It’s time for a bit of science on the Labour leadership. Or at least an entirely subjective game of Top Trumps. If I’ve missed anything out, do let me know. All scores are out of 10.

Issues Sarah Boyack Neil Findlay Jim Murphy
Record of interest in reforming Labour 7 3 4
Compliance with UK Labour 4 1 10
Media support 2 3 10
Appeal to SNP voters 5 4 0
Appeal to Tory voters 2 0 8
Appeal to Green voters 4 4 0

In terms of the appeal to other parties’ voters, 10 out of 10 is the notional figure awarded for each party’s ideal current person, so 10/10 for the SNP would be Nicola, 10/10 for the Greens would be Patrick, and 10/10 for the Tories would be perhaps a reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher. In my unscientific view (like everything else here) Findlay and Boyack appeal to different parts of the SNP and Green electorates – he reaches the more left segments of both, while she reaches the more centrist part of the SNP voting pool and the more “eco” part of the Greens. Those figures tend to be low, especially for the SNP and the Greens, as both parties are on a bounce in terms of support. You’d have to be really aligned to beat 5 for either group, in my view. Malcolm Chisholm might get a 6 for current SNP voters.

I’ve also not put a figure for appeal to current Lib Dem voters. I really don’t have any idea what they want. The other thing to bear in mind there is that Labour will in part here be deciding whose voters they want to target. Are Tory voters a big enough pool for Labour to want to fish in, at a Scottish level? If I were them I’d want to focus the party’s appeal on SNP voters, perhaps most specifically that fraction who voted No in September, although holding off the Greens is apparently also high on Labour’s list of current objectives.

Excessive compliance with UK Labour for me does not count as a positive for a Scottish Labour leader: Johann Lamont’s criticism feels spot on, and fraternal operational independence seems the only structure that can help with the deep problems there. However, to be generous, I’m not convinced that vociferously opposing Miliband on a wide range of policy issues (as Neil Findlay would do – and I would tend to agree with him) would necessarily help with any hypothetical Labour revival. I think about 4/10 is in fact potentially the sweet spot there. I also find it hard to tell whether the media, especially the bits edited in London, are backing Murphy because they think he’ll help Labour or because they think he’ll sink them.

The upshot is this. If I were a Labour member, my policy heart would be inclined towards Findlay (despite the serious problems cited here by @3psteve), but my head would be decisively in favour of Boyack. Both head and heart would be united in the view that Murphy would be Scottish Labour simply doubling down on all its problems: the privatising, warmongering, tuition-fee-introducing legacy of Blairism, the clammy hand of London controlling the Scottish party, and the a obsessive focus on the SNP rather than Labour’s own offer.

Declaration of interest: I have, in a vote of confidence in the Labour membership, who still oddly only get a third of the votes, put £100 down on Boyack at 9-1.