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Wings Over Scotland

The nuances of the night

Posted on August 02, 2015 by

Alert readers will recall that this site has expended some energy on debunking the lazy myth – which suits the media and Labour alike – that a significant factor in the unexpected Conservative majority in May’s general election was voters being scared back to the Tories by a fear campaign about the prospect of the SNP influencing a minority Labour government.

Today we stumbled across an hour-long programme buried away in the depths of BBC Parliament, which televised “a seminar organised by Nuffield College Oxford at which leading academics and pollsters analyse the result of the General Election”.

The most interesting contribution came from a team at the University of Manchester who made two absolutely key findings from the extremely large and detailed British Election Study of the “short campaign” period, involving tens of thousands of voters.

Attention spans are brief these days, so we’ve cut it down to four minutes for you.

It could scarcely be any clearer. What the study discovered was that there was no evidence at all that the Tories had gained anything from the anti-SNP sentiment they worked so hard to whip up. Indeed, if anything, the UoM group found that it had LOST the Conservatives a small number of votes, driving them to UKIP.

More crucially, the analysis also concluded that the Tories had enjoyed a significant boost from UKIP supporters in the south of England switching back late to the Tories as a tactical move to keep Labour out. At 2m 23s in the clip above, the university’s Professor Jane Green tells the audience that:

“One of the things we find loud and clear in our data is that UKIP voters returned to the Conservative Party in constituencies in which they could stop a Labour or a Liberal Democrat gain or a hold.”

In other words, they did exactly what this site had been saying for 17 months they’d do. The final UKIP vote was significantly (between a third and a half) lower than the party had been polling for the past two years, but where voters switched away they did so disproportionately in seats where they might otherwise have damaged the Tories.

Professor Green notes that where UKIP had taken support from Labour, that support held firm at the ballot box because it had no reason not to actually vote for UKIP. But in the south, where UKIP votes could have cost the Tories seats, its supporters gave up their first preference and voted tactically to get what they saw as the lesser of two evils into Downing Street.

Just like we’d always told you they would.


We didn’t see a single serious analysis in the entire election campaign which took account of that likelihood. Everyone who blamed the pollsters for getting their figures wrong simply hadn’t factored it in, even though it was blindingly obvious to us and to anyone with a remotely rational brain.

It’s nice that someone else has at least worked it out now.

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    The nuances of the night | Speymouth

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73 to “The nuances of the night”

  1. clochoderic says:

    Absolutely agree.

    Add the fact that you had an utter fud like Ed Milliband leading Labour, rammed with deadwood like wee Dougie, Murphy, Balls, Straw, Burnham etc.

  2. The Isolator says:

    Yip agree entirely.. Looking back to the election I can’t help but think that Nicola and the SNP were playing games with Labour when she challenged Ed the unelectable to lock Cameron out of no10.Everyone knew it just wasn’t gonna be a Labour government in any shape or form.His live TV performances put paid to that,relying as he was on Cameron falling over.

    Labour in England never got to grips with not so traditional Labour votes drifting back to the Tories.

    Essentially UKIP became the protest vote in key constituency’s and the Blue Tory vote held up.Today we find the British Labour Party is in a critical condition in rUK.It passed away peacefully in Scotland in 2007.

  3. Ken500 says:

    When is Harriet Harman going to compensate the Middle East for illegal wars. The migration in Europe Is caused by illegal wars. It would be cheaper to led the immigrants settle in Britain. The UK should take a share of the havoc it has caused. No equality there. £300Million to bomb Libya and £25Million spent on reconstructuion. £Billions spent on illegal wars. Labour/Unionists destroyed the world economy. The Tories are destroying the British economy, tax evading. Spending £Billions on Trident based in Scotland without permission and sanctioning and starving people.

    What’s the AWPR got to do with Baillie. The Labour/Unionists voted against it for over 30 years, destroying the Scotish economy.

  4. Ken500 says:

    The right wing pollsters gerrymandering (deliberately?) New voters believing the PR lies. A thirty year cycle. The Tories lied to win an election.

  5. Macart says:

    I strongly suspect Miliband was being played like a fiddle before during and after the referendum. All with the main eye on the GE and five more years for a Conservative govt. I’m willing to bet Cameron couldn’t believe his good fortune as Miliband exceeded even his expectations in the PR disaster stakes.

  6. Dinnatouch says:

    It must be nice to be proved right Stu, even if the result you predicted is not one any of us would have wished for. Of course all the corroborating evidence in the world won’t matter a damn, Labour will spend the next generation convincing itself (and trying to convince voters) that it was the SNP’s fault that the Tories got back in.

  7. Dr Ew says:

    Can I be the first to say how pleased I am to see Professor Green has changed sex and is now doing something useful instead of making shite music.

    Thank you.

  8. Geoff Huijer says:

    And yet the BBC et al would still rather support the finger-in-the-air guesswork & personal wishes of the likes of McTernan.

    News & politics shows on TV are full of ‘personalities’ who have absolutely no idea what is going on which has been proven over & over again.

    One would think that if the media really was interested in analysing politics people like Professor Green & Stu would be used more often (as they are the ones doing or that have done the analysis). But we know that the media are only interested in trying to sway public opinion rather than reporting on public opinion.

  9. Robert Louis says:

    Macart at 0751am,

    I totally agree. The Tories likely could not believe their luck, when Labour decided to back the Tory anti independence campaign. David Cameron must have sat chuckling whilst watching Labour’s Alistair Darling and his assorted cerebrally challenged Britnat accomplices from Labour, ‘do the Tories dirty work’ for them.

    To any who doubt this, we witnessed in 2013, the wholly unedifying sight of Labour’s Alistair Darling getting a standing ovation at the party conference – THE TORY PARTY CONFERENCE!!

    I and other pointed this out before the referendum campaign even started, that Labour joining with the Tories in the referendum campaign would be a ‘lose- lose’ scenario for Labour, and ‘win-win’ for Tories, no matter what the outcome. So it has turned out to be.

    As Alex Salmond happily pointed out to Labour with respect to their folly-riddled dalliance with the Tories during the referendum campaign, ‘if you sup with the devil, best use a long spoon’.

  10. Gillian_Ruglonian says:

    The Tories biggest gift is always a weak Labour party, they probably couldn’t believe their luck when Ed the unelectable came to prominence.
    The snp were just another tool to use against him, we as an electorate, as a country, were a mere afterthought to the Tory’s Labour destroying machine.
    Better together, aye right cheers Labour!

  11. galamcennalath says:

    So one conclusion is that all the SNP bashing, all the anti Scottish rhetoric, all the bad feeling stirred up, helped the Tories in no way whatsoever.

    Cameron was willing to damage his Union for short term electoral gain. However, this made no difference.

    The Tories are disgusting and dispicable. Hell mend them!

  12. scottieDog says:

    Yes the tories appealed directly to potential ukip voters not to ‘waste’ their vote.

  13. Mealer says:

    Rev Stu,
    Yes.UKIP Tories were always going to “go home” to keep Labour out and to get a referendum.It was blindingly obvious to you and me and thousands of others.Why wasn’t it picked up and run with by the general commentariat? Was editorial influence at work?

  14. scottieDog says:

    The whole debate about FPTP seems to have disappeared within the tory ranks…

  15. scottieDog says:

    The whole media campaign was rigged towards the tories. What i found disgraceful but unsurprising was the general media acceptance that the tories were the pro-business party

    How can a party that destroys demand be pro-business?

  16. Ken500 says:

    Faradge is another criminal who should be in jail. Farague has been financing a Political Party with public money for years and getting away with it, being protected by Tory grandees.

  17. No no no...yes says:

    Yet another marvellous discovery, and published so early on a a Sunday morning. Here’s hoping these political programmes pick it up and run with it…

    I would also like to know why the BBC’s favoured guru, Professor Curtice hasn’t been around to share this information. He seems to have vanished since the GE, perhaps he is still getting debriefed?

  18. heedtracker says:

    It all explains why the BBC are vote UKIP campaigners, Farage never off Question Time, never off Politics tv/radio shows, sneaky, so so sneaky. Or, don’t you love it when a plan comes together, the BBC never say.

    I listened to Jim Naughty’s BBC r4 reportage 2014 EU election with David Coburn winning in Scotland, creepy old Jim weirdly excited but this is probably why. (Unless BBC newsrooms are all UKIP and not a pack of Toryboy apparatchiks, surely not)

  19. Macart says:

    @Robert Louis

    By the time they saw it coming, it was too late. Their own appalling investment in the referendum campaign, their bipolar attempt to appeal to the electorate of two countries, their unelectable leadership all tagged on to the back end of their own less than pristine record of the past several decades. It was the perfect storm for Labour, and all entirely their own fault. A storm of their own making.

    But of course Labour being Labour, it always has to be someones elses’ fault. Sooooo SNP bad!

    Until they face up to their failures. Until they face up to the fact that the electorate of the constituent parts of the UK are indeed voters of a different stripe, with needs and aspirations all their own, then Labour will be doomed to keep repeating the same mistakes and possibly doomed to a slow and lingering demise riddled with infighting, personal betrayals, a steady leeching of their core vote and the ultimate disenfranchisement of England’s progressive voting base.

    England’s Labour movement need to be THE alternative to conservatism, not merely conservatives wearing red jaikets. They need to create clear water ideologically. Its NOT about winning elections and never was, its about representing those who need you. Its about giving a voice to those who have none regardless of whether you are in power or not.

    If the opportunity to lead comes on the back this, then that’s a bonus and an honour all its own. If not, then not, but representing those who give you purpose and existence is the day job. Their choice and today for me, that ends in a shrug.

  20. Dave Hansell says:

    You’re doing it again Stu. Bringing evidence based analysis and facts to a debate/discussion/argument with corporate politicians and media hacks who don’t do external reality which exists outside their own heads.

    It is not possible to reason with zealots. You cannot educate pork.

  21. nodrog says:

    Not a lot of coverage by the MSM of the Independence march yesterday. Although I did note an article in BBC Scotland website noting there were “hundreds” there. Perhaps that was political arithmetic?

  22. galamcennalath says:

    Macart says:

    “Miliband was being played like a fiddle before during and after the referendum. All with the main eye on the GE and five more years for a Conservative govt”

    I’m not quite sure how much of the last couple of years has been a well though through Tory plan where everything fell into place to achieve predetermined outcomes …. or, did the Tories simply take advantage of unexpected opportunities presented to them.

    The truth may lie somewhere in between.

    I do believe damage to SLab during IndyRef was a planned byproduct. The hammering of the Scots as a GE tactic, which achieved nothing, implied other Tory plans were not quite so well thought through.

  23. George S Gordon says:

    Professor,sorry King, Stu does it again. I imagine those academics were paid a lot more than your Royal Grant.

    I assume the SNP spoke to Labour in private about cooperation. No doubt Labour were persuaded by their branch office and Gordon Brown to come out against any kind of deal. Hell mend them!

  24. Valerie says:

    Thanks for this, Rev., I accidentally stumbled on that programme, but it was so turgid, I couldn’t stay awake.

    Sturgeon indeed played a win-Win blinder, when she called on Miliband to lock out Cameron in response to the Tories trying to use SNP as the bogeyman. Imagine if she had put that to Corbyn???

    Speculators say we might be looking forward to a velvet divorce right now!

  25. call me dave says:

    Good find, wonder why it never gained any prominence in the MSM because I never saw it reported. Oh wait!…SNP bad in Scotland.


    A Labour party led by Andy will restore its strength, regain wide support and win.

    Aye right there will be a blue moon first!
    Blue moon:

  26. Tinto Chiel says:

    Please stop using facts and rationality when looking at polling results, Rev, it’s really not fair. As Dinnatouch says, Labour will still be blaming the SNP for their defeat ten years from now. In fact, I got that on the doorstep last week while canvassing in a council by-election. Delusional.

    By the way, if you fancy a knocked-off Rolex, my guess the guy to the right in the video’s your man. Velvet-collar camel coat, classic!

  27. HandandShrimp says:

    The whole point of Cameron’s vote on the EU was to haul deserters to UKIP back to the fold.

    The Tories got 36.9% when the pollsters were saying that Labour and the Tories were roughly tied around the 33 to 34% mark. Labour dropped a couple of points from there and the Tories gained a couple of points and UKIP dropped from about 18% to 14%. I think it would be madness to assume that potential UKIP voters rallied to Miliband. There were plenty of Tory types confidently predicting that UKIP would drop to a core of 8 or 9% and that Cameron would get 42% and whopping majority…a scenario that thankfully didn’t happen.

    Therefore Tory attacks on the SNP had minimal impact in terms of votes but were huge in terms of driving a wedge between Scottish and rUK politics. That is our gift from Cameron.

  28. Auld Rock says:

    I watched part of this programme but turned over before it reached above. I switched off because it was the usual boring old OxBridge duffers spouting the usual unionist crap.

    Auld Rock

  29. heedtracker says:

    Another UKOK larf is watching bettertogether unionistas rage at FTP. What a bunch.

  30. Grouse Beater says:

    Good to see Professor Green’s research posted on Wings. I knew of it from a long correspondence with a friend, alas, a Ukip voter.

    Westminster does its best to depict the SNP as a ‘protest’ party, ignoring almost 90 years of SNP existence, but I always presumed Ukip to be exactly that and no more.

    I’m not the first to notice Ukip is the UK’s version of the USA’s Tea Party, a temporary reaction to austerity, pone backed by the worst elements of the right-wing. It’s also a dark reaction to Brits finding their local community more Muslim that CofE at a time our ‘leaders’ are bombing the hell out of Islamic countries. Ukip exploits fears.

    It was reasonable to hope Ukip supporters, seeing Ukip a raggle-taggle of EDL and BNP bigots, would switch their anger back to the Tory party where their voted counted and away from the useless Miliband.

    Why would English voters fear the SNP which Westminster depicts as a separatist party?

  31. Tinto Chiel says:

    On HER right, I meant.

    Of course, he could be just a random cashiered cavalry officer who wandered in.

    These things happen, like Ed Miliband.

  32. galamcennalath says:

    HandandShrimp says:

    “Tory attacks on the SNP had minimal impact in terms of votes but were huge in terms of driving a wedge between Scottish and rUK politics. That is our gift from Cameron.”

    I suppose we should take a pragmatic view that anything which helps us along the path to independence is positive. However it would have been better all round if it didn’t come to the generation of bad feeling as a tactic.

    You could say the referendum could have been a fair stand up debate without fearmongering and false promises – but then the Unionists would certainly have lost.

    The moral has to be, WM continually chooses to play dirty, it’s the nature of the beast … and fortunately it doesn’t always have the effect they desire.

  33. Dr Jim says:

    It was the bacon roll wot dun it

    Anyway let’s face it, Miliband was just really really rubbish

    I can still hear his poor apologetic unfortunate nasal tones every time his name’s mentioned

    What’s great though is they’ve got themselves another one in Andy Burnham (whine)
    Evette Cooper bird like geography teacher
    Liz Kendall I’m a Tory but nicer honest
    Jeremy Corbyn (sigh) I used to think I was Indiana Jones

    I’m not critical at all am I?

    They’re definitely Prime Minister material…Every one

  34. Macart @ 9.35.
    Mac, would you please stop giving a near moribund Labour party good advice. Ever since I saw, and experienced first hand, their deviousness and deceit in Glasgow in the 1970/80s, I have have nothing but contempt for them.
    It is completely true to say that after shaking hands with the then Labour Lord Provost, I was advised by a party official, “to count my fingers”, such was this person’s reputation.
    Their manipulation of what is now G.C.C has being going on for decades, all to the detriment of the good people whom they are meant to serve, because they must be amongst the biggest self-serving chancers I have ever had the misfortune to come across.
    I think I’m right in saying there are four council by-elections this Thursday in Glasgow, so hopefully we will put another four nails in their coffin.

  35. Muscleguy says:

    I’ve just sat through the whole thing (academic seminars are part of my natural environment even though I’m not in that area) and the thing that struck me was the complete and utter absence of any mention of those who did not vote.

    Considering, as the Rev Stu demonstrated so well, the size of that constituency the lack of any analysis on the subject was jarring. None of the Above would have won the election, yet not a single addressing of them.

    Instead all the analysis was over how one set of voters can be moved from one allegiance to another. That the pool of voters is shrinking as NOTA increases is nowhere.

    So apologies to the eminent academics there assembled, but from here they seem to be fiddling while Rome begins to smoulder. The smell of smoke is noticeable but they all seem to have anosmia.

  36. Joemcg says:

    Three thousand plus march turn in to “hundreds?” Good old auntie beeb.

  37. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T sorry.

    Have just received e-mail from 38 degrees regarding a petition to protect the BBC’s “impartiality” against Tory onslaught.

    Pure irony!

  38. ROBBO says:

    The simple reason the Labour Party is dying is that people are slowly waking up to the realisation that they are not in the business of making people successful because successful people do not need a Labour party. For the very same reason they do not want an independent and prosperous Scotland.

  39. msean says:

    I remember Mr Miliband saying that he was ruling out a euroref,maybe he should have ruled it in,even for marginal gains. It’s looking like Mr Milibands stint has been blighted by bad decisions all through.

  40. Grouse Beater says:

    O/T: I suspect some women will find this essay sexist, but there’s no doubt in my mind Ms Mone is NOT exploited to any degree that would require a reassessment.

  41. Grouse Beater says:

    Alex: shaking hands with the then Labour Lord Provost,

    Bit before my time, Alex, but which Provost was it in the Seventies?

  42. Bob Mack says:

    Typical of Labour to create something out of nothing in order to excuse their own failings.They did the same with the myth of 1979 in order to let themselves off the hook by blaming the SNP for Mrs Thatcher.Shallow party with no ethics or morality.

  43. call me dave says:

    @Alex Beveridge

    I agree. The Scottish labour head has been severed at WM but up here the body still twitches and it must be put out of it’s miserable existence at the next elections.

    The SNP must be in a position to use any ‘powerhouse Glasgow monies’ falling from the table of the unionists until the time for Indy 2.

    Give them no foothold!

  44. Grouse Beater @ 11.22.
    The shaking of hands didn’t actually take place until the 1990s, it was a formality at the opening of a new business I was involved in, and it was one Pat Lally.

  45. Grouse Beater says:

    one Pat Lally.

    Ah, I had a suspicion – my Sunday brain didn’t pick up on the exact detail … the same Pat Lally who rejected Peter Howson’s painting he commissioned for the council offices?

  46. galamcennalath says:

    Perhaps a bit OT, but my defence is that everything in Scottish politics is intertwined.

    Just read some nonsense around the ‘once in a generation’ or ‘once in a lifetime’ statements and suggesting any IndyRef2 would be a U turn.

    For heaven’s sakes, those statements were most widely used in 2013 and if there is an ‘U’ involved it should refer to Scottish politics being turned upside down!

    Waaaay back in 2013, Unionists were discounting any discussion on more powers until after a No vote. Of course, they also believed that No vote would easily be achieved and by a large majority.

    Two long years later we have Project Fear, false promises of DevoSuperMax … all the events surrounding the way the GE went so eloquently covered in this article … and the unfolding aftermath.

    The political world today seems utterly changed since 2013’s suggestions of “once”!

  47. Chic McGregor says:

    I thought more of UKIP support would have voted Tory, but I guess Farage working hard at his working class myth did eventually gather more votes in Labour strongholds in the North than at one time anticipated, and they were never going to vote Tory.

    I suspect the lack of UKIP support moving back to Labour in the North is a wee bit contra to normal squeeze expectations and could have been due to SNP influence. Especially considering the the leanings a Labour/UKIP supporter might have re national identity. But always difficult to say anything about a null response.

    My sad prediction for 2016 is if Corbyn wins the Labour leaderership and not deposed before then, we will probably lose.

  48. Les wilson says:

    Well, Stu’s thoughts on this was bang on the money. The man did good, Kudos, and it was from a long way out.
    It was way ahead of the “parrot” thinking of those paid a lot more to do so.

  49. bookie from hell says:

    Remember how Better Together we’re elated when UKIP won a Euro seat Scotland

  50. DerekM says:

    Has anybody told them they could have saved time and money if they had asked the Rev?

    Still good to see them come out with it, it took them long enough jeez.

    while they were telling everybody they would be in government everybody was telling them eh no you wont.

    I still believe UKIP are the conservatives and are the fall guys for an EU exit plus come in handy to make the tories look less right wing and also to split the Labour vote.

    The tories couldnt believe their luck when Labour went doh umm ehhh ok we will do it doh and the slippery dems went dont forget about us as they went into full nutter mode SNP bad.

    Ed was a fud and everybody knew it even state propaganda didnt have to work to hard on that one and pair him with balls and you have a clown show.

    Yea we knew the tories were coming the writing was on the wall.

  51. Democracy Reborn says:

    Gerry Hassan has a piece in the Record headlined : “The SNP worried that Jeremy Corbyn leads Labour to the left? They’d be delighted”.

    His take is that although a Corbyn victory would mean Labour being shorn of the ‘Red Tories’ tag, they would otherwise be unelectable. In the 139 seats in the south of England outside London, Labour won 8. Milliband was perceived as too left wing. Labour needs a fair chunk of those seats if they are to have any chance of power.

  52. Capella says:

    O/T Looks like the YES Registry managed to reach their funding target.

  53. galamcennalath says:

    @Democracy Reborn

    I have just read that Gerry Hassan piece and still cannot understand why, in any way, Corbyn as leader would delight the SNP.

    Being unelectable ( a matter of dubious opinion ) in England has little relevance to Scotland. So what’s his point?

    He suggests Corbyn is changing the Labour Party, but implies changing the UK would be much harder. Corbyn’s impact on the UK isn’t the issue.

    IMO What is of relevance to Scotland and the SNP is Corbyn might make Labour look more credible, in the eyes of some Scots, and therefore cause problems for the Indy cause in Holyrood 2016.

    55% of Scots voted NO …. What percentage of that realised it would almost certainly mean 5-10 years of Tory rule? Evidence, it were needed, that many Scots don’t see the wider picture and the interconnects. Similarly, many may view H 2016 in isolation and vote for what they see as a Labour Party getting back on track. It’s appeal in England and implications for Indy may not occur to them.

  54. dakk says:

    And these same soft Tory/UKIP voters are even less likely to vote for Labour if Corbyn is Labour leader,condemning Labour to electoral failure.

    Is it beyond the Establishment to facilitate Corbyn as a decoy simply to temporarily give left wing Scots false hope to stall SNP/independence?

  55. heedtracker says:

    “Fascinating nuances” is a great little phrase. What a legacy of absolute horrors for Bomber Bliar, Crash Gordon and Lord Flipper. Where now for a Labour on the way out.

    Toryboys will probably maintain NHS funding because Middle England likes good health care, BBC etc will destroy Corbyn and keep lying like the giant frauds they are, Toryboy econmics are envy of the world, benefits are just for work shy bums on the take, war is good.

    SLabour’s maybe going to pick up a little of that relentless BBC attack on the left but not enough. Nice example from rancid The Graun today on how to monster the shit out of left Scottish democracy, this time it’s too stupid, next week, too small, week after, too poor, all fascinating nuances red Tory britnat style. Fun times ahead.

  56. Dr Jim says:

    Kevin McKenna’s at his Nicola Sturgeon sarcasm bashing again over Police Scotland and their handling of the car crash tragedy and while he’s very quick to point the finger of blame because he’s now Dippity Dugs Campaign Manager
    I’ve never seen the First Minister in a police uniform but put that on one side for a moment

    There’s not been much sensitivity around this case because the opposition to the Scottish Government is so vehement they couldn’t wait to pile in with all the incompetent disorganised rhetoric

    Thing is when you look a little closer you find that Police Scotland have not released the details of the call on this accident and it’s caused me to wonder why, given all calls are recorded

    Then I started to think the caller dialled the Non Emergency number Why? If he says he saw a “crash” why wouldn’t he dial 999 emergency and then later he is reported to have said “he felt guilty” Why? If what’s reported is correct why would he feel guilty

    Maybe before the opportunistic Press and Telly folk start their bashing of anybody for points they might hang on a little bit till all the facts are revealed because it looks like there’s a little more to this than first jumped on by a greedy media and their political buddies

    Unless they know more than the rest of us

  57. Hobbit says:

    The issue, as Peter Jones pointed out in The Scotsman, is not that Corbyn is unelectable – he could well be elected, for many of the same reasons as the SNP was in WM2015. The issue is whether he could put any of his policies into place. And there are some questions for Scotland in this respect.

  58. Grouse Beater says:

    Police Scotland and their handling of the car crash tragedy

    You share what others think: why did the passing motorist call 101 rather than 999?

    Indeed, why drive past and not stop to check out the car for your self?

    Dialling 101 denotes ‘an incident that is not an emergency or a person under threat.’

  59. Paula Rose says:

    For those worried about a Jeremy Corbyn win and the SNP – can I just remind you how we managed to nearly win the referendum? By getting out there and talking too people.

  60. Macart says:


    As you say more than likely the truth would be somewhere in the middle timescale-wise. I suspect though, that as soon as Mr Ed and Labour signed on board for the referendum, blue tory strategists saw the possibilities and how to manipulate the fallout in their favour. Almost certainly one eye was always on the exit strategy from the referendum and how to use the result yay or nae to best advantage. They wouldn’t have been doing their jobs otherwise.

    And if there’s one thing we’ve learnt about Tories of any stripe, its that they always look to manipulate allegiances and opportunities to their own best advantage.

  61. Macart says:

    @Alex Beveridge

    Nae worries Alex. Labour aren’t known for listening to anyone’s advice. 🙂

  62. dakk says:

    Paula Rose

    ‘getting out there and talking to people’

    People power is indeed crucial to overcoming the power of the Establishment MSM,as is the internet and sites like Wings.

    Work commitments including working Saturdays and late till at least 7.30 most nights,with 1 week holiday in last 3 years mean I don’t have much time for anything outside of work never mind coal face politics.

    I do however know that without the new movement of activists,we would not be making the progress that is currently being made.

    Deep gratitude goes out to all of you who are fully engaged.

    For what its worth I work with the public and try to do subtle,or sometimes not so subtle canvassing,in my small business,and I do leaflet drops at elections.

    As a footnote,I would estimate my small business has become even smaller(by approx 20%)because of my known political stance ( in this new politiced era in Scotland),in a fiercely unionist posh enclave in Glasgow.

    Incidentally,I don’t live in the enclave.

  63. yesindyref2 says:

    Ah yes, Prof Jane Green and BES. From May 2014: “If all the remaining ‘don’t knows’ moved from undecided to Yes in exactly the same proportion as those between March and June; the final result would likely be Yes 44% and No 56%.”

    I checked out their report at the time and decided it was realistic and unbiased, unlike most others from so-called “independent” sources. Pity they didn’t do any analyses of IFS / IPPR / all the other reports which were widely misreported by the media. Not to mention trying analyse Danny Boy’s utterances to find the substance behind them (gossamer in the event). He come what he deserved, bye now.

  64. yesindyref2 says:

    Yes, Miliband was rubbish and we’re doomed with a Conservative Government, though at times they look more socialist than Labour which isn’t saying much. Had he been credible Labout could and should have won.

    As it is, Corbyn is the best they’ve got and despite what their pundits say he could get them back into no 10 in 2020. He would need to become the statesman not the backbencher. Miliband looked like a not-very-wise owl caught in a spotlight, with his savile row suit, whereas Cameron had the sense to roll up his sleeves and look like he was prepared to get on with it.

  65. Democracy Reborn says:


    I wasn’t necessarily endorsing what Hassan says, simply highlighting it as an alternative take on the view that a Corbyn win in the leadership contest would be ‘bad’ for the SNP. Whether we like it or not, political history teaches us that what happens in one political party does have an effect on voting for other parties.

    My first reaction after reading Hassan’s headline was surprise. No-one can prophecise what would happen if Corbyn was elected, but I suspect Hassan’s opinion is this : there may be some short-term benefit to Labour in Scotland as it would be seen as moving to the left. Some Labour Yes voters, and those who have switched to SNP for Holyrood/GE 2015, may return to the fold. On the other hand, as Eric Joyce points out in his blog today, the ‘hard’ left in Scotland are now largely fully committed supporters of independence. Hassan’s point (I think) is that in the longer term, those who might switch back to Labour will see it as a pointless exercise by 2020, because Labour will be unelectable in the south of England with Corbyn at the helm. Now I agree that that is also a moot point, as someone has just linked to a Scotsman article re whether Corbyn *is* unelectable. But I have to say that if the analysis in the Youtube clip by the University of Manchester is correct – that the key to the Tories victory was the move back to them by UKIP voters – I’m struggling to see how that group would be enticed by a Corbyn leadership. And of course, he will be attacked mercilessly in the MSM for being loony left.

    What I think Hassan is suggesting is (1) Labour voters (although initially attracted by Corbyn) might move back to the SNP at GE2020/indyref2 if the polls show Corbyn to be clearly unelectable; or (2) Labour lose in GE2020 under Corbyn and the Tories are re-elected. The SNP can say to Labour voters : we told you so. It doesn’t matter if you vote for left wing Labour policies. England has rejected them (again). Only independence can give you a left of centre government.

  66. galamcennalath says:

    @Democracy Reborn

    My concern is that if there is no pro-Indy majority in Holyrood, there can be no IndyRef2.

    The current situation where the SNP is getting around half the votes, and therefore under the almost-PR system could again get more than half the seats, may never happen again, ever. It was never meant to happen, after all.

    I believe we have a window of opportunity for independence which must be grasped. IMO grasped within the next Holyrood parliament is our best chance.

    Scots realising Labour are in fact a chocolate fire guard for Scotland in GE 2020, may be too late.

    I would prefer Labour to get a thrashing at Holyrood 2016 ensuring they are in no position to threaten any moves to independence.

    The illusion of a more acceptable Labour under Corbyn is a short term danger.

    I for one, will give a big sigh of relief if a right wing Blairite wins!

    On further contemplation of Hassan’s views, I believe he can still imagine a future with a renewed leftward shifted Labour and a UK worth saving and changing. Waiting for that unlikely future is just wasting time and a big distraction.

  67. Democracy Reborn says:


    Those are mostly my sentiments too.

    I’m not sure how Hassan voted in the indyref. From his writings, however, you get the sense there’s a bit of him lamenting what he described as the death of SLAB.

  68. Robert Peffers says:

    @Dr Jim says: 2 August, 2015 at 1:42 pm:

    “Maybe before the opportunistic Press and Telly folk start their bashing of anybody for points they might hang on a little bit till all the facts are revealed … “

    I posted along just those lines the evening the story broke of the police having done something wrong. It isn’t strange that a call on a none emergency line is treated as a non-emergency.

    I pointed out I lived within around 100 yds of what was then a bad corner with long straights on either side of it. On the day I moved to the address I took my wee dog a walk and on the near side of the corner there was a Ford Capri lying on its roof in the field. As the wheels were still spinning and a person was climbing out I returned home and dialled 999. By the time I got back to the corner the services had arrived.

    I continued my walk and on the return journey saw a Reliant Robin in the field on the other side of the same corner ad again called 999 with the same result.

    It turned out there was a problem with loose chippings and just a little too fast vehicles were getting too wide on the bend and thus hitting the chippings and skidding into the fields. Now the point is that there was a row of cottages overlooking the bend and no one from them had phoned the emergency services.

    Furthermore, sometimes when vehicles ended in those fields it took some days to have them removed yet passing vehicles seemed not to report they had seen abandoned crashed vehicles. I know this because I knew a civilian staff member who manned, (womanned actually), the local switchboard and I asked.

    I conclude this present story is along the same lines as the long tirades by Labour about the Scottish Health Service we have also been getting.

  69. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    What actually helped the Tories to victory was the UKIP.
    In the last local government elections in England Labour was expected to make significant progress but didn’t because many disaffected voters voted UKIP instead of Labour and exactly the same happened at the General Election.
    UKIP are not politically very right wing and have a substantial cloth cap vote (as the Tories had in Scotland in the 1950s) motivated by issues which contain elements of ill informed prejudice

  70. Michael McCabe says:

    @ Rev Stu I would like to say it’s not often you are wrong. But you are right again.

  71. Muscleguy says:

    @Dr Jim

    The caller feels guilty because every day afterwards he passed the spot and saw the car but assumed the police were aware and would sort it. He feels guilty for not following it up. No need to get all conspiracy theory there.

    Knowing with hindsight that there was a seriously injured woman lying beside her dead boyfriend would make anyone with a conscience guilty.

  72. Hobbit says:

    Having seen this article, which admittedly is just for England & Wales, I must confess to a what-the-hell moment …

    Comments, criticisms welcome.

  73. J Williams says:

    2 factors decided the election – ex Lib Dems having more faith in Tories than Labour, and UKIPs moving back to Tories once the referendum had been promised.

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