Like some sort of out-of-control, unstoppable lying machine, Scottish Labour keep telling the electorate that the party with the most seats in a hung parliament is the one that forms the government, and that the only way to prevent the Conservatives from returning to power is for Labour to be the biggest party.
They’ve been saying it for weeks. They say it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, almost as if it’s all they’ve got.
The trouble is that an awful lot of people seem to disagree with them.
– Peter Riddell of the Institute For Government disagrees:
(The World At One, BBC Radio 4, 30 March 2015)
– The UK government Cabinet Manual disagrees:
– Lord (Sir) Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary to the last three UK Prime Ministers (making him the highest-ranked official in the Civil Service) disagrees:
(When The People Say Not Sure, BBC Radio 4, 16 March 2015)
– The highly-respected and impartial research group FullFact.org disagrees:
– The BBC’s official 2015 general election FAQ disagrees:
– The state broadcaster’s website in 2010 also disagreed:
– And the Daily Politics disagrees:
– Professor John Curtice, Scotland’s only living psephologist, disagrees:
(The Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Radio 2, 16 March 2015)
– Robert Blackburn, the professor of Constitutional Law at King’s College London asked to produce a paper on the subject for the UK government in 2010, disagrees:
– A few weeks before that report, when Labour had won 48 fewer seats in the general election than the Conservatives but the Tories were short of a majority, the Labour minister Douglas Alexander disagreed with 2015 Labour:
– And the current Scottish branch manager Jim Murphy also firmly disagreed then with what he angrily insists on telling voters now:
– And Labour’s own Lord Adonis, who was present at the ultimately unsuccessful coalition negotiations between Labour and the Lib Dems that year (and indeed went so far as to write a book about them), also disagrees:
Of course, maybe they’re all wrong. There’s just no way of knowing.