Harry Cole

Add to Miliband’s worries: Can Ukip go after Labour in Scotland?

Scottish Ukip MEP David Coburn has been shouting off, as his way, about his party’s prospects north of the border in 2015. Mr Coburn is a curious character – and there is a certainly an element of bluster here:

‘We’re looking at the Scottish rust belt. Seats where there were serious industries that were ­allowed to run down, with no replacement. These are seats that Labour has treated like a feudal system. It’s the Central Belt of Scotland, where people have just been abandoned or given sops to keep them happy.’

Whilst it should not be forgotten that Ukip gained 10 per cent of the Scottish vote in European elections last May, a breakthrough on the scale pitched by Coburn remains ambitious. There is already a voice for the disenfranchised, angry Scottish voters who feel that the old parties have not got their backs anymore: They may be the government of Scotland, but the SNP will blunt the impact of Ukip north of the border.

That’s still far from good news for Labour. Ukip might not break through in Scotland, but they are compounding the headaches of Ed Miliband and his strategists. In Scotland, strangely, we see two punchy nationalist parties – one (Ukip) that wants to destroy the very name of the other (the SNP) – both fighting a common enemy: Labour.

For this, Labour only have themselves to blame. A toxic cocktail of arrogance and incompetence is revealing its effects for party up and down this country. Whilst Labour are officially the opposition, vast swathes of the public do not trust them to sufficiently stand up to the Conservative government. If the Scottish independence referendum was not enough of a wake-up call that Labour has taken voters for granted in

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