When is 28% a better electoral turn out than 33%? For some newspapers it’s when the SNP win apparently. A piece was carried recently Nov. 13 Th. 09 in the Glasgow Herald headed “Democracy is the loser in by-election” this referred to Labour’s victory on a 33% poll at the Glasgow North East By Election it describes Jim Murphy’s optimism for a possible 4Th. term as ‘opportunistic politicking’ claiming that 33% makes predictions unreliable. It praises the Tories for scraping past the BNP; The message is that Labour should not take much from this because YOU can’t extrapolate future results from a low poll such as this; not a completely unheard of suggestion but!
Rewind to the Herald of June 8Th. 09 and we find the headline “Euro Elections: SNP humiliates Labour in Scotland” by ‘heraldscotland staff’ labour’s humiliation is reflected by their percentage of the vote 20.8% - the SNP got 29.1% on a 28.6% turn out. Without demur they (The Herald) quote the SNP; "This is a fantastic result for the SNP and a ringing endorsement of our success in government” "It's a vote of confidence in our record speaking up for Scottish interests in the European Parliament." "Communities across Scotland have stood up and given us their confidence in our ability to lead Scotland forward." "We will also work to take Scotland to the normal status of independence for this nation." Salmond is quoted as saying "This is an historic result for the SNP, up 10 points on the last European election and the first time we have ever won a UK-wide election in Scotland." And "This is Labour's worst share of the vote since before World War I and the emergence of the modern Labour Party." The Herald gave the SNP the freedom to say anything they wanted without any argument.
What has happened between June 9 09 and Nov. 12 09 to make a 28.6% turn out OK and a 33% turn out not OK? Is it any wonder this once decent newspaper is on its knees? On a 28.6 % turn out everything is going great for the SNP winners and labour are finished while some 5 months later in almost identical constituencies with a 33% turn out the victorious Labour party have nothing to shout about what is going on here?
I would describe the Herald today by paraphrasing James Joyce; I think; it sounds like him anyway; when he described the Dublin Times as “the a**e wipers weekly”