On the face of it, this contest is nothing special. Faithful Labour MSP facing the challenge of a fresh-faced, enthusiastic SNP candidate. But I think this is the perfect example of the SNP vs Labour campaign as a whole. Seat after seat I am seeing a new wave of SNP faces coming into the fold. A lot of name changes from 2003 and a renewed optimism and energy about how Scotland will be from 2007 onwards. Angela Constance typifies this energy and optimism from what I have read about her.
Many constituencies, Livingston included, have Labour MSPs who have been in their seats for 8 years. Not big names on the national scene but I daresay reliable MSPs at a local level. But the SNP are poking and prodding them harder than they have been in the past 2 elections and it will be fascinating to see if this poking and prodding becomes a push on May 3rd.
For me, this seat encapsulates the entire essence of the SNP/Labour battle and for that reason is definitely one to watch.
As for a few tidbits surrounding the Livingston contest, I found the following…...
I love this story, http://election.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=324&id=1918542006
And for me, Bristow's response shows again why this seat is an interesting one to watch, he seems so wooden and so staid in his comment. The kind of tiring political comment that switches people off. And yes, all parties are guilty of it. Of course you never know what else he said, or how he said it, he could easily have been laughing at the time and it just happens to sound rather dull in black and white. But it's a funny story, bit of a red face for the SNP but really, trying to make some political hay out of it as Bristow does is possibly more embarrassing. Actually, the SNP comment shows he/she at least has a bit of life about them.
But then, I do always admire someone who breaks with party ranks for something they believe in or a worthwhile compromise - http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=591542003
Then again, someone who thinks that SNP voters are only voting for independence is just plain wrong - http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/letters.cfm?id=173992007&bad=338072
I couldn’t find much chat on Angela Constance however, alba.org.uk always has good info and interestingly, she stood for the Livingston Westminster seat in the 2005 general election receiving 21.6% of the vote. At the by-election in Sep 2005 she missed out with 32.7% of the vote. It seems Westminster's loss could be Holyrood's gain in 2007.