Douglas Alexander blames social media and ‘conspiracy theories’ for collapse in Scottish Labour support


SNP says Alexander is blaming ex-Labour voters for party’s failures

THE collapse in support for Labour in Scotland is driven by social media and the “grief” of independence supporters, according to shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander MP.

Alexander told a conference in London that Scottish voters were suffering from an irrational grief amplified by information from social media.

He said: “Among the 45 per cent of those who voted Yes there’s a great sense of grief and grief sometimes presents itself with anger.”

In the speech he blamed the rise of social media for making it difficult to get through to ‘Yes’ voters, which polls show are set to shift from Labour to the Scottish National Party. (Click here to see more).

Alexander, in comments reported on, continued: “We’re used to a politics where we share facts but diverge on opinions. We are confronting increasingly, with voters’ eyes on social media, a politics which is an echo chamber of people’s own opinions.

“How do we engage with a very rapidly changing media landscape in which facts are not common and people have their own facts?” (Click here to see more).

He spoke anecdotally of a woman he met in the supermarket, who Alexander claimed was recieving inaccurate conspiracy theories on the referendum and oil markets from Facebook.

However, the SNP said the remarks reveal Labour’s growing desperation to recover support in Scotland.

In a press statement, SNP MSP George Adam told CommonSpace: “It is deeply revealing about the mess Labour has got itself into that their head of election strategy is now effectively blaming voters for Labour’s disastrous poll ratings.

“Attacking former Labour voters as irrational is hardly the way to win them back and this kind of arrogance shows why things are going from bad to worse for Labour.

“The fact is that having worked hand in glove with the Tories on the referendum campaign for two and a half years and having lined up to vote with them for more austerity at Westminster, people are completely fed up with Labour’s failure to put them first.”

Campaigner Matt Noble was also unimpressed with the comments: “It seems to me to be deluded in the extreme to suggest that the 20-odd per cent of voters who have shifted from Labour to the SNP all fall into that category [of bitter conspiracy theorists].”

Alexander faces a strong challenge from SNP candidate Mhairi Black. Constituency polling placed the SNP ahead of Labour in the Paisley constituency.

Picture courtesy of Downing Street