I wish to express my sincerest apologies to Mike Rumbles, as I continued my record of jinxing candidates in leadership elections by voting for them.
The only time I have ever voted for a successful leadership election candidate is now more than 20 years ago when I supported Paddy Ashdown. Since then, I have voted for Malcolm Bruce, Chris Huhne (twice) and Mike Rumbles (twice).
I have to say that I found my decision in this leadership election to be very difficult. In the end, I went for Mike as I felt he was the candidate most open to new ideas and to involving the grassroots of the party in taking the Scottish Lib Dems forward. I think he was the only candidate who really understood the way in which Scottish politics has been transformed since the Gnats have been in government.
However, I'm not certain that he really had a clear vision of where he wanted the party to go, and I thought his answers to the questions which I asked to all three leadership candidates were probably the worst overall.
In contrast, I thought Ross Finnie answered my questions the best and also had a reasonably clear idea of where he wanted to take the party. That was enough to earn him my second preference. My doubts about Ross were about whether he had the personality to be an effective leader rather than a second in command.
Tavish Scott's victory is certainly impressive - taking 59% of the vote in a three-cornered contest is a notable triumph. I like and respect Tavish, and think he's a formidable political operator. The reason I didn't vote for him was that in this election I think he was the safe 'no change' candidate and I need to be convinced that he really understands the scale of the challenges which lie ahead for the Scottish Lib Dems.
But I congratulate Tavish on his success and hope that he is able to set out a clear vision for a liberal Scotland and that he will make a real effort to build up the grassroots of the party and really involve us in taking the party forward.
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