Pick of the Week: Ukip at the ballot box, Britain First on the streets
The top five most-read articles on Politics.co.uk this week.
"There's nothing more conservative than a Labour candidate fighting someone to their left," argues our editor Ian Dunt, in response to the opposition's decision to campaign against Lib Dem plans to relax drugs laws. Labour's attack on the Lib Dem's relatively modest proposals goes against the otherwise more liberal direction Miliband has taken and runs counter to many of the things Labour say they want to achieve in government.
Labour's collapse in Scotland might seem like a recent phenomenon, but it's causes are much deeper and longer term. Chief among them is the widespread perception north of the border, that the party has taken Scots for granted for too long. This deeply damaging perception will only have been reinforced by Labour's current general election campaign headed by Jim Murphy. Until Labour start offering Scottish voters some positive reasons to vote Labour again, the wave of anti-Labour sentiment in Scotland is only likely to grow.
Last week's (non) debate between Ed Miliband and David Cameron triggered a modest reassessment of the Labour leader's qualities, among both commentators and the public. His recently much more relaxed and impassioned performances have coincided with a significant improvement in his personal ratings. While Miliband is still rated well below his party, public perceptions of the Labour leader are clearly on the up. Could tonight's debate be another turning point?
After campaigning against the last Labour government's plans for identity cards, could the SNP be about to bring them in by the back door? While there are no concrete plans for Scottish identity cards currently on the table, the Scottish government have put all the powers in place for them to be created. Most worrying of all, it could all be done without putting forward any new primary legislation. Will there be sufficient public outcry to force them to think again?
Our most-read article this week was our report of an attempt by far-right group "Britain First" to storm into an anti-Ukip meeting in London. The images of large skin-headed men, trying to intimidate anti-Ukip campaigners are not ones that Nigel Farage's part will have wanted to see. However, the extremist group has long seen itself as the paramilitary wing of the nationalist movement, telling supporters that it's "Ukip at the ballot box, Brtiain First on the streets". We spoke to Dan Glass from 'Beyond Ukip' who was at the scene.