Andy Maciver

Andy Maciver is Founding Director of Message Matters and Zero Matters

Sunak won’t be much help to the Scottish Tories

The first few days of this general election campaign have been characterised by Rishi Sunak’s dismal campaign management. From wet suits and sinking ships, his whistlestop tour of the four nations seemed more like a box-ticking exercise than anything else. The key to any Tory success is to augment the notion that independence is still

The Scottish Tories are facing an identity crisis

Why is the only party of the centre-right in Scotland so far away from government? As the Labour Party becomes more sensible under Sir Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Conservatives are facing an increasingly existential threat. Their conference gets underway in Aberdeen this weekend — and the party must not waste this opportunity

Things are looking up for Scottish Labour

Scottish Labour gathers in Glasgow this weekend in both a mental and electoral state few thought achievable just a short few years ago. Having polled less than 10 per cent in the (albeit meaningless) European Parliament elections of 2019, followed by another humiliating third placed finish at the Holyrood elections of 2021 with less than

Is Humza Yousaf’s ‘pro-growth’ stance convincing?

It may not have a title quite as resplendent as The King’s speech, but today represents the marquee day in the Scottish Parliament’s calendar. The Programme for Government (PfG), like its regal counterpart at Westminster, is the annual opportunity for Scotand’s First Minister to tell us what his or her vision is and what he

How did the Scottish Greens end up with so much influence?

There are often complaints that the Scottish parliament lacks the ‘big beasts’ of other European counterparts. It is not a complaint, however, which can reasonably be levelled at Fergus Ewing. Ewing is a giant of Scotland’s independence movement and a giant of Scottish politics. But perhaps the thing which is most interesting about Fergus Ewing

The newfound confidence of the Scottish Tories

It is difficult for Scotland’s Conservative and Unionist party to know whether to laugh or cry these days. The last few months have been dominated by the SNP’s implosion – yet the decline of Humza Yousaf’s party could ultimately backfire for the Tories. For now, though Douglas Ross, the Scottish Tory leader, has never looked

SNP rule has been disastrous for Scotland’s schools

This week was supposed to be Humza Yousaf’s big relaunch for the SNP. His speech on Tuesday was designed to show how he was combining his adopted role as the ‘son of Sturgeon’ with his ability to be his own man. Alas, it was not to be: the arrest of SNP treasurer Colin Beattie completely

Is Douglas Ross wise to champion unionism over conservatism?

The SNP’s internecine warfare has dominated political chatter for the past two months and the Scottish Conservatives, it seems, have been feeling left out. So, at the weekend, the Tories piped up. Douglas Ross, the Scottish leader, suggested that unionists should use their vote at the next general election for the candidate most likely to

Why Humza Yousaf should make Kate Forbes his deputy

Five weeks ago, Kate Forbes’ leadership campaign looked to be dead and buried. She had set her campaign on fire, Scottish political commentators said, by launching her socially conservative views on gay marriage on the nation. Today, despite the widespread opprobrium by her party colleagues, nearly half of the SNP membership voted for her to

Jason Leitch’s lockdown regrets

You may have been forgiven for thinking that the only story in town up here in Scotland is the election of the leader of the SNP, and Scotland’s next First Minister. However, for a day at least, some of the headlines have been stolen by a man who became almost as well-known to Scots as

The SNP membership’s big gamble

They’re all the same, politicians. How often have we heard this before? We need a real choice, people often say. Well, we have it now; or at least members of the Scottish National party do. If you’ve been watching the televised debates, of which there have now been four, you’d be forgiven for thinking that