Thursday, 5 March 2015

Tidal Wave or Tsunami?

In case you may have missed it, Tory peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft released more poll results yesterday. His last polls in Scotland set the heather on fire by suggesting that there was a swing in voting intentions for the Westminster elections of more than 25% towards the SNP. These polls were taken mainly in Scottish  marginal constituencies and where voting in last years referendum had shown high levels of YES voting. It showed that 15 out of 16 were likely to be taken by the SNP - a result which if reflected across all Scottish constituencies would almost wipe out the traditional Labour vote and its dominant representation at Westminster. In the likely event of a hung parliament this significantly increases the influence that SNP MP's might have over national policy as they wring increased concessions on devolved power promised but baulked at through THE VOW and the Smith Commission proposals.

This month he's followed up by polling a smaller number of constituencies thought to be strongholds of establishment parties, where there were predominantly high levels of NO votes during the referendum. This shows that, unexpectedly, the swing towards SNP voting intentions is equally as strong in those constituencies as elsewhere and that even strongholds held for generations in some cases are either likely to fall or are on such a  knife edge as to be unpredictable. Of the eight constituencies polled six are likely to go to SNP with swings equal or even greater than in those weaker seats. Of eight seats covered by this latest exercise, five are in Labour held seats where the Yes side lost – Ayr, Dumfries, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh SW, and Kirkcaldy.  He finds that the SNP are ahead in four of them, including in Gordon Brown’s Kirkcaldy seat, which had the second largest Labour lead over the SNP in 2010. Only in Jim Murphy’s East Renfrewshire seat are Labour put narrowly ahead – by a statistically insignificant one point. In fact the greatest swing recorded in any poll so far, 28.5% to SNP, shows in Gordon Brown's constituency. In short, the SNP tide appears to be more or less every bit as strong in No voting Labour areas as it was previously shown to be in Yes voting ones.

Meanwhile, if the Conservatives think they can afford to gloat about Labour’s troubles, they should think again. For, as some projections from Scotland wide polls have suggested, the SNP advance could also sweep away the only Tory seat north of the border. Lord Ashcroft has also polled in David Mundell’s Dumfriesshire seat, and here too the SNP vote is apparently up by as much as 23 points. Together with a four point drop in Mr Mundell’s support, this means the Tories and the SNP are estimated to be tied on 34% each. Another seat too close to call.

Voting intentions may change by the election but there's a sweeping move away from that two party hegemony so entrenched for so long. The SNP is set to become the third biggest party in the UK. Not bad when they can be voted for by only 8% of the UK population The Lib-Dems look almost certain to lose every seat apart from Orkney and Shetland. That explains then why both Labour and Tory parties have been desperately repeating ad nauseam that " A vote for the SNP is a vote for Tory or Labour", depending on which fearful mouth it trips from.  If the almost rabid hatred of the SNP displayed in recent rhetoric is played out in Parliament and results in Scotland or her elected representatives being seen to be disadvantaged or treated unjustly the consequences back here could be so anti-Unionist that Tory and particularly Labour, would almost certainly lose any hope of regaining any increased vote here for the foreseeable future at least and could possibly tip the scales in favour of another referendum with probable independence the result.

That raises the question of: Would that truly matter to the Tories? Are just too troublesome? Independence would actually make absolute Tory power in England that more certain and make governing the rest of the UK much simpler.. {Remember however Scotland votes, the UK gets the government England votes for} That would then beg the question of English Tories: What's more important to you - The Union or The Power? I'd put a bet on The Power almost any day of the week.

I feel a wee porage might be in order........

1 comment:

  1. Hari OM
    ...a little nuts and raisins with your oats, sir? &*> Yes, saw the results announcement. Scotland has drawn her breath and had time to think a bit more deeply... YAM xx


Feel free to leave a message. I don't expect everyone to agree but if you can't be nice you'd better be polite to get your comment published. Thank you for taking the time to comment.