Boundary changes for the next Scottish Parliament elections suggest a possible electoral boost to the Conservatives, according to expert analysis.I think "possible" and "might" are the key words there.
Professor David Denver's study said that if the new constituencies had been in place at the 2007 poll, the Tories might have won three extra seats.
However, the Scottish National Party would have remained the largest party.
Next year's Holyrood elections will be fought on re-drawn boundaries designed to even out seat sizes.
Firstly, as Professor Denver himself points out:"a forecast for next year's elections which would be influenced by political developments since Holyrood last went to the polls and issues like the incumbency of sitting members"- which is a rather large caveat. Also: "constituencies were now built from much larger, more diverse council wards, making it very difficult to offer projections."
And lest we forget, after a period of sustained cuts, the Coalition parties by springtime next year will be inevitably fighting a backlash everywhere in the UK, but most probably especially in Scotland. The biggest factor of all preventing the realisation of that extra seat bonus will, however, be the Scottish Conservatives themselves- if they don't sort themselves out sharpish.
Firm leadership, unambiguous and coherent policies and most importantly of all, a clearly defined (for themselves, as much as the electorate) raison d'etre. Without those targets being achieved, all the constituency changes in the world aren't going to save the Scottish Conservatives.