The European Elections have delivered a body blow to the Conservative and Labour Parties nationally thanks to their confused political message and the efforts of the Brexit Party.
In Scotland the SNP has been able to take advantage of this political state of flux and this was mirrored in the results of the election in the Western Isles with the SNP Party securing 3,606 votes compared to the Brexit Party’s 1,640 and Labour - which normally would do much better in the Islands - coming in third with 814 votes.
With many believing there could be a General Election before the end of 2019 would this result translate if we were voting to install a new government?
That was the question the Gazette put to the Scottish Labour Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Westminster Alison MacCorquodale this week.
In regards to the European Election Ms MacCorquodale admitted that Labour’s message has been confused, but she remained hopeful that the party would be stronger if a General Election was to take place.
She said: “The result (European Election), whilst very disappointing, is not surprising as the public have sought clarity from the political parties on Brexit for some time now.
“Labour’s attempts to compromise whilst respecting the outcome of the referendum have been unclear to voters.”
She added: “I don’t think we should draw conclusions from this on the potential outcome of a General Election given 60% of the Western Isles electorate didn’t vote.
“The EU election results primarily reflected opinion on Brexit and the way it has been handled.
“The Labour Party’s manifesto proved very popular locally in 2017 and there is a strong chance that further gains could be achieved in the future.
“The issues at stake will be very different in a General Election and candidates will be expected to demonstrate how they will bring real, positive change to our islands.”