Voting closes in Scottish Labour leadership race overshadowed by rise of Corbyn


Both candidates for Scottish Labour top job claim similarity to leftist UK Labour leadership front runner

VOTING has closed in the election to decide the new leader of the Scottish Labour party.

Candidates Kezia Dugdale MSP and Ken Macintosh MSP have vied for leadership of Scottish Labour since voting opened on 20 July 2015 in the short and low profile campaign.

The second party leadership election to be held within eight months was largely eclipsed by the shock popularity of leftist UK party leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn.

The latest polls have put Corbyn at 53 per cent support, 32 per cent ahead of his nearest contender Andy Burnham MP.

In recent days both Macintosh and Dugdale have made statements comparing themselves favourably with Corbyn.

In an interview with CommonSpace Macintosh said Corbyn had “integrity” and he was “trying to offer the same thing”.

Dugdale had initially been critical of Corbyn , saying she didn’t want the Labour party to be “carping from the sidelines” under Corbyn’s leadership.

However, she later said: “I think that I and Jeremy Corbyn share the same views,” in reference to economic equality and the welfare state.

Dugdale also complained that Labour’s leadership elections north and south of the border were going on for too long and had become acrimonious. In an interview with The Guardian she complained the party had “lost the summer, when you might have spent it getting ready to come back with a new style and approach from September”.

During the leadership campaign Macintosh told CommonSpace that further devolution to Scotland was potentially “dangerous” because of Scotland’s history as “a relatively reactionary country” and because Scotland “might get a reactionary government in 20 years time”.

Dugdale is the favourite in the leadership race, having received a number of high profile endorsements early in the campaign. Macintosh has said that he believes he is in front.

The new Scottish Labour leader will be announced on 15 August.

Picture courtesy of Chris Hill