A defeated MP has claimed Labour colleagues fooled themselves into believing that frenetic campaigning by Jim Murphy in the run up to last May's general election would save their seats.

Ian Davidson, who said he had forecast that he would lose Glasgow South West, said "lots" of the party's other MPs were caught up in the "bubble" caused by the former Scottish leader's efforts.

Read more: The defeated MPs calling it quits 

The SNP won all but three of Scotland's 59 Westminster constituencies. Only one Labour MP, Ian Murray, survived in Edinburgh South.

Party veteran Mr Davidson has long been on the record blaming the former Scottish leader for the scale of the nationalist success.

But now, seven months after the landslide, Mr Davidson has revealed "lots" of his colleagues were taken by surprise by the result.

Read more: The Labour Party's misery in 2015 

The Glasgow South West MP, however, said he knew the writing was on the wall for his parliamentary career.

He said: “Well it wasn’t so much of a blow because it wasn’t unexpected. I could read the runes quite a substantial distance out. I think it was pretty clear to me that we were going to do very badly in the Scottish elections.

“And I think quite a lot of my colleagues were much more surprised than I at the results.

"They were caught in a bubble if you were in the Jim Murphy gang going around being hyperactive I think you were fooling yourself that activity was actually resulting in achievement."


The Herald:

Mr Davidson was speaking to The Herald as part of a wider survey we carried out in to what former MPs are doing now - and what they feel about Scotland.

The 65-year-old refused to be pinned down on his future plans, but the noted Eurosceptic said he was interested in participating in the upcoming EU referendum campaign. He is not, however, expected to run for elected office. Only four of the defeated MPs have such plans.

However, outside politics, Mr Davidson has had a tough year.

He was effectively homeless when he lost his Glasgow South West seat in May’s general election.

After a burst pipe and extensive flooding the defeated politician had to move out of his house in October last year and was only able to return two months ago.

Since then he has been sorting through 400 boxes and papers going back decades to his time as a councillor for Strathclyde Regional Council, the body he was first elected to in 1978.

In active politics for more than 25 years, Mr Davidson described his enforced break as “actually quite good” and has even lost half a stone.

He said: “I’m quite happy pottering away and basically having a break. I now feel as if my time is my own and I’m able to do things I want to do. I’m getting myself much fitter and healthier.

"Because living in London and being an MP is an extremely unhealthy lifestyle. I think it’s now that I’m out of that I can see how unhealthy it was. So I’m able to spend much more time going to the gym.

“I’ve lost half a stone. I used to do marathons and half marathons, but I can’t do that anymore because it hurt my back.

"So now I’m doing a lot of swimming. I’m trying to get under 30 minutes for the 1500m freestyle, so that’s a little test I’ve set myself. I’ve bought myself another bike, a second bike, so I’m just doing that stuff."

As well as sampling “lots” of new beers, watching TV and films, the MP of 23 years has been putting his newly-found free time to good use and has been catching up with his reading.

He explained: “I’ve got lots of books, I’m spending time colouring in and borrowing stuff from the library, thank goodness for Glasgow libraries. So I’m doing lots of reading I haven’t had the chance to before.

"It’s been tons of crime fiction and a bit of history. There’s been lots of stuff I’ve just always fancied and I’ve been pursuing some military history. General escapism stuff. Things I fancied reading just for the sake of it."

When not reading or keeping fit Mr Davidson’s time is spent with his retired wife, Morag, going to the cinema, visiting museums and taking trips away.

But - a maverick who never quite fitted in to New Labour - Mr Davidson had been thought to be a likely party rebel on the Brexit. However, he stressed had had still to make up his mind.

He said: "I’ve always been pretty sceptical of the EU, but it’s undecided what side I’ll come out on, it will come down to the deal that’s done. I’m quite surprised that so many people have come out for or against without knowing what the terms might be.

"It seems to me that is a mistake to say you’re irrevocably committed to the EU, irrespective of the terms.

"Similarly, to leave without knowing the terms. It’s a question of whether or not the terms are appropriate."