By a Newsnet reporter
Labour leader Ed Miliband’s arrival in Scotland today coincides with polls showing his popularity north of the border is now lower than even that of Tory leader David Cameron.
The Labour leader arrives in Scotland as the Scottish party embark on a campaign along with the Tories and Lib Dems in an attempt at attacking the integrity of First Minister Alex Salmond.

At today’s First Minister’s Questions all three Unionist opposition leaders are expected to try to portray Mr Salmond as untrustworthy after the SNP leader admitted to a mistake in college funding figures - according to Labour MSP Richard Baker, Mr Salmond "lies instinctively".

Mr Miliband, who credited Middle England as the reason for his party’s recent by-election win in Corby, has failed to make any impact in Scotland since taking over from Gordon Brown.

The Labour leader's profile in Scotland has not fared well.  In a previous visit last year Mr Miliband was unable to name all three candidates vying to be leader of the Scottish party – failing to name MSP Ken Macintosh who eventually lost out to Johann Lamont.

The last Scottish election, which the Labour leader claimed would serve as a springboard for UK success for his party, saw the SNP inflict a humiliating defeat on Labour which led to the resignation of the party’s Scottish front man Iain Gray.

This week Mr Miliband praised Mrs Thatcher as a “conviction politician” and claimed her success in the 1970s held parallels with today.

However there was little praise for his predecessor Gordon Brown who Mr Miliband criticised for having no clear vision.

The Labour leader is also languishing behind Tory PM David Cameron in the latest Scottish popularity poll.  Mr Cameron has a net score of minus 37, Miliband minus 40.

Commenting ahead of the visit, SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said:

“Ed Miliband arrives today with approval ratings in Scotland even lower than those of David Cameron – and this will only get worse with his ‘new Thatcher’ message.

"In contrast the latest YouGov poll of leaders in Scotland shows that Alex Salmond is far and away seen as the best leader in Scotland to stand up for Scotland – with 43% saying the First Minister is best at standing up for Scotland’s interests, with the anti-independence party leaders scraping just a few percentage points between them.

“But today Mr Miliband will definitely have one big fan – Johann Lamont, whose Cuts Commission is out to roll back the achievements of Devolution and end what she disgracefully referred to as the ‘something for nothing’ culture in Scotland.

“Of course, Mr Miliband has previously said that there are no 'big differences' between Labour and the Tories – so his message this week should come as no big surprise.”


# Silverytay 2012-11-22 07:35
I wonder if Ed's visit is to try and whip the troops back into line.
Between Labour for Independence and his declaration that he is Thatcher mark II, he might get more than he bargained for. I hope he has a subway shop handy just in case things don't go to plan .
# mudfries 2012-11-22 08:05
Good to see Ed really "gets" Scotland, he knows how much we all loved Thatcher up here, you couldnt make this up.
# davemsc 2012-11-22 08:28
He's made himself unelectable and he doesn't even realise it. Cameron as the Heir to Blair and now Moribund, sorry Miliband, as the New Thatcher. You couldn't make it up.
# Marian 2012-11-22 08:31
Labour have adopted the thoroughly unpleasant political practice of scaremongering and going after the player rather than the ball with their attempts to vilify Alex Salmond and Mike Russell.

This is being done to try and conceal the fact that Labour and the other unionists have no real defence for the union that could stand up proper scrutiny if there was an unbiased MSM in Scotland.

This is all calculated to undermine the self-confidence of Scots and thus ensure a win for the NO camp in the referendum.

Yet despite Labour's tactics, the core support for independence remains steady and we should be proud of the fact that the YES campaign has not lowered itself to the same level as Labour in order to maintain that position.
# mudfries 2012-11-22 09:50
Your bang on Marion, the unionists partys and their allies in the mainstream media are desperate to portray 2014 as "Aleck Salmonds referendum" then focus on attacking him with their usuall bile, they think people in Scotland are absolute mugs and wont see this, the reality is the Independence movement is a broad range of people and groups.
# UpSpake 2012-11-22 08:42
Word of advice Ed. Save your second class ticket and stay at home. Absolutely nothing you can do can re-habilitate Lamentable in the eyes of Scots. Better you get off at Middle England where your real interest is. You are about as relevent here as frozen porridge.
# alexb 2012-11-22 09:46
Conservative,La bour and LibDems. Integrity? Are they kidding? And as for "middle England", whatever that is, he,Miliband, should take note of yesterday's opinion poll in the D.M which showed that his party is still not trusted to run the country. Let's hope that if he is ever elected, it's only England he is in charge of, as we don't want him, or his dysfunctional cohorts.
# Jim Johnston 2012-11-22 11:08
Just keep gently reminding evert person you talk that the rederendum is all about Scotlands future, not about the FM or the SNP. I works wonders !!

I see Mac Whirter is as close as he ever will be to total retraction of his quip about the "arc of insolvency" in the herald.


I happen to know because I lived 10 years in Norway, and Scotland will do at least as well with Independence.
# fynesider 2012-11-22 11:18
Send him homewards tae think again!
# pmcrek 2012-11-22 12:29
If we ignore him he will eventually go away.
# bringiton 2012-11-22 13:57
Labour in Scotland.
Still trading under the same old name but now under NU management.

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