Monday, 7 September 2009



Labour leader Iain Gray has admitted that he has not connected with the public and the voters are not connecting with Labour as polling shows the SNP maintaining a lead in opinion polls and that fewer than 40% of Labour voters think Iain Gray would be a good First Minister.

In an interview with the Scotsman Gray accepts that people do not know who he is, despite having held the leadership of Labour for 12 months - ignoring the fact he was also a minister in the previous Scottish Executive.

His comments support recent polling by YouGov which showed First Minister Alex Salmond was three times as popular as all other Scottish party leaders combined and that Iain Gray was supported by only 12% of those polled – only 1% more than Scotland’s Conservative leader Annabel Goldie.

Even amongst Labour voters the poll shows fewer than 40% want Iain Gray to be First Minister.

In his interview Mr Gray states: “There’s no hiding the fact I need to raise my profile.”

Commenting on Iain Gray’s interview and the poll figures SNP MSP and Convener of the SNP group Gil Paterson said:

“Far from being new Iain Gray has had a year as Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament to get known and to win support. He also had four years as a Government Minister. If he cannot make his mark now, when will he?

“Instead of winning new voters fewer than 40% of his party’s voters want Iain Gray as First Minister.

“It will be deeply disturbing for Labour that their leader is Scotland’s invisible man.

“And as performances and polls in the last week have shown Iain Gray has failed to make a positive impact on Scottish politics. In contrast the Scottish Government has taken tough decisions and set out a forward thinking agenda for Scotland with the continued support of the Scottish people.

“Instead of carping from the sidelines Iain Gray might make more progress with a positive approach to the SNP Government and a willingness to give the Scottish public their constitutional say over Scotland’s future.

“It is a stark contrast for Labour to consider that after a year of Iain Gray’s negative efforts at leadership Alex Salmond’s ratings are three times higher than those of the Labour or Tory leaders in Scotland, and as a poll this weekend shows the SNP is maintaining an 8 point lead over
Labour in the Holyrood polls. "

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