MP, I mean Brian Adam was the Chief Whip of the party.


Responsible that the party members voted the right way. He was a strong


voice for Aberdeen Donside. He knew how to fight their corner. I learned


from Brian Adam. I don't need lessons from the Labour Party in


representing the questions. I learned from Brian Adam, that is


what I will be putting into practise.


Things have moved quickly for you in your political life. Elected to a


young councillor. Do you wish you may have had a -- aanother life


before becoming a politician? happy with what I have done. I have


been a long-time representing my communities. I grew up in the area,


I represented that, I feel there is no greater honour in politics than


to represent the area that you live in. That is what I will be doing now


for Aberdeen Donside. What do you say to people that


actually we need more politicians, more in Parliament who have actually


had a career in some other areas of life, who have done another job, who


can bring that experience into Parliament? I think that life


experiences are about more than what you do for a job. That is why they


call it life experience, not work experience. I am raising a disabled


child. I have many experiences from that, that will allow me to


empathise with people, relate to them and work hard on issues for


instance my campaign on autism. Working with people with autism,


ensuring that they get the support that we want to see.


These are ish us that concern you, about in terms of delivering for


Donside Donsiden -- Aberdeen Donside, what are you going to do?


am going to have a meeting about the bonkers proposals to close the local


schools. There have been no words back on that parents have been left


with months of anxiety. It is time to call that to a halt. That is one


of the first things that I will do. Mark McDonald, the MSP for SNP, once


again, congratulations on your win. Thank you very much.


Let's speak to Brian Taylor and Professor John Curtice, you have


been chewing over the numbers, anything you spotted that we have


not discussed? Clearly the people should be congreat lated on the


victory. Now the shares. The share, the decline of the share for the


Labour Party, comparing it with the declines in 2009 it is on the high


side. One could argue it is because of this vote. On the other hand Mark


McDonald is not a new kid on the block. He has been representing the


area for a while. So he was a strong candidate, but saying this in the


sense to remind us, how the ballot in 2014 is a different contest from


a Scottish Parliament election, if you put together the votes cast for


candidates who were in favour of independence, if I have all of the


candidates right, it is 44%. There is a clear reminder that yes the SNP


can win elections, getting a majority in Parliament on less than


50% of the vote, but they cannot win a referendum without 50% of the


vote. There is no evidence of that in the by-election. Even if you read


it in a more fasile way, that there is evidence of the "yes" side being


able to win in this particular part of Scotland.


You were asking Mark McDonald about what he has done, one thing he has


done is that he was a stand-up comedian. Most of the other


politicians are just unintentional gifted amateurs, he does it for


real. On this occasion, you would say, looking at the results that


Joey Harper's boy has won over Alec McLeish's lad, but learning on the


night and perhaps making progress. Labour are allowed to the -- to


point to the swing of 9%, but the drop is quite substantial. The point


that Kezia Dugdale is making about translating this into general


elections in other questions, is, as I am sure she knows, that the swing


does not translate into a general election situation, this is is a


by-election situation. The Liberal Democrats, having held off the


difficult situation that they are facing across the UK, reverting to


third place over the Conservatives, the Conservatives are slightly down.


It is down about 0.4% on a previous vote, but perhaps the Tories will


take comfort from having held off the challenge of UKIP.


And to confirm UKIP did not hold their deposit? That 478% of the


votes. So they failed. Having managed to do so badly in


2011, it was difficult for the vote to go down, but to put it into


perspective, the vote of 8% is half the level that it was in 2007 in


this questions. There is still a long way to go, Mike, before you


have crawled back up to the respectable position in Scottish


politics. Of course, we now have -- are in the position where we are


waiting for the revival of the Conservative Party in Scotland. It


is long awaited, but it is still show nothing evidence of returning


there. That is another miserable result for the Conservative Party in


Scotland. Faced with that question, how to get yourselves back into the


serious game north of the border. Let's catch a question with Steve


Godden. Who is with you. You said that you could win this, you have


not, what they did difference? put up a positive campaign, we are


disappointed, but the vote has gone up substantially, which is good, the


SNP vote has gone down substantially, so we are getting


closer, which is positive. What are you taking from this? Great


satisfaction, because we have increased our share of the vote


substantially. How much of this was about your record at council level


and some of the decisions that have been unpopular? We have fought a


positive campaign, we spoke about issues that were for the people of


Aberdeen Donside, the SM people had no control over those issues, such


as school closures and council tax, because that is in the gift of the


local authority. We have spoken about getting fairer funding for the


city, some think we need to progress. What about independence


and the referendum? How did that play for you? A lot of people


speaking to us about it. Mark McDonald said not so long ago that


if the vote was to be taken yesterday, the people of Aberdeen


Donside would reject independence. People said to us they did not want


independence. People who voted SNP still do not wanted. But we will


look at that next year. You said it was a strong issue for you. Why


could you not make more of it? You allowed the SNP to fight this


election on their terms. Both sides fought what they thought was


important. We fought on issues that the Scottish parliament can


determine its position on, infrastructure. We spoke about


fairer funding. The SNP fought a negative campaign based on local


issues, things they have got no locus on. We are positive, happy, I


am delighted with the way things have happened, I thought a positive


campaign. That is it from Aberdeen tonight, just to sum up, the SNP


have won the seat with a reduced majority from the last time, 2000


down, from 7000. The Labour Party in second place, Liberal Democrats in


third place, they are speaking positively, and the Conservatives in


fourth place. It has been a long night, impatience towards the end,


but we now know where we stand, and the arguments will continue. From


Aberdeen, it is good night. Thank you, Stephen. A final word


from all on our panel in Glasgow. Final thoughts, Mike? The one thing


I would like to pick up on, John Curtice talked about 44% support, if


you aggregate the candidates, supporting independence. It is an


important point, because that is the support of the candidates, not


support for independence. A lot of people voted for parties and


candidates supporting independence, but they do not support it


themselves. Having got this out of the way, we can get the SNP talking


about independence again, because the more we get that, the less


support there is for it, so I look forward to that. A good night for


the Labour Party, three by-elections in Scotland today, 5% up in


Aberdeen, we won in Glenrothes, the local government, and one in


Edinburgh, and we will have a Labour gain in Edinburgh. A good couple of


days. It is a poor night for the Labour Party. Six years into an SNP


government, you hear the other parties say, governments never win


by-elections in mid-term, but we have proven that is not the case. We


surveyed 19,000 people on the independence question in Aberdeen


Donside, 34% yes, 29% no, 37% don't know. It was clear that there is


support for independence, over 19,000 people. I take heart from


that. We can convince the rest of people. I do not think this will


have any effect on the outcome of the referendum. It is clear that


people are prepared to vote SNP in Scottish Parliament elections and


council elections when they do not support independence. We saw in the


debate we had earlier in the hall in Aberdeen, this election was fought


on local issues in that constituency. From an outside point


of view, photos were deciding in a negative way who was more culpable


for issues around the roundabout, so to speak, whether it was Labour or


the SNP, and they have decided it was the Labour council. We have gone


full circle! Back to the roundabout again! Thank you for staying with


us. Last words from John Curtice. There is a reminder to political


parties, even if the SNP are currently majoring on what they


think is an unpopular policy stance, independence, they can still


do well in elections. We should not discount the possibility that


Scotland might folk know in 2014, but we should not presume that the


SNP will lose the position of being the largest hearty in the Scottish


Parliament in 2016. These issues are divorced to some degree, and we are


looking at a party that has embedded itself as Scotland's party, and


dislodging it will not be that easy, even if it does end up losing the


referendum. I take three things from the night. I agree, I do not think


there is a lead through from this to September 2014, of course this was a


by-election for the Scottish Parliamentary constituency which was


fought on local issues. They are important. Secondly, it tells us


that the two parties who will be fighting most obviously to be in


command of the Scottish Parliament when those elections come round our


labour and the SNP, they still be predominant parties. But the biggest


thing it tells us, thank you to those viewers who stuck with us! A


collective round of applause! Devotion above and beyond! And Mark


McDonald is the winner. The only thing that disappoints me, you had


promised to sing if it got to that stage! If it got to 3am! It would


have to be the Northern lights! is for a future programme! Thank you


to you for staying up until this late hour to watch our coverage of


the Aberdeen Donside by-election. It has been the SNP's night. Mark


McDonald elected as the MSP, holding the constituency for the SNP. The


Labour Party making up some ground, but not quite enough. Alex Salmond


Download Subtitles