July 2017 Scottish Executive Committee Report

SEC report – Saturday 1st July 17, Glasgow.

Quite a packed agenda and a very well attended meeting with lots of lively discussion.  General optimism in room that we had now halted and potentially turned the ‘Yellow Tide’ and heartening to hear that in Council elections, SNP vote share had dropped from around 50% to 33% whilst Labour vote had stabilised and was indeed recovering in some areas, demonstrating that people were still prepared to vote Labour in significant numbers where there was a track record of delivery.

Presentation from James Kelly on UK GE which was pretty in-depth but would best be summed up as ‘lots of movement’. 2015 SNP voters back voting Labour again with others not voting at all, Lib Dem vote moving to Labour but a worrying number of 2015 Labour voters going to the Tories despite their record in power.  

  • Positive aspect of Labour manifesto but clear polarisation of unionism v nationalism, Tories being seen to be stronger on the union.  Need to build on positive campaign, building membership and momentum and stay unified.
  • Memes and social media messaging were highly effective.
  • Disadvantaged and disenfranchised communities need to be a focus for campaigning.
  • Building campaign teams, an activist base.
  • Why did people vote Tory – we need an analysis as we can’t out union the unionists.
  • Jeremy visits in planning (Autumn)

Report tabled re early selections for another potential snap GE.

As has been widely reported, the 10 most marginal seats are being targeted for early selections and there was a report tabled outlining how this would happen and procedural guidance was issued.  There were positives within this and measures to include local CLPs and affiliates.  Also renewing links to wider Labour movement. 

Much discussion around this as people would expect and some concern that we are being rushed into decisions. For example, what happened if there is no early General Election?  How do people keep in permanent campaign mode when they have jobs too? Life moves on for people and a candidate selected now may not be in a position to stand in a few years if nothing happens in interim.  Overall it was felt that there was potentially too much pressure to maintain permanent campaign mode.  A decision was taken to revisit this at the September ‘away day’ where things might be a little clearer on whether another GE was likely.

Report re Power Sharing agreements in local councils – some concern expressed about a few decisions that had been taken, perception versus reality and how this had been reported.  Update on situation with Aberdeen Council and work of the Constitution Working Group which was overseeing all power sharing agreements.

Women’s Committee - Working Group has been formed, Creation of a Women’s Forum and an event is being planned for later in the year or early next year.  Group has representation from MSPs, Trade Unions, CLPs and staff from HQ.  

Motions submitted re power sharing agreements in some areas and re early selections

DONM – Saturday 9th September – away day