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The scunner factor

Brian Taylor | 16:47 UK time, Monday, 8 June 2009

You can factor in the caveats.

The SNP vote wasn't as high as at the Holyrood elections. The Nationalists and Labour each gained two MEPs.

But sometimes caveats are trumped by the big story. This is one such occasion.

The SNP gave Labour a thumping at these Euro elections.

The Scottish secretary, Jim Murphy, called it right. Labour's showing was "rubbish".

Do these results translate directly into a UK or Scottish general election? No.

But they are a pointer to the extent of disquiet - make that anger - with Labour.

The scunner factor to the fore once more.

'Comprehensive victory'

It could be said that there was an anti-scunner factor at work at Holyrood.

Not sure I entirely buy the SNP argument that this was a confidence vote in the Scottish Government. It was more about protest against Labour.

However, at the very least, the voters were not apparently deterred in any way from giving their support to the SNP by the party's performance at Holyrood.

Plus the victory for the SNP was comprehensive.

Look at the breakdown by local authority. I make it that voters in 22 council areas opted to put the SNP first.

The Tories took four councils, the Lib Dems three - with Labour confined to Fife, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.

Both the Tories and the Lib Dems saw their share shrink slightly on the night - but with compensations.

Expenses fury

The Lib Dems were simply relieved to hold on to a Euro seat. The Tories were cheered by their decent showing in key target areas like the Borders and the south-west.

What does it mean for the prime minister? Not much more than he already knew: Labour is in grave trouble.

Still, it adds colour to that picture to say the least: beaten by the Tories in Wales, third place overall behind UKIP.

His pitch to his MPs remains as billed previously on this site.

Dump me, he says, and there is an immediate or early general election. Anyone care to guess the outcome, based on these figures?

Keep me, he says, and I can stay in office until May when the economy should be picking up and the fury over expenses may have abated a little.

Maybe.

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