Local Elections 2012 – Labour election agent’s comments ‘devastating’

Local government elections take place on 3 May 2012 and there is already a bitter contest hotting up at The City Chambers.

The SNP have said that online comments made by the man behind Labour’s biggest election campaign in Glasgow are a ‘body blow’ to their campaign. Dominic Dowling, who is the election agent for all of Labour’s 45 Glasgow Council candidates, has used the Labour Hame website to praise the leadership of Alex Salmond and also deride his own party’s inability to connect to voters since devolution.

The comments – made last summer and reported in today’s Sunday Herald – also warn that the result the council election ‘could be devastating’ unless Labour got its message out through grassroots campaigning.

Mr Dowling also describes Alex Salmond as ‘a politician of genuine caliber [sic.]’ and said he has “connected with the electorate in a way that none of Labour’s post-devolution Scottish leaders has done.”

Since these comments were made, the Glasgow Labour council group has been plunged into internal chaos and infighting, with a third of sitting councillors deselected, and a spate of resignations that has seen Gordon Matheson’s comfortable council majority evaporate.

James Dornan, SNP MSP for Glasgow Cathcart, commented:

“Mr Dowling has a key role in Labour’s election campaign, and his assessment of the state of the party is devastating. This is a body blow to Labour’s crisis-hit campaign in Glasgow, and beyond.

“His warning that the results of the council elections ‘could be devastating’ unless Labour got its message out has not been heeded. Labour have instead reverted to type, with a relentless stream of negativity filling in for their complete lack of ideas.

“By contrast, SNP candidates on the doorstep are able to put forward a positive platform to build for recovery, and help families with the council tax freeze and our commitment to extend the Living Wage to all council employees.”

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