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Scots aren’t better than the English … or worse. We’re the same … but our political cultures are worlds apart

THERE was a sting in the tail of the Cowdenbeath by-election.

It came as little surprise that Labour won with an increased majority but when we learned the LibDems had come fifth behind Ukip, the twittersphere ignited.

Was this confirmation that the Scots aren’t so different after all? Is the myth of communitarian Scotland just that? Are voters here just as receptive to the anti-Europe/anti-scroungers party as voters in England? Well, in short, no.

Both Ukip and the LibDems lost their deposits in Cowdenbeath, returning 610 votes and 425 respectively. This completes an unbroken chain of losses for Nigel Farage’s party in Scotland. And the reason the LibDems did so badly was essentially because of their alliance with the Tories in Westminster, which meant their hapless candidate had to defend the bedroom tax. Supporting Tory benefit reforms is electoral suicide in Scottish elections.

Article in The Sunday Herald. Click here to read on. 

About @iainmacwhirter

I'm a columnist for the Herald. Author of "Road to Referendum" and "Disunited Kingdom". Was a BBC TV and radio presenter for 25 years - "Westminster Live" and "Holyrood Live" mainly. Spent time as columnist for The Observer, Guardian, New Statesman. Former Rector of Edinburgh University. Live in Edinburgh and spend a lot of time in the French Pyrenees. Will that do?


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