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The rainbow election

Posted on January 28, 2015 by

Let’s start with the obvious: nobody has a clue who’s going to win the 2015 general election. But almost without exception, commentators are saying that should Labour’s vote collapse in Scotland to the extent that current polling says it will, it will radically alter Ed Miliband’s chances of kicking David Cameron out of 10 Downing Street.

That’s a message that Labour are delighted to hear, because their entire Scottish electoral strategy/manifesto is the phrase “If you vote SNP the Tories will get back in”. Now, we already know that on the empirical level that’s complete cobblers – the Tories historically get in when the SNP vote is lowest.

snpvotes

But it could be fairly argued that those statistics are correlation rather than causation, isolated as they are from the rest of the UK’s results. So we decided to take a more detailed look at some of the possible scenarios from this May’s vote and see if the Nats really could let the Tories in.

We took as our starting point the dramatic projection from Sky News yesterday:

skyhung

(There’s a similar one in today’s Guardian with the SNP on 49.)

That’s right up there with the most optimistic interpretations for the SNP, and it’s also a pretty heavy blow for the Lib Dems, who suffer a worst-case massacre where they lose two-thirds of their current seats. So in addition to that one, we analysed some outcomes at the opposite extremes, with the Nats making no gains and the Lib Dems defying all expectations.

We largely discounted the “other” parties, because as you’ll shortly see they almost never come into play. They break down pretty evenly anyway, with the Greens, SDLP and Plaid Cymru very broadly aligned with Labour on the (relative) left, UKIP and the DUP broadly with the Tories on the right, and Sinn Fein refusing to take their seats.

The latter (currently with five MPs) mean that the notional “winning line” for a party wanting to form the next government is in effect 323 votes.

In each of the four basic scenarios we examined, we looked at two possibilities – one where the SNP had the spectacular success suggested by the Sky figures, and an alternative where Labour held all their current seats and the SNP remained on their current six. In all scenarios we assumed that the SNP would vote against any prospective Conservative government, as is the party’s stated policy.

So let’s get to it.

—————————————————————————————————–

SCENARIO 1A – Sky projection

Lab 282
Con 270
SNP 53
LD 20
Other 20 (25 minus five Sinn Fein absentees)

– no party has an overall majority.
– Labour can only form a government (majority 12) with SNP support.
– the Tories can’t get a majority no matter what.

SCENARIO 1B – same, but Scotland votes Labour

Lab 329
Con 270
SNP 6
LD 20
Other 20

– fragile Labour absolute majority of 6.

ANALYSIS

In practical terms there’s no difference here. Even with a technical majority, it’s going to be a nightmare for Labour, with every vote on a knife-edge, though SNP support gives them twice as much breathing space in either version (12 votes rather than 6).

They’d need to woo the Lib Dems to have any kind of security, though, and since under this projection the Lib Dems will have 1 or 2 seats in Scotland at the most, English LD voters will revolt if their party aids what’s seen as preferential treatment for the Scots. Miliband’s hair will be grey and falling out with stress by July whether he’s relying on the SNP or the Lib Dems or both.

But from Scotland’s point of view, only the A version offers any leverage at all. Scottish Labour MPs will do what they’re told, and we already know that many of them object strongly to several of the powers recommended by the Smith Commission anyway.

More power for Holyrood, which is an unpopular notion in England, would be on a very shoogly peg in Case B. But a block of 53 SNP MPs from Case A would be able to hold Labour’s feet to the fire.

—————————————————————————————————–

SCENARIO 2A – Tories the largest party

Polling trends clearly suggest that by May the Tories will actually finish ahead. So we’ve swapped their numbers and Labour’s around, with everything else unchanged.

Con 282
Lab 270
SNP 53
LD 20
Other 20

– Labour majority of one with SNP support (323).
– no Tory majority possible.

SCENARIO 2B – same, but Scotland votes Labour

Lab 317
Con 282
SNP 6
LD 20
Other 20

– Labour can get a technical majority with Lib Dem or SNP support.
– but a coalition with the Lib Dems would be the stronger (14 vs 1).

ANALYSIS

Despite being the biggest party the Tories can’t form a government. Labour can squeak the tiniest majority possible with the support of the SNP, but they’ll need the Lib Dems onboard too in both cases to have any chance of a workable arrangement.

In version A there’s a lot of leverage for Scotland but in version B there’s none, because Labour can get a majority of 14 with only the Lib Dems. The same applies as in Scenario 1 – the Lib Dem MPs will nearly all be in English seats, and will be unlikely to do Scotland any favours.

—————————————————————————————————–

SCENARIO 3A  – Lib Dem miracle, Tory win

Here the Lib Dems somehow hold all their current 57 seats, at Labour and the SNP’s expense.

Con 270
Lab 250
SNP 48
LD 57
Other 20

– Con/Lib coalition has a majority of four (327).
– Labour can get a majority (355), but need support of Lib Dems and SNP.

SCENARIO 3B – same, but Scotland votes Labour

Con 270
Lab 292
SNP 6
LD 57
Other 20

– Con/Lib coalition has a majority of four (327).
– Labour can get a majority (349) with support of Lib Dems only.

ANALYSIS

A Labour/Lib Dem coalition is a pretty long shot – if the current coalition can squeeze a majority again it’s much more likely to stay together than have the Lib Dems swap sides – but since we’re gaming a scenario where the Lib Dems have 57 seats here, that’s the least of our plausibility problems.

The key fact is that again, Scotland is left defenceless. In the event of a Lab-Lib pact Scottish Labour MPs would be whipped within an inch of their lives to obey the London line, and the Lib Dems would be even more strongly hostage to their English contingent. The A outcome makes Scottish MPs a much more powerful block under the SNP, because Labour couldn’t govern without them.

In the event of a Con/Lib coalition rather than a Lab/Lib one, meanwhile, the Scottish block wields considerably more power again if it comprises SNP MPs, because the government’s tiny majority is far more precarious.

By offering support on certain measures in return for Scottish concessions, it would be possible for SNP MPs to mitigate some of the worst excesses of another Tory-led government. Scottish Labour MPs would be unable to do so, because they’d have to obey the UK whip and oppose everything.

—————————————————————————————————–

SCENARIO 4A  – Lib Dem miracle, Labour win

Lab 270
Con 250
SNP 48
LD 57
Other 20

– Labour majority of five with Lib Dem support (327).
– Tories can’t form a majority.

SCENARIO 4B – same, but Scotland votes Labour

Lab 312
Con 250
SNP 6
LD 57
Other 20

– Labour majority of 47 with Lib Dem support (369)

ANALYSIS

Either way round this is the most implausible of our four scenarios. The chances of the Lib Dems holding onto all 57 seats are miniscule, and the chances of them jumping out of bed with the Tories and into Labour’s are barely any greater.

But in any event, the same applies as in all our other cases – if Scotland votes SNP it has vastly more leverage, because in Case A the Lab/Lib coalition has a micro-majority and will be a lame duck, extremely prone to defeat unless the Nats back it too, whereas in Case B it’s comfortable with only the Lib Dems, who will be concentrated in England.

—————————————————————————————————–

Well done if you made it through all that, readers. While by no means pondering every possible permutation and variation, it covers all the major bases.

Nobody with the tiniest grip on their senses believes either Labour or the Tories will get an absolute majority in May, so the actual result WILL be somewhere within the wide range we’ve detailed above.

And what that range of outcomes reveals is that right across the board, there’s no situation where voting SNP lets the Tories in. In every case, a win in Scotland makes no practical difference to Labour, but leaves Scottish voters out in the cold with nobody standing up for their interests.

Demonstrably and measurably, Scotland is better served by voting for the Nats.

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      The rainbow election - Speymouth

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    138 to “The rainbow election”

    1. Niall says:

      But isn’t coalition party politics in Westminster so much more exciting than deciding your own fate in your own parliament?

    2. ken500 says:

      Tory/Labour should have supported full fiscal autonomy/Independence. It would have been so simple. Unelected civil servants are running the UK.

    3. Illy says:

      You’ve missed out one case:

      Lab/Con coalition.

    4. Dorothy Devine says:

      Are the Liberals really likely to get 20 seats?

      I think that could be an over estimation.

      I’m kinda hoping our English friends are waking up to the drivel and shite they too are fed by the media – perhaps the ” big two” are in for a big shock.

      Wouldn’t that be luverly – we should lurve bomb them from Scotland!

    5. Steve says:

      As Illy says there could be a National Government Lab/Con coalition. I would like to know more about what effect this would have.

    6. john ferguson says:

      Bankers own the UK the government is their administration.

    7. Keith Hynd says:

      Highly unlikely but the best scenario for me would be an SNP landslide in Scotland and to in order to stem the flow of the nationalist “virus” the unionist parties close ranks and form a Con/Lab/Lib pact. After all as Nick McPherson “almost” said “this is war” and we all know what type of government formed the last time a war was happening. Pie in the sky I know, but in my opinion a lot of Scots haven’t been kicked anywhere hard enough to knock sense into them.

    8. Wulls says:

      The reality is likely to be somewhere in the middle.
      SNP will make some big gains at labour and LibDems expense however no matter which proportion of SNP/ScotLab MPs are returned by Scotland we can be reasonable assured we will not be returning any Tories and precious few LibDems.
      The 53 seats will be almost exclusively against the present government.
      That should be enough to unseat them AND give Scotland a more powerful voice..
      Just don’t say it out loud down south …..there is a real chance of an anti Scottish backlash pushing red tory voters to blue Tory if they think they will shut the annoying selfish jocks up.
      Such is the nature of English politics.

    9. R-type Grunt says:

      The Tories will win with an absolute majority. I hate being called a “Nat”.

    10. X_Sticks says:

      LIke Illy says, I could see tory and labour creating a unionist coalition to prevent either of them having to allow the SNP any say in UK government.

      They would present it as a “protecting the union” coalition and WM and England would accept it on that basis.

    11. Calum Craig says:

      …and this is why I will be voting SNP in May.

    12. terry says:

      @llly – good point. I’m not a gambler but I’ve seen horses come in at 33/1, so could the Conlab geegee cross the finishing line in first place? I saw some Ya Ya in the House of Lords saying as much. However it’s still long odds and I reckon that would be the end of our parliamentary system. I figure that Joe Public would choke on that hypocrisy and send the horse to the knackers yard.

      Brilliant article that cuts through all the sh*te about reaasons why not to vote SNP. Voting for the Nats is best for Scotland and my pals in the north of england are hoping we send back a whole heap of nats which they hope will kick start change in Westminster that will benefit them long term as well. I wonder if the SNP would stand on a ticket in the north of England just to get that message across?

    13. Swami Backverandah says:

      Another take could be to predicate all scenarios on the statement from the LibDems that they would only go into coalition with the party who won the most votes, but then again, given it’s the Clegg’s talking, it’s very unreliable information.

      3A’s got the SNP on 48.
      Did you mean ‘at Lab and Con expense’, or do I need to read it differently?
      Thanks.

    14. Johnny says:

      Glad to see this analysis, as Peter Kellner’s (unchallenged) contribution on STV news last night was particularly nauseating. I wonder if Peter could be bothered telling the truth about how often Scotland’s votes have the effect he claims they would have?

    15. Brian Fleming says:

      Stu, there is one possible scenario you didn’t touch on where it could be claimed voting SNP would ‘let’ the Tories in. If the SNP sweeps all the seats in Scotland and Labour goes into coalition with Tories out of spite, I’m sure SLab would still spin it for decades ahead that “the SNP let the Tories in”.

    16. Algernon Percy says:

      The other consideration here is that Labour’s Scottish MPs will actually be quite useless for the party, and possibly a hindrance – to Labour as well as to Scotland. A Labour government dependent on the votes of its Scottish MPs would be spinning round the axis of EVEL on every vote on a matter devolved to either Edinburgh or Cardiff – the Tory press would never let the issue go away. In order to govern without being dragged down by EVEL, it needs a majority secured by English seats. Scottish MPs are, in this sense, at best irrelevant.

    17. Garry says:

      Good work Stu – and all of your analysis looks correct.

      However, the SNP needs to be very careful how it sets expectations because with the best will in the world there is going to be little opportunity to win substantial concessions.

      Take the obviously most fertile scenario – where Lab needs SNP support to form a government. How can the SNP win any concessions to help Ed become PM when the only alternatives are to abstain and let Ed win anyway or vote for Dave and have him win?

      On policy issues, the clear evidence of the last week shows that the Tories and Labour are almost as one on most major issues; Smith, austerity, nukes, fracking. The reality is that SNP votes will make no difference on substantial issues other than being seen to stand for something different.

      Now, there is political value in that for sure but it is a far cry from ‘holding Westminster’s feet to the fire’

      The reality is that the SNP can no more be guarantors for Scotland in Westminster than Gordon Brown could be guarantor for The Vow.

      Expectation management is what the SNP is most horribly bad at – it has demonstrated that time and time again. I can see it painting itself into a no-win situation over the next few months if it doesn’t start moderating its language.

      It COULD have consequences for 2016 if a large SNP group is seen to be unable to moderate policy at Westminster (after suggesting it would be able to) leaving an SNP Scottish Government to manage yet more cuts.

      Scotland may be ‘redolent with opportunity’ but if it overplays a good hand again, that opportunity may not be the SNPs.

      Time for cool heads and to remember that the only thing that really matters in the end is who will be in control of the Scottish Parliament when the public mood for Indyref 2 is insatiable.

    18. Swami Backverandah says:

      Dear Keith Hynd.
      Stephen Daisley over on STV does a much better line on satire.
      He even gets paid. You could take a few lessons, and then perhaps try your fledgling efforts on a site with less discerning readership.
      In the meantime, may I suggest you don’t give up your paper round.

    19. Grouse Beater says:

      Here is the core of George Monbiot’s analysis of Labour’s propensity to self-combust.

      Whether it wins or loses the general election, Labour is probably finished. It would take a generation to replace the sycophants who let Tony Blair and Gordon Brown rip their party’s values to shreds. By then it will be history. If Labour wins in May, it is likely to destroy itself faster and more surely than if it loses, through the continued implementation of austerity. That is the lesson from Europe.

    20. galamcennalath says:

      IMHO 2a is most likely, followed by 1a. Perhaps not quite such a good showing from SNP, but we can live in hope of it being 40+.

      In either case two possibilities, as far as I can see.

      A) SNP support Lab in return for close to DevoMax, non Trident replacement, NHS protection etc.. The problem here is those aren’t Lab policies. They perhaps fought hardest to minimise powers via Smith. I can’t see them moving massively on devolution. Trident cancellation, maybe.

      B) Lab and Con appear, from a Scottish perspective to have much in common. I wouldn’t expect a full blown coalition between them, but in much the same way as SNP would support Labour, I can see Lab and Con supporting which ever wins the most seats on common ground. No more devolution, Trident goes ahead, perhaps curbs on NHS privatisation and austerity in return for backing an EU referendum.

      While a Lab Con agreement (something short of full coalition) seems unthinkable given post WW2 politics, which of those two outcomes would be most palatable to Middle England? They are, after all, the voters Lab and Con are desperate to please.

    21. HandandShrimp says:

      A Vote for the SNP is a vote for Scotland. Anything less is just musical chairs for more of the same crap we have had for the last 35 years

    22. Swami Backverandah says:

      If Scottish Labour Branch insist to Ed that the only way UK Labour could form a pact with the SNP would be over their dead bodies, let’s heartily agree.

      (They really are imbeciles).

    23. cearc says:

      I think they will avoid the CONLAB option if possible as it will make SNP the official opposition.

      If they rope the libs in as well and call it National Unity (or anybody but SNP) then maybe there is no ‘official opposition’.

      So either Scotland gets a lot of influence or is completely sidelined. Both could be good for changing previous no-voters.

    24. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      cearc

      I think that was the situation in Canada for some years when the Bloc Québecois was technically H M the Queen’s Loyal Oppostion.

      The Canadian Government and the rest of the pro federal Parties just ignored the B Q.

    25. No no no...Yes says:

      Rev, thanks for the analysis. If you called this the Great British Coalition Truth Quest, Daily Mail readers might click it from their Google search and get something worthwhile reading for a change.

      Johnny 9:56am Kellner. Agreed,it was just another come on Jim, fix it for the Union advert.The phrase, if Murphy can put the SNP back in their box was objectionable.

    26. Big Jock says:

      But the most crucial part is this. A London Labour government would do no better for Scotland than the Tories. They are both looking after their own interests, and renewing Trident,allowing fracking,continuing austerity, giving Scotland the window dressing in the Smith report…. We must get across to people that Labour in Westminster are no better than the Tories. The SNP are Scotland’s party.

    27. Jim Thomson says:

      What interests me is that Sky have actually NAMED SNP in their graphic and not just lumped them in with “Others”.

      That suggests that the MSM establishment (apart from EBC) are waking up to the fact that they NEED to acknowledge the influence that SNP now have on UK politics.

      May the Labour Party live in interesting times. (read that anyway you want [grin])

    28. Dan Huil says:

      Beware of posts “arguing” that any SNP representation at Westminster will be impotent to effect change at Westminster, indeed that it might in the end harm the SNP’s reputation and it would therefore be far better to wait till the 2016 to vote SNP.
      Subtle as a ton of bricks.
      We must keep the pressure on by sending as many SNP MPs to Westminster as possible.

    29. kangaroo says:

      35 years huh! Try 300years. Scotland will get shafted bigtime no matter what. There is only one chance and that is to vote SNP and hope they know how to negotiate. Scotland has thegun with bullets the Poms don’t have anything scotland needs. Realpolitik will win in the end

    30. Paul Johnston says:

      Wait a minute! these polls are all wrong if UKIP makes dramatic gains from either labour or Tories. it is easy to say that they wont but in your analysis you have taken the big and small SNP gain but not factored in 50 UKIP MPs. not in scotland but here in england this is seen as a possibility among voters (not pundits). not sure exactly where this leaves the scenarios with the tories in coalition with UKIP or labour working with the SNP (deadly rivals in scotland it seems). thoughts welcome!

    31. A2 says:

      Ukip is going to take 10 seats in Labour “heartland”, they will prop up the tories but don’t have the dicipline to do it consistently so it’ll be vote by vote.

    32. I’ve got a better scenario tell the RED & Blue Tories to fuck off Blue Tories win pulls the UK out of Europe and England goes back to the Americans can we keep the name UK please pretty pretty please, Scots say no it doesn’t belong to you when will you learn, and by the way off course we can keep the pound the man on the telly said we can. And I’ll tell you this we should be taking independence not being dictated by 55 and over the SNP should have offered the ones that voted NO a fish supper and a night at the bingo that all it takes. If Burns was alive today he would have said it use to take gold it just shows you inflation has come down.

    33. arthur thomson says:

      It is impossible to predict what is going to happen but it would appear from the polls that some Scots have learned a thing or two and won’t be supporting any of the Tory parties. I think NS is doing a good job making it clear that the SNP will use any power it has to represent the interests of all the people – including those who do not support independence at this time. Trust may be the really important factor. Part of gaining this trust is to tell people what the SNP will do at Westminster. To my mind that is quite simple: individually SNP MP’s will represent their Constituencies, collectively they will participate fully and constructively in the UK Parliament towards the end of creating a fairer and better UK for all its people. There is nothing that I and others who support full Scottish self-government want which is actually detrimental to the interests of the rest of the people who live in Britain.

    34. Sue Varley says:

      Interesting read, thanks Rev.

      I would love to know if/how people’s voting intention might change if they thought there was a real possibility this posited National Emergency coalition between Lab and Con would happen if it was “deemed necessary” after the GE results were known.

      Does anyone know if this question has been asked in any form in a UK wide poll?

    35. Davy says:

      If the red tories actually were mad enough to jump into bed with the blue tories to form a westminster government, it would finish labour at all levels of government in Scotland forever.

      They would become more toxic than the tory’s, and I would expect the scottish and north of england public to totally reject them as a politcal party and see their significance reduce to libdem level at best.

      I hope that happens.

      Great article Stu, exactly the type of info we require, keep up the good work.

    36. Luigi says:

      Dan Huil says:

      28 January, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Beware of posts “arguing” that any SNP representation at Westminster will be impotent to effect change at Westminster, indeed that it might in the end harm the SNP’s reputation and it would therefore be far better to wait till the 2016 to vote SNP.
      Subtle as a ton of bricks.
      We must keep the pressure on by sending as many SNP MPs to Westminster as possible.

      Indeed, there does seem to have been a serious outbreak of concern trolling recently. Hopefully no one will fall for it.

    37. Desimond says:

      @Gary

      Take the obviously most fertile scenario – where Lab needs SNP support to form a government. How can the SNP win any concessions to help Ed become PM when the only alternatives are to abstain and let Ed win anyway or vote for Dave and have him win?

      The SNP have refused to work with the Westminster Tory Party.
      Everyone now knows that if SNP had to vote against a Labour Govenrment, then that is not a vote FOR the Tories with The Westminster 2 party system very much broken in Scotland.

      Thats the lie Labour have been peddling going way back to the 70s capitulation, the one the Rev highlighted that even Jim callaghan admitted was Labours MPs own self destruction.

    38. bookie from hell says:

      Alistair Darling wanted the referendum to finish off the nationalists(YES) for good,in the early days he dreamt less than 25%.

      project fear looked good on paper,but never took account,hearts & minds people of Scotland short/longterm.

      Labour—Scottish Parliament was to kill SNP stone dead,not for Home Rule(recent events have proved this beyond doubt)

      Labour—SNP winning power Scottish Elections was thought to be a long shot,winning a majority wasn’t even on the radar.

      Labour–SNP most seats general election westminster is catastrophe

    39. Cuilean says:

      It’s far simpler than that, Stu. England has 533 MPs, Scotland 59, Wales 40, NI 18 (although really only 13 as Sinn Fein refuse to recognise Westminster/British rule). 650 in total. Whatever way you cut it, England will decide who goes through the door at No 10, not us. England has 82% of MPs, Scotland has 9% of MPs.

    40. Jimbo says:

      Then there’s always the Tory/Labour Grand Coalition they were talking about a few weeks ago.

      If the Nats were in a position to form a coalition I would not put it past the ruling Westminster elite to form such a Grand(?) coalition rather than give the Scottish party a say in what is in essence the English parliament.

    41. Helena Brown says:

      What ever happens in May I think that Scotland has not been the same place, you know the place they want us to be since September the 19th. We are much more confident and ready to take them on. I would also say like Arthur that we do not want anything which would be detrimental to the English, but then they think we are a bunch of Commies, Arthur.
      I also noticed my comment about their lying about the Fracking Vote was removed from Labour List page. Met a friend there who asked if I would be back, I seriously doubt I will be allowed.

    42. I think one element that may be missed here it’s the role of her majesty. In the interests of “democracy”, I would envisage a scenario where she was pushing from behind the scenes for the largest party to be in government, and so we would get statements from the likes of the liberals saying that in those interests they’d jump from the blue bed to the red one somewhat more easily than some might imagine.

    43. terry says:

      agreed – Sturgeon is doing a great job as are the rest of the SNP and as mentioned the only minor criticism is how they handle expectaitions.

      As for the unlikley LabCon coalition? They have already had a trial run at this – remember September? They could rehash the same arguments again – best for the UK – Better Together. Spew!

    44. Jimbo says:

      Wouldn’t it be great if the SNP were in fact able to form a coalition, and as a condition for doing so, insisted that one of theirs be made Secretary of State for Scotland?

    45. George Young says:

      have Sky news C 4 STV or the state broadcaster ever acknowledged these or any of your previous points. Sky’s Faisal needs a wee bit of help he’s out of his depth presently.

    46. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Wait a minute! these polls are all wrong if UKIP makes dramatic gains from either labour or Tories. it is easy to say that they wont but in your analysis you have taken the big and small SNP gain but not factored in 50 UKIP MPs.”

      If UKIP get 50 MPs I will eat Dundee. However, the article plainly states it’s based on the Sky projection, which gives UKIP two.

    47. Desimond says:

      @Jimbo

      Sec of State for Scotland….Labour can give that to Lord Murphy on his exit from HofC and make him answerable to Stewart Hosie, ….its Sec of State for Defence we want 🙂

    48. gillie says:

      Looks like a SNP-Plaid Cymru-Greens anti-austerity block will hold the balance of power at Westminster.

    49. Author_al says:

      After reading Stu’s most excellent analysis I thought I would see what other analysts are thinking. This blog, from channel 4, seems to suggest that SNP Lab coalition is not favoured by Lab MPs. Unlike Stu, it is not backed up by figures, just opinion and hearsay. But it raises interesting questions as to how SNP play the next few months. They need a high number of MPs to put pressure on the Westminster establishment. I detect a hint of anti Scottish sentiment, wishing Scots to get back in their box. Sod that. ‘Know thy enemy’ is probably a good mantra for the days ahead.

      https://archive.today/i63kU

    50. SqueuedPerspextive says:

      @Dan Huil 10:38pm

      “Beware of posts “arguing” that any SNP representation at Westminster will be impotent to effect change at Westminster”

      Now, I am not saying this comment was aimed at me. Yesterday I was feeling quite despondent and questioned what was possible, for even a large return of SNP MPs. But nor was I trying to suggest voting for a Red or Blue Tory would have any use what-so-ever. rUK will vote for the govt as usual (as we can see from the Rev’s analysis above) – our best, indeed our only chance to weather the continuing mis-rule from London is to have a strong cohort of SNP. Labout puts Labour first, SNP puts Scotland first and is our only chance of getting any actual power in Scotland.

      Having said this I still think it is valid to ask for possible options…but maybe I am asking for the outcome of the football match when the teams are still being picked. Maybe it is too big a reach to ask for possibilities ?

    51. ronnie anderson says:

      Fur awe the polls n graphs in awe the wurld

      Frankly my dear I dont give ah Damm

      Noo the question is whit Poop deck wiz ah on when ah said that.

      Its all about getting feet on the ground, knocking every door,and information stall in every town/city.We have done it before, lets do it again.

      Btw there is no poopdeck on ma comical corical.

    52. Clootie says:

      ma heids hurtin’

    53. liz says:

      Papers such as the Guardian and Sky news might be trying to say, look if you vote Lab instead of SNP, Lab will have a majority.

      We need to keep pushing the message as was said earlier, a vote for the SNP is a vote for Scotland.

      Also someone else said that coalition governments hand power to the electorate – or at least some power – whereas large majorities hand power to the politicians.

      It used to be thought a large majority was a good thing but after Thatcher and Blair. hopefully folk will have learned their lesson

    54. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Stu ,please can we have some consensus on here….I support and am a member of the Scottish National Party…but I am not a ‘nat’….this is being used to denigrate (not by you); anyone supporting Scottish Independence.
      Insurgents,CyberNats these terms are used by our opponents as ‘untermensch’…we know where that one ended up.

    55. Tony Little says:

      Interesting analysis. For what it’s worth I can see some variations albeit without disturbing the overall concept.

      UKIP is doing well in some former Labour “North England” areas and as A2 suggests, it would not surprise me to see then make a few surprising gains there at Labour’s expense. Similarly, there are a number of marginal Tory constituencies that might “swing” to Labour due to a dilution of their core vote switching to UKIP as well. So the net impact on Labour might be almost neutral, perhaps net losses of 5/6 seats, but it would be the Tories losing up to 15 seats.

      I can not see the Greens making any more impact ans indeed I think they will struggle to retain the one MP they have. No reflection on their policies, just the vagaries of the FPTP system.

      The LibDem melt down should be more contained in the rUK (Scotland will probably only vote in 2/3) and they may do enough by careful targeting to retain 25-30 MPs overall.

      In Scotland, I do not think the polling will end up with the numbers we have now, and in fact anything in excess of 25 SNP MPs should be considered a major achievement. I suspect there is a lot of damage limitation going on here, with the polling numbers indicating an SNP “Yellowout” and anything less than 50 MPs to be portrayed as a “poor show” (yes I know the illogicality here, but we all know the MSM and the politics at play).

      So my own (Poor) prediction for Scotland would be:

      SNP = 35/38
      Labour = 18/20
      Tory = 1
      LibDem = 2/3

      UK wide (assumes “best” Scottish result for SNP):
      Lab = 293
      Con = 260
      LD = 28
      UKIP = 10
      SNP = 38
      NorIre = 18
      Others = 1

      All very much to play for

    56. dennis mclaughlin says:

      If nothing else was learned in last year’s Referendum process,it is patience..it is going to be a long ,hard road to Independence.
      All the speculation about coalitions multicoloured is great,but wouldn’t it be a great day to actually see the ScotLab Octupus removed once and for all from Scotland…for me that would be a fine 1st step.

    57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “3A’s got the SNP on 48.
      Did you mean ‘at Lab and Con expense’, or do I need to read it differently?”

      I had to adjust the numbers there because if the Lib Dems hold all their seats, that includes the 11 in Scotland so the SNP can’t possibly have 53.

    58. Robert Kerr says:

      Scottish Daily Mail headline re moving subs to Wales.

      see

      http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/11754126._MOD_looking_at_Milford_Haven_for_Trident_nuclear_submarines_fleet_/

      The games afoot folks!

    59. David Wardrope says:

      Looking at Skybet odds, they have UKIP comfortably odds on for 5 or more seats, and have Tories odds on to win most seats (5-1 to win overall majority?!) You certainly do get different vibes depending on where you decide to look.

    60. donald anderson says:

      I vote SNP because I want Independence, not because I give a jot about the shenanigans of the English Parlianent, or of their pretented party differences.

    61. Hoss Mackintosh says:

      @johhny

      Would that happen to be the same Peter Kellner (Head of YouGov) that appears to be married to Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, the Labour Party politician?

      Impartial commentator – not really!

    62. r esquierdo says:

      Westminster is controlled by the bankers who in turn are controlled by the Bilderbergs.The politicians at Westminster are at the beck and call of the money men and this has been the downfall of labour as we once knew them . The only way Scotland can rid themselves of the capitalist dictatorship that is Westminster is to win as many seats as possible in the 2016 Scottish elections and call another referendum.

    63. A (reluctant) Labour Member says:

      A national government would be disastrous for Labour, and for that reason I’d think it can be ruled out.

      A lot will be determined by what Nicola Sturgeon and her Westminster colleagues make their red lines. For example, putting a red line on Trident renewal might rule out coalition or confidence and supply to Labour. However, a national referendum on Trident renewal might be an interesting prospect?

    64. Robert Louis says:

      Well, thanks Rev for a pretty excellent analysis – the likes of which will never be printed in our so-called ‘Scottish’ newspapers (with the exception of The National, of course). It is clear, that a vote for the SNP will ensure Scotland’s voice is heard in the Westminster cesspit. SNP, Plaid and English/Welsh greens together could make a pretty solid voting block.

      In the run up to this campaign and the one the next year for the Scottish Parliament, more than ever we need a better balanced media. One such solution we now have is ‘The National’ newspaper. Whether it is perfect or not, it is all we have right now, so we seriously need to make sure we buy the thing. The more it sells, the stronger and more influential it will become. A small price to pay, to help end the pro unionist/anti Scotland press domination we currently have. It also has some excellent letters, writing and analysis, which helps add to the debate on devo max/independence.

      The Editor has shown he is listening to readers, so instead of griping on here about changes you would like, write to the newspaper. Perfect or not, just buy it, otherwise it will go 🙂

      http://www.thenational.scot/

    65. Proud Cybernat says:

      At the end of the day the Labour Party has failed–by a long, long way–the people in Scotland who supported it.

      It is time for a different approach; time to try something different; time to really rock the boat. The ‘vote Labour’ experiment has failed Scotland.

    66. The Man in the Jar says:

      Ian Davidson on TV yesterday said something similar to “Why would we (Labour) go into a partnership with the SNP. A party that is intent on embarrassing and defeating us” I had a laugh at the “embarrassing” bit you couldnae give them a red neck with a blowlamp. Anyway they are doing a good job of embarrassing themselves.

      A lot of folk second guessing second guesses this morning.
      “The future’s not our`s to see,
      whatever will be will be.
      Just put Scotland first,
      and vote SNP.” 😉

    67. HandandShrimp says:

      A Government of National Unity in peacetime would suggest that the economy is down the toilet. That the Conservative message is the exact opposite of this would make that subsequent position untenable. Such a government simply to block SNP MPs would be the path to splitting the UK…which…. 🙂

    68. Fred says:

      Danny Alexander had been shooting his mouth off at Holyrood saying that power is too centralised in Edinburgh and has to be devolved, having spent the past two years resisting devolving power from London.

    69. Robert Peffers says:

      Open your eyes folks. In reality the situation at present is that there is really only one party in Government at Westminster and that is how it always has been since the Kingdom of England first took control from the English monarchy and became a Constitutional Monarchy in 1688.
      They have changed party names and changed party positions on the political spectrum but in essence they were then, as now, “The Establishment”.

      This has always included the Lords, Established Church, Financial Sector, the Media and the Royalty. It is like every other union of humans that ever was, from the Garden of Eden onwards. One family there but in which Cain vs Able ended in grief. Every organisation humans set up contains within itself cliques. A Primary one school class will, within days, establish its own cliques.

      The English Establishment has cliques within itself too but will always unite together against the outsiders and those outsiders include the Welsh, that they annexed in 1284, and the Irish, annexed in 1542, but most of all the Scots who they could not annex so conned into, what was purported to be a Union, but is viewed by the Establishment as a successful English Kingdom takeover.

      Never forget what the sole Tory MP from Scotland let slip when he said, “The Union extinguished Scotland and renamed the Kingdom of England as, ‘The United Kingdom’. Yet the actual Treaty of Union wording says nothing even remotely like that. The Treaty is an agreement between only two, equally sovereign, Kingdoms and there is no mention in the Treaty of any of the four countries. Indeed neither Wales or Ireland were required to sign being part of the Kingdom of England.

      No matter what else the Establishment does within its own setup it will unite to oppose outsiders and, make no mistake we Scots are outsiders. The recent referendum campaign saw an instant uniting of not only the main United Kingdom Parties but the churches, media and even the Scottish members of the main Unionist parties.

      We are not fighting for freedom from Labour, Tory or LibDems – we fight the Establishment of England now sitting at Westminster as the de facto parliament of England and that includes Labour and LibDems branch offices in Scotland.

    70. Blair paterson says:

      I thought the snp wanted trident removed from Scotland ? Now it seems they are happy just to see it is not renewed,, all this talk about coalitions is a waste of time you will still have to play by their rules and they will make sure that you cannot won . The only way Scotland will get independence is obvious to me but I dare not say it as I would be banned from this site but I am sure I am not alone

    71. Robert Peffers says:

      @Paul Johnston says: 28 January, 2015 at 10:41 am:

      Wait a minute! these polls are all wrong if UKIP makes dramatic gains from either labour or Tories.

      Here’s a wee dose of reality for you, Paul.

      The good people of England have, between them, voted to elect the grand total of 2 UKIP Members of Parliament.

    72. ronnie anderson says:

      @ dennis mclaughlin I wear the Proud Cybernat badge presicly because it was lord Foulks who said that.

      It riles them when we turn their words back on them. I,m not a nat either,& we gave away 1000s of Cybernat Badges,people are proud to wear them.

    73. Macart says:

      Nice one Rev.

      I see that Ed Balls is stating that there will be no dealing with the SNP in the commons. Which, you know, seems fairly stupid and short sighted by Mr Balls. I’m fairly certain that in the instance of a tight commons the blue Tories will deal with pretty much anyone to form a government.

      Aaaand Mr Balls is saying effectively go right ahead we’d rather have another five years of Conservative government than deal with another party dedicated to social justice and left of centre politics.

      Has Mr Balls just laid the last tattered shred of Labour’s socialist credentials to rest with this statement?

    74. Embradon says:

      It appears that your “Scotland votes Labour” scenarios assume that Labour, as well as holding off SNP, take almost all the LibDem seats too. I doubt even #creepyjim in Daily Record Lalaland expects that

    75. YESGUY says:

      Outstanding piece Stu.

      I am quietly confident that an SNP majority will happen in Scotland. We have turned the corner from “voting labour to keep the tory’s out”.

      The younger voter has no loyalty to them. And they voted for YES in huge numbers. Oh, no doubt there will be hangers on but with the FPTP system they will eventually die out here. Happy days.

      Best read i have had all week. Stuart you put the MSM to shame with your work .

      Onwards and upwards folks.

      Vote SNP to give Scotland a voice. 🙂

    76. Chic McGregor says:

      @Illy

      “You’ve missed out one case:

      Lab/Con coalition.”

      Indyposterboy is already on the case.

      http://s3.spanglefish.com/s/26697/pictures/newposters/big/a4_torylabour.jpg

      How tongue-in-cheek that is remains to be seen

    77. Karmanaut says:

      We just bailed out the richest section of our society. You know, the guys who own the TV and newspapers that tells us who to hate? The guys who explains the situation around us as they see it and how we need to vote in order to make it better?

      Better for who, though? That’s the rub.

      It’s the same situation which has, in our lifetimes, made the UK one of the most unequal societies in the developed world.

      Now the same people are using the media they own to push austerity, which is “the poor should pay, not the rich”. Cut their dole. Selfish scroungers. Why should THEY get handouts for fags and boob jobs, when YOU get nothing?

      And both the Labour and the Tories are responding to this manufactured outrage, happy to ignore the fact that the money lost to welfare abusers is a tiny fraction of the money lost to tax avoidance by the wealthiest.

      Which is, of course, the whole point. It’s all about the money. We’re not giving our money up. Take it from them.

      That Labour and the Tories are inseperable on this issue tells you everything you need to know about Labour. It is no coincidence that they are hiring pro-war, pro-privatisation people.

      A vote for Labour today is a vote for the wealthy elite, and for a few career politicians who want to sit at the same table. A vote for Labour today is a knife in the back of the working class.

      I simply could not vote for them, as it would be morally reprehensible. But I have a chance, by voting SNP, to vote for Scotland. The more powers we can secure for Scotland, the less influence Westminster has on us. That’s good for us and, ultimately, for the rest of the UK. A strong Plaid/Green/SNP alliance at Westminster is our best and only defence.

    78. Onwards says:

      The problem is that the labour message in Scotland is very simple, even if it isn’t true.

      There are very few seats where a labour/snp split could let in the Tories.
      And in the current SNP seats, then voting labour could let in the Tories.

      But by aiming for a deal with labour, it indirectly endorses them.

      Perhaps the message should be about protecting Scotland against the red OR blue Tories.
      Making Scotland have some clout regardless of who gets in down south.

    79. Chris Downie says:

      I predict that UKIP will take a lot more votes from Labour than most people realise. I used to live in Heywood, Gtr. Manchester (one of those “monkey in a red rosette could get elected” places) and seeing a Labour majority of 15000 obliterated to 600 in the recent by-election was one hell of an eye-opener.

      While I think UKIP will struggle to get more than 6-8 seats themselves, they will likely damage Labour in marginal seats and let the Tories in. I think a Tory-UKIP coalition is a little early to happen this time (I think 2020 is a real possibility of that) but make no mistake, they can do real damage to Odd Milipede.

    80. De Valera says:

      There may well be a limit on what SNP MPs could achieve at Westminster, but the more we send then a constitutional question would arise. If there were 30 odd SNP members then it could be argued the unionist parties have no mandate to govern us.

      Of course the Tory parties could choose to ignore us but it would be an interesting position all the same.

      A brilliant article, however expect to be carpet bombed by Jim the Patriot and his pals at the BBC/STV/MSM spouting the same old “vote SNP get Cameron” garbage from now until May.

    81. A.N.Surgent says:

      I tend to see the con/lib/lab union like the three headed beast, cerebrus that guarded the entrance to hades, except this wastemonster beast is protecting the capitalist elite, the war industry,various war criminals and savages anyone that is against their neo-liberal utopia.

      Have to add though the middle head the libdem one is toothless.

    82. wee_monsieur says:

      Excellent work Stu. Hopefully the message can be spread far and wide.

    83. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Robert Peffers Liking your post Robert but you would think by now the Scottish people are aware of that, the Westminster Establishment of an hue are the enemy.

    84. BenInsular says:

      Not to prompt any complacency, but this article from the weekend’s Herald caught my eye:

      Top Scottish Labour official lays bare “pathetic” state of engagement with voters

      “SCOTTISH Labour bosses have drawn up a league table naming and shaming moribund local parties that are failing to contact enough voters ahead of the Westminster election.

      A leaked general election strategy paper shows that activists in fourteen seats, including key SNP targets in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, have been in touch with fewer than 100 voters.

      The hit list, produced by new general secretary Brian Roy, warns that election cash will only go to campaigns that work hard, saying: “Failure and inactivity won’t be rewarded.”
      http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/top-scottish-labour-official-lays-bare-pathetic-state-of-engagement-with-.116879378

      Of course, this is denied in the article, by an anonymous “Scottish Labour spokesperson”.

      So if I have this right, constituency parties that are currently demotivated and struggling will be scolded and deprived of campaigning resources, while those that are relatively active will be rewarded.

      Seems like a winning strategy: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

    85. Chic McGregor says:

      In my view, nearly all the alleged UKIP support will vote Tory, even a lot of ex Labour voters.

    86. Dan Huil says:

      Great news if Westminster shifts Trident to Wales. Westminster will be paying.

    87. Macart says:

      @ Robert Peffers

      Exactly so.

      Well said.

    88. Luigi says:

      The position of UKIP is, in one way at least, similar to that of the SNP in the 1970s – a party of protest, with no experience of power (or proven competence). We all know what happens to such parties during general elections (Squeeeeeeaze). UKIP supporters will do what they think is necessary to keep Milliband out of Downing Street.

      The current SNP, however, is a completely different beast. People are aware that the Red Tories care little for Scotland and there is an opportunity in May to send a decent number of MPs that will fight for more powers for Scotland. IMO people are realistic about what 30 SNP MPs can or cannot achieve at WM, but they want to know that, at least, they will be fighting every battle for Scotland (unlike the Red Tories).

    89. Robert Peffers says:

      @Blair paterson says:28 January, 2015 at 12:48 pm:

      “I thought the snp wanted trident removed from Scotland ?”

      Whatever makes you imagine they don’t?

      Now it seems they are happy just to see it is not renewed …”

      Can you provide a site for that claim, Blair? I cannot seem to find where the SNP make any such claim. Like myself, as long as we are still part of the Union, I want an instant commitment to stop funding this white elephant while we continue the fight to disunite the United Kingdom. At which point we can demand they pay us back our contribution towards the whole system and remove the system from Scottish territory with the proviso that if they refuse to compensate us for parking their WMDs on our territory we reserve the right to sell it to the highest bidder to recoup our losses.

    90. ronnie anderson says:

      @ blair patterson 12.48. There has been no change in SNP policy on Removal of Trident, not re-newing Trident makes it obsolete.

      Any talk of coalitions is Media spin ,no SNP MP/MSP has proposed a coalition with any other political party,what has been said is SNP will co-operate on a issue by issue basis NOT a coalition.

      do try to keepup auld boy, note I said keepup not keepyuppy.

    91. Macca73 says:

      Whilst I don’t think UKIP will win many seats I DO think that there’s a wind of change. I think the Green party will win more large seats in England just due to the people not wanting the status quo of the two party politics any longer. It’s all over the place, People want change!!

    92. frazer allan whyte says:

      The “concern trollers” make some reasonable sounding points that deserve a bit of consideration but they are missing the “elephant in the room” – if not the SNP who on earth will stand up for Scotland?

      Scotland rejects the Tories, has been abused by Labour for generations and lied to barefaced by the Liberals. You don’t have to be a political genius to realize or even like them a lot (I do though) that the SNP is the only sane choice. And if they are ignored or made irrelevant by the Westminister system that will be valuable too because it will be the last lesson ever taught by Westminster.

    93. Robert Peffers says:

      ronnie anderson says: 28 January, 2015 at 1:10 pm:

      ” … but you would think by now the Scottish people are aware of that, the Westminster Establishment of any hue are the enemy”

      Aye! Ronnie you would think so, but from reading the comments it is obvious the facts are still not coming to the front. The point my rather long winded posts try to highlight is that this elite ruling class thing has always been with us. It has always been them and us.

      Same applies to the belief that Income Tax is still the main tax. That hasn’t sunk in either. Nowadays the poorer folks pay indirect taxation and spend a greater percentage of their income on tax.

      It goes right through the whole rotten system. Here’s a wee example for you. If a poor guy gets a fine for illegal parking it could be the cost of either their next month’s heating bill or their food for a couple of weeks. The rich guy won’t even miss it as it comes out of his, “Disposable Income”. (That is the sum left after he has paid for his basic living costs and his tax). The poor guy has no disposable income – he/she needs every penny just to survive and he/she ends up at the food bank.

    94. ronnie anderson says:

      @The man in the Jar 12.36. The future’s not our`s to see,
      whatever will be will be.
      Just put Scotland first,
      and vote SNP.”
      shows potential as ah lyricist, name forwarded to Yew Choob lol.

    95. Macart says:

      @ ronnie

      He’ll go far with the right management. 🙂

    96. john king says:

      Dorothy Devine says
      “Wouldn’t that be luverly – we should lurve bomb them from Scotland!”

      Noo if only we had a Cairn. 🙂
      any ideas folks?

    97. gillie says:

      http://www.electionforecast.co.uk/

      Tories 284
      Labour 282
      SNP 33
      Lib Dems 27
      Other 24

      That magic number of 323 looks very hard to achieve, but it looks like the SNP are on course to be the third largest party.

    98. Nana Smith says:

      Two of Britain’s largest trade unions helped save the fracking industry from a ban on its activities that could have lasted for over two years.

      http://www.cityam.com/208130/unions-helped-save-fracking-ban

    99. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Chris Downie & a re-run of visits (Alex Salmond & Nicola Sturgeon ) across the Nth of England would put the tin hat on Labours chances.

    100. Chic McGregor says:

      I think William Duguid summed up the LibDem’s chances ammusingly.

      At least everyone is agreed on one point: a vote for the Lib Dems is the equivalent of setting fire to your ballot paper and dancing around it naked until men in white coats come to sedate you.

    101. jimnarlene says:

      A large phalanx of SNP MPs, is the only choice Scotland has, all other parties, except the greens and SSP, are Tories and anti-Scottish.

    102. macnakamura says:

      Hoss Mackintosh says:
      28 January, 2015 at 12:18 pm
      @johhny

      Would that happen to be the same Peter Kellner (Head of YouGov) that appears to be married to Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, the Labour Party politician?
      ===========
      Is that the same Catherine Ashton who was Foreign Minister for EU and who has never ever stood for election to anything?

      Yes.

    103. desimond says:

      @A.N.Surgent

      Cerberus guards the entrance of the underworld to prevent the dead from escaping and the living from entering. In most art works, the three heads respectively see and represent the past, the present, and the future

      Well that 3rd head is looking pretty dead in the eyes right now!
      🙂

    104. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Robert Peffers I think we,re all aware of Indirect Taxation,as is always the case Income Tax is to the fore in the Media,as with Disposable Income we,re well aware of that & are reminded constantly when our pockets dont jingle.

    105. A.N.Surgent says:

      Desimond

      Didnt know that`s what the heads represented. Blind to the past, oblivious to the present and dead in the future. 🙂

    106. Nana Smith says:

      As we are discussing the election.

      TUSC is fielding 100 MP candidates & upto 1000 council candidates in biggest wclass anti austerity challenge since WWII.

      can be seen at…

      rt.com/shows/going-underground/226935-us-uk-racism-syriza/

    107. Nana Smith says:

      Reminder- Fergus Ewing makes a statement in parliament re fracking at 2.40

    108. manandboy says:

      Strictly O/T Apologies Stu but been tuned into The Parliament where Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Angela Constance MSP is answering questions.

      First is the Cabinet Secretary’s habit of punctuating her speaking
      with very frequent use of ‘eh’ and ‘ehm’.
      In my mind, it gives a poor impression,
      particularly when the Minister’s brief is Education and Lifelong Learning.
      But more importantly, it makes it difficult to understand what she is in fact trying to say. Gender balancing is one thing, but in this instance, it has overridden sound judgement.

      My second point is that she has arrived in Chamber looking as if she has not had time to complete her dress requirements, with her dress unbuttoned at the left shoulder and flopped down. Or is that called ‘style’.

      http://www.scottishparliament.tv

    109. Luigi says:

      dennis mclaughlin says:

      All the speculation about coalitions multicoloured is great,but wouldn’t it be a great day to actually see the ScotLab Octupus removed once and for all from Scotland…for me that would be a fine 1st step.

      I think many people share this sentiment. In addition to the cold dish of revenge, people now realise that the Red Tory Party is the last big obstacle to independence in Scotland. It has to be neutered. The red tories still hold considerable sway with a large number of older people in Scotland, but thankfully that number continues, slowly but surely, to get smaller. I’m not sure when it will happen, but it will eventually – when their core support falls to 20% in Scotland, it’s all over for the union (regardless of how much or how little influence the SNP have at WM in 100 days time.

    110. gillie says:

      Four latest polls (YouGov, ComRes, Survation) have the Tories with a 1 point lead over Labour.

    111. kininvie says:

      If the SNP happen to hold the balance of power, they can sit and wait for the offers to flow in, knowing they don’t have to accept any of them. The one requirement for them to take to Westminster is a long spoon – they will be supping with people who don’t actually give a damn what is in the interests of Scotland – only how little they have to concede in order to be able to rule…

      Having seen what happened to the LibDems, I imagine the SNP will regard any coalition as potentially toxic. That said, if the Tories (eg) sidle up with a devo max settlement plus a written constitution as a cast iron promise there could be some agonising choices.

      Remember Alex said that he would be happy for the SNP to disappear overnight in exchange for independence. Could/would/should the party sacrifice itself for the sake of devo max?

    112. A.N.Surgent says:

      Is that guy for real labour tried to quicken process of devolved powers on fracking. Devolved powers for labour councils not for Scots gov. These labour c*nts are beyond words.

    113. Craig P says:

      Someone may have already made this point, but the English electorate just won’t swallow a Lab/Con coalition. The only situation I can see it working in is if UKIP make major seat gains in England.

    114. Fred says:

      Thanks for that Nana, so looking forward to Alexander being awarded the order of the boot!

    115. Nana Smith says:

      @Fred

      This from the herald….

      THE Lib Dem have been accused of a “desperate ploy” to defend a key Scottish seat after hinting they will grant Inverness a £300million development deal before the election.

      The Highland capital – part of Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander’s constituency – has been seeking a City Deal for more than a year.

      Can you smell Danny boy’s desperation?

    116. Robert Louis says:

      Make no mistake, if the SNP do moderately well in the UKGE, and they hold the balance of power as 3rd largest party, then they will not need to go begging for offers to work with parties, especially Labour. If it meant doing a vote by vote deal plus full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, then make no mistake Miliband will be banging on Nicola’s door demanding to speak with her.

      At the end of the day several hundred Labour MP’s from England will give little thought for ‘Scottishy Labour’, or indeed for Scotland, in such circumstances. Given that in such circumstances Labour will have almost no Labour MP’s left in Scotland, they will have nothing to lose. They will insist that Miliband offers whatever is required to ‘the nats’, to secure power. Indeed, in my opinion, nothing less than full fiscal autonomy with Scottish parliamentary sovereignty should be the MINIMUM price extracted by the SNP.

      People posting here worried, seem to have forgotten what actually drives the Labour party – getting control in Westminster. They would, in a flash, sell their collective grannies’ souls to beelzebub himself, if it meant a ministerial mondeo.

      Never underestimate the corrupted depravity of Labour.

    117. HandandShrimp says:

      I’m pleased to see that Holyrood has announced a moratorium on fracking.

      I’m sure Morphy will be claiming it as his idea by tea time.

    118. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Kininvie
      “Remember Alex said that he would be happy for the SNP to disappear overnight in exchange for independence. Could/would/should the party sacrifice itself for the sake of devo max?”

      Nicola is First Minister now,she would not go down that cul-de-sac.

    119. Cag-does-thinking says:

      I saw the YouGov guy on TV news the other night and thought it was a blantant attempt to link support for Labour in Scotland with the only possibility of Labour making a government being if they take the seats expected to go to the SNP. He seemed quite naked in his bias towards Labour so it comes as no surprise that he is married to a senior Labour figure.

      I have been surprised at how consistent the television media are about how the figures are likely to work out. In a guess situation they seem to have pretty much the same guess which isn’t good news for UKIP as it has them on 2 or 3 nor Lib Dems and recognises that the SNP are going to do well. Fingers crossed it works out that way.

    120. Robert Peffers says:

      @A.N.Surgent says:28 January, 2015 at 2:31 pm:

      “Didnt know that`s what the heads represented. Blind to the past, oblivious to the present and dead in the future.

      I couldn’t make out whether you were talking about Cerberus, the Hound guarding the entrance of the Underworld of Hades or the Labour Party guarding the entrance for the Establishment into the Westminster underworld.

      Cerberus was always employed as Hades’ loyal watchdog, and guarded the gates that granted access and exit to the underworld but for some time now Scottish Labour have been guarding Westminster for the Tory Party.

    121. fermerfaefife says:

      A large block of SNP MP’s – no lose situation. If tories manage to form a govt then hey ho welcome the EU in/out referendum…. a magic chance to put indyref back on agenda.
      If dead Ed needs SNP then they will be beating at the door. Much consternation in Englandshire at SNP propping up govt – so Ed can offer full fiscal autonomy to sort out the EVEL question and cut the Jocks loose. – As we say on here often enough, he doesn’t rely on scots mps to win a majority. When labour has a majority it almost always has a majority in England anyway.
      I think the trident issue may not go away though and that might have wee niccy backed in a corner when thrashing out a deal.
      For me its full fiscal first and worry about trident after.
      exciting times

    122. Robert Peffers says:

      @kininvie says:28 January, 2015 at 2:55 pm:

      “… Could/would/should the party sacrifice itself for the sake of devo max?”

      The SNP as a party is not dependant upon any particular leaderships beneficence to continue. It is a member up party not a leadership down party. As a Government they are led by the elected members but those members must be chosen as candidates by their branch.

      While any particular candidate may go it will be up to the branch who, if anyone, should replace them. In view of the current swelling numbers of membership there is little fear they may disappear overnight.

    123. A.N.Surgent says:

      Robert Peffer

      In an earlier post thats basically what I was saying lib/lab/con, the guard dog of the elite. Just different heads on the same beast. The one party state.

    124. A.N.Surgent says:

      Sorry Robert should be Peffers 🙁

    125. Chitterinlicht says:

      Very good

      Thing is I would be as unhappy with the SNP supporting Ed Miliband as i would David Cameron.

      This will be difficult to play out successfully for the SNP but not sure what else to do. Will be voting SNP

    126. Gary says:

      Strange how none of the ‘analysts’ have analysed the potential outcomes like this. Interesting to note how none have picked up on a Tory Party getting more than Labour still couldn’t get in, well unless Labour actually refused to ally itself with SNP, as the BBC claimed Balls said

    127. Bramble says:

      Nice analysis Rev, I suppose there is one caveat where a small SNP number of seats could make labour the largest party and thus in pole position to form a coalition with libs where a larger snp presence could deprive them of that. I don’t want the former to happen but it’s a theoretical possibility. I think the analysis is complete when we admit its possibility, point out how unlikely it is (based on past precedent and the number of ‘OTHERS’ and finally how it would be useless for scotland anyway as lab/lib would ignore Scotland as they have done in terms of home rule delivery.but this is the scenario skeletor and his ilk are trying to sell that’s all

    128. Although I look forward to the SNP cleaning up at the GE, I feel somewhat nervous at the prospect of them having to operate within the corridors of Whitehall and Westminster. To say they would be on ‘enemy’ territory is not an ill-judged statement.

      Westminster exists to protect and preserve the Establishment. The Unionist parties may yell and yah-boo at each other using the time-honoured decorum of public school debating societies, but they know how to close ranks and make things difficult when they ‘spy strangers’ in their camp.

      Traps will be set and the media will be expected to play their part in undermining the SNPs validity. We are only too familiar with the way the game of ‘truth and lies’ is played out here in Scotland.

    129. Muscleguy says:

      Garry you are wrong and you don’t understand how confidence and supply agreements work. The NZ Greens operated a confidence and supply only agreement for three successive parliaments to give a Labour (different animal there) coalition a working majority. Each time they extracted policies they wanted as the price of that support.

      You also underestimate how much politicians want power. Clegg did a deal with the devils to get those ministerial Jags. Many in Labour are anti Trident at base and would jump at a chance to cancel it. Many senior military people would also cheer, even the Navy who would rather have those Type 26’s and two working carriers than Trident subs. Much more useful for actually swaggering around the world. Carrier battlegroups are where it’s at. This idea that the establishment is absolutely pro Trident is hogwash in reality. Given a real choice and especially if it can be spun as ‘forced’ they will jump at it while complaining loudly. As they did with the Megrahi release.

      Also since Westminster despite 5 years of coalition government has still not got cross floor collaboration and the creation of coalitions of the willing to get particular pieces of legislation through. Those minority Labour governments in NZ passed a genuinely innovative Civil Partnership scheme for everyone, not just the gays that replaced civil marriage and Legalised prostitution.

      So given that, at WM a minority Labour govt would be beholden on the SNP to get bills through as the other parties will be reflexively tribal, as will Labour.

      They didn’t have a formal agreement but between 2007 and 2011 the SNP needed Tory votes to get their budgets through the parliament and the Tories got some policies through as their price for that support. Either Labour or the LibDems could have done the same, could have competed to get their policies through but they didn’t. The LibDem’s principle much bandied at WM that they were required to support the biggest party didn’t work at Holyrood in 2007. Political principles are like that, as we saw with the FibDems and ‘Not top-down reorganisation of the NHS’ from Cameron.

      So you cannot pretend that the policies you are citing are as set in stone as you want. That is the strawman in your argument. When power is at offer all bets are off. Which is why a LabCon pact is not impossible either.

    130. Will Podmore says:

      Your SCENARIO 1B – same, but Scotland votes Labour
      Lab 329
      Con 270
      SNP 6
      LD 20
      Other 20
      You claim that this gives Labour a fragile absolute majority of 6.
      270+6+20+20=316
      Which = a Labour majority of 13, not 6.
      The more seats the SNP wins at the expense of Labour, the more likely the Tories are to win. Is that what you want?

    131. Fred says:

      @ Will Podmore, frankly there’s not a cigarette paper between the blue & red Tories.

    132. Will Podmore says:

      So Fred, in the name of social progress for Scotland, is quite happy to consign Scotland, England and Wales to five more years of Tory rule.
      On SCENARIO 2B –
      Lab 317
      Con 282
      SNP 6
      LD 20
      Other 20
      – Stu claims that a Labour coalition with the Lib Dems would have a majority of 14.
      317+20=337
      282+6+20=308.
      Which = a majority of 29, not 14.
      If the SNP backed Labour, Labour’s majority would rise to 41.
      On his SCENARIO 3A –
      Con 270
      Lab 250
      SNP 48
      LD 57
      Other 20
      He claims Con/Lib coalition has a majority of four (327).
      270+57=327
      250+48+20=318
      which = a majority of 9, not 4.
      His SCENARIO 4A –
      Lab 270
      Con 250
      SNP 48
      LD 57
      Other 20
      He claims Labour majority of five with Lib Dem support (327).
      270+57=327
      250+48+20=318
      which = a majority of 9, not 5.
      He claims that under this scenario, the Tories can’t form a majority.
      But Con 250 + LD 57 + Other 20 = 327, as against Lab 270 + SNP 48 = 318.
      Which is a Tory-led majority of 9.
      His SCENARIO 4B –
      Lab 312
      Con 250
      SNP 6
      LD 57
      Other 20
      He claims Labour majority of 47 with Lib Dem support (369).
      312+57=369
      250+6+20=276
      which = a majority of 93, not 47.
      So Stu’s sums are wrong in 5 cases.
      Stu concludes, “And what that range of outcomes reveals is that right across the board, there’s no situation where voting SNP lets the Tories in.”
      But this is proven false by a correct analysis of his Scenario 4A.
      Across Britain, the fewer seats Labour wins in total, the more likely the Tories are to win.

    133. Paula Rose says:

      Will darling – please learn how to use the various tools at your disposal –

      That last comment was not very easy to comprehend.

    134. Stephen Armstrong says:

      I would ask readers not to believe the British media hype and propaganda regarding a projected SNP landslide. This will be the narrative fed to us in the coming weeks and months.

      The SNP’s share of the vote will rise throughout Scotland, but will not be translated into more MP’s.

      Labour will retain their seats, but with reduced majorities. In some constituencies the SNP/Yes Alliance will come close, but not close enough.

      Remember….the British core vote in Scotland is far too strong and determined, ignore these voters at your peril.

      Do not….I repeat…Do not fall into the BRITISH TRAP!

    135. Will Podmore says:

      An SNP surge across Scotland would hand David Cameron the keys to 10 Downing Street on May 7, according to the most detailed General Election analysis to date. In a new discussion paper, Professor Richard Rose of Strathclyde University predicts sweeping gains for the SNP at Labour’s expense. Combined with a strong vote for UKIP and the Greens down south, and the collapse of the Lib Dems, he suggests the final result will leave the Conservatives with about 292 seats and Labour on around 273. The surge in SNP support creates a barrier to Labour’s getting more than 280 seats.
      So Professor Rose completely refutes Wings’ contention that voting SNP won’t assist the Tories.

    136. macdscot says:

      Total crock of shit!
      Fundamental false assumption that the Tories will be ahead by May. As Michael Portilo said on Thursday the trouble for the Tories is that the polls are stubbornly not moving!
      Secondly,on 33% each, that delivers Labour 50 more seats than the Tories.
      And no-one, repeat no-one, who predicts these things actually believes that the SNP will rout Labour! Yes there will be gains, but certainly not on the scale the simplistic polls suggest. My prediction is for the SNP to win 22 seats, leaving Labour still the largest party in Scotland and comfortably the largest single party at Westminster. Further,that would allow them to form a government on the basis of support from both the SDLP,who take the Labour Whip anyway and the Libdems with whom they have a 70% policy compatibility
      Let me be clear, the Labour Party has stated that there will be no agreement of any kind with the SNP. Rather they will exclude the SNP from any role in the government of the UK. As would the Tory Party

      You are a manipulativr little toe rag willfully misrepresenting the truth in fantasy wish fulfilment mode
      .Your analysis is without basis and integrity and designed to fool the deluded. On the other hand not only is my prediction much more fact based and accurate but comes from someone experienced in these matters who accurately predicted the referendum result 18 months in advance and again on September 16th whilst you and others were peddling the deliberate lies of a Yes victory!
      You were an irrelevant little lying shit then and nothing has changed!
      The people deserve better and that is precisely why independence was rejected and the SNP will be rejected in May
      The Pro-union majority remains determined to consign both you and the SNP to the dustbin of history!



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