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In the discussion thread: UK Parties: The SNP & Plaid Cymru [View all]

Response to T_i_B (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:25 AM

15. I think you'll know me well enough by now to know that I shy away from making electoral predictions!

The key question on all pundits' lips is whether the SNP can match the 56 out of 59 MPs it won in the last election, or even surpass it. Talk about a high bar, and possibly a hiding to nothing! Given the massive swings to the SNP in the last Westminster election, we could see some wacky stats on election night. The chances are that any result will be portrayed by the media as "a blow to Sturgeon/the SNP".

The election here's shaping up to be framed as independence versus (UK) unionism, complicated to some extent by the dynamics of Brexit.

The Tories under Ruth Davidson, Labour and the Lib Dems have been hammering this even during the run-up to the local government elections. As for Davidson herself - for a while a media darling, with the hype extending to seeing a prominent party role for her at UK level - the shine has been coming off quickly among all but hardline unionists. She made a national name for herself as an eloquent Remainer (and a racy speaker who often titillated old Tories) in the Brexit referendum. Now she's a firm backer of May's agenda, down to the revolting "rape clause", for which she was pilloried from all quarters at Holyrood the other day. So much for principle.

Labour are continuing to maunder on under Kezia Dugdale, with weak, unclear and vacillating policy positions beyond the usual "SNP bad" and pro-Unionism. It's to be hoped this will be Dugdale's last election, as it's just getting embarrassing now, even for her political opponents.

One interesting development is that the Scottish Greens' co-convenor, Patrick Harvey, has announced that they won't be standing a candidate in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, the constituency narrowly held in the last election by Scotland's sole Tory MP David Mundell, who was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland by default, and has proven a Mayite lackey to the extreme. This will give the SNP a clearer run at the seat, and Mundell's an obvious main target for them.

Pro-Union/anti-SNP tactical voting will make the results very difficult to poll and predict, but there are very few constituencies where there's a clear runner-up to the SNP to serve as a focus for such votes. The Tories were strongly flattered by the D'Hondt PR system in the last Scottish parliamentary elections, surpassing Labour as the second largest party at Holyrood. They won't have that advantage this time.

It's even more a crunch election here than in the rest of the UK. Not only does the likely course to a second indyref hinge on it, with Brexit a key focus, but so does the raft of powers devolved to Holyrood - the Great Repeal Bill and its aftermath would, if things go as planned, allow the Tories to rewrite the UK's whole constitutional settlement with little or no parliamentary scrutiny, including the devolved assemblies and the Scottish Parliament. It's easy to imagine that they'd use the opportunity to strip away Holyrood's influence and power. Whether they'd go so far as to abolish Holyrood is up for question. I guess it depends how big a fight they're willing to pick.

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
T_i_B Apr 2015 OP
Ghost Dog Apr 2015 #1
T_i_B Apr 2015 #2
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #3
T_i_B Apr 2015 #4
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #5
T_i_B Apr 2015 #11
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #13
LeftishBrit Apr 2015 #6
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2015 #7
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #8
LeftishBrit Apr 2015 #12
MisterP Apr 2015 #9
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #10
T_i_B Apr 2017 #14
LineLineNew Reply I think you'll know me well enough by now to know that I shy away from making electoral predictions!
Denzil_DC Apr 2017 #15
T_i_B Apr 2017 #16
Denzil_DC Apr 2017 #17
T_i_B Apr 2017 #18
T_i_B Oct 2019 #19
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #20
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