Friday, June 9, 2017

Putting the SNP's latest landslide victory into historical perspective

I don't know about anyone else, but I punched the air when Stephen Gethins won the final Scottish seat by just two votes.  In spite of the recounts and the relentless optimism of SNP supporters on social media, I had almost given up on that one, because the Liberal Democrats were reported to be anything between one and three votes ahead, and recounts so rarely reverse the original result even when it's that tight.  Psychologically it was an important win - it meant the SNP outperformed the original exit poll prediction (albeit only just), and probably outperformed Nicola Sturgeon's own expectations even at quite an advanced stage of the night, when she told David Dimbleby she expected to finish with "a little over 30" seats.

It also means the SNP have taken roughly 60% of the seats in Scotland.  For the avoidance of doubt, a result like that can quite properly be called a landslide victory.  Here's how it compares with various historical landslides at UK-wide level...

2017 (SNP landslide, Scotland only) :

SNP 59.3%
All other parties 40.7%

1945 (Attlee landslide) :

Labour 61.4%
All other parties 38.6%

1959 (Macmillan landslide) :

Conservatives 57.9%
All other parties 42.1%

1966 (Wilson landslide) :

Labour 57.8%
All other parties 42.2%

1983 (Thatcher landslide) :

Conservatives 61.1%
All other parties 38.9%

1987 (Thatcher landslide) :

Conservatives 57.8%
All other parties 42.2%

1997 (Blair landslide) :

Labour 63.4%
All other parties 36.6%

2001 (Blair landslide) :

Labour 62.5%
All other parties 37.5%

Even the SNP's popular vote share of 37% compares favourably with some previous UK majority governments - it's identical to the mandate received by the Tories in 2015, and on which they've been governing us over the last two years.  It's also better than the 35% mandate on which Labour governed for a full five-year term between 2005 and 2010.

*  *  *

I'm beginning to have my doubts about whether there's going to be another election any time soon.  The polling companies will doubtless hold yet another inquiry, and will presumably this time move methodology in a much more Labour-friendly direction, with less aggressive turnout weighting from the likes of ICM and ComRes.  That makes it significantly less likely that a Tory Prime Minister will be able to convince herself or himself that a snap election is winnable on the basis of the polling evidence.  We could be in for a John Major-style scenario where a weak Tory government holds on for grim death over a period of years, while being ground down by defeats in by-elections and being constantly held to ransom by extremist backbenchers and Northern Ireland unionists.  In fact, it'll be even worse this time, because at least John Major had a small majority to play with.

*  *  *

As some of you may have seen, I took part in Independence Live's election show last night.  The whole thing (six hours' worth!) is available to watch HERE - I'm on about 58 minutes in.

59 comments:

  1. On the face of it the SNP qon the election in Scotland but they must be disappointed losing 21 seats and a number of big beasts.
    I don't think any party in Scotland won over 50% in any seats and most are marginals.The amount of miss information flying about last night was unreal. The P and J were saying Robertson Salmond and Craig were all all expected to win. It was a bad night for the SNP but made slightly better by the fact T May lost her majority.

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    1. The gathering stormJune 9, 2017 at 5:03 PM

      "On the face of it the SNP qon the election in Scotland"

      If you actually mean going by the verifiable numbers and basic maths then yes indeed.

      If you mean from the westminster bubble media spin then of course not. Whether we got 30 40 or 50 would have made no difference whatsoever to how they 'reported' it.

      For sure we lost some extremely capable parliamentarians and put a hell of a lot of hard work into the GE that just didn't pay off in some places. A very sad loss and heartbreaking for some very good and decent people. There will be a lot of work done now to help those who campaigned so hard and those who deserve far better than Davidson's 'no surrender' gaggle of BritNats and Dugdale's taxi full of Red Tory Blairites.

      However, we are hardly going to implode spectacularly like the tories are. Nor will we forever wonder what could have been if the Blairites and SLAB hadn't put the boot into Corbyn every chance they got like Labour will.

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  2. Bumblefuck Brexit and the kipper tory incompetentsJune 9, 2017 at 4:49 PM

    Robert Hutton‏ @RobDotHutton 24 minutes ago

    Graham Brady, asked about May's Downing St statement: "I think the PM might be doing some more broadcasting this evening."

    Why stick with one hilariously incompetent leader when the tories have dozens of incompetents to choose from?

    Couldn't be worse than May though, surely?

    *looks at tory front benches* *laughs*

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  3. Clearly you expect this kind of pro-SNP spin on here, but if we want to step into reality for a minute it's obvious that the second referendum has created ill-feeling and that Labour and the Tories have managed to capitalise on it. You have to recognise where you've gone wrong if you want to learn from it and just pretending everything is ticking along nicely after a result like this is complete nonsense in all honesty.

    The 2015 result was historic. There was always going to be a step back from that, but nobody associated with the party expected that step back to go as far as it did. And the question now is where to go from here: it could in theory get a lot worse for the SNP very quickly if there is another election (but I do agree there probably won't be).

    There has absolutely been a shift in opinions in the last few months. You can see it in the polls, you can feel it anecdotally when you speak to people, you can see it in the result yesterday. It's happening and I'd suggest it's a better approach to try and understand why rather than reeling off some happy clapper absurdities to try and make everyone feel better about the situation.

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    1. To be honest, I find that quite offensive. You're entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. In this blogpost, I've simply presented hard facts and numbers - feel free to ignore them if you want, but don't lash out because you don't want to hear them.

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    2. I would agree that there was an element on anti-indyref voting going on but more likely the country is just aligning to 2014. However, I think the big factor for seat losses was Corbyn. It looks like there was a straight switch from SNP to Labour, which has absolutely nothing to do with Scottish Labour or the Indy Ref. I can speak anecdotally on that one as several of my Yes/SNP facebook friends started sharing pro-Corbyn posts in the final days. The media narrative of May Vs Corbyn seems to have paid off.

      You then have to add in the fact that the weather was horrific yesterday and turnout was down on 2015. Tories always get their voters out and a lot vote by postal. This will have hurt the SNP. The SNP also didn't do much to enthuse their Yes vote to come out for them or vote for them, whether that was a good strategic decision will be for them to work out now.

      It looks like the SNP have just had a bad day this time around.

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    3. Clearly you expect this kind of pro-SNP spin on here, but if we want to step into reality for a minute it's obvious that the second referendum has created ill-feeling and that Labour and the Tories have managed to capitalise on it.

      Once again, the SNP *won a majority of seats* despite the unrelenting anti-SNP media and free pass given to the other parties on a "No to Indyref2" ticket. How much of this is genuine resentment - keeping in mind that the people of Scotland voted the SNP into the Scottish Parliament by a historic percentage *including the possibility of an indyref in the case of Brexit* - and how much of it simply the loud unionist vote being given a broadcasting voice?

      The SNP have to own their failure in this campaign, no doubt, but if *you'd* like to step into reality for a moment: if the SNP are seen even for a moment to cool on independence, then not only would the UK parties pounce on it in gleeful triumph, but the pro-indy electorate will be utterly demoralised. What would be the point of voting SNP if Nicola Sturgeon announced she was putting indyref2 on the backburner? She'd be vindicating everything the Unionists have been saying, a gift to the UK cause.

      For all the talk of people suggesting the "threat" of indyref2 is what hurt the SNP this election, I'd say it's equally likely that the hardcore Yessers simply weren't galvanised enough to vote for them. That, and the fact that the Tories targeted the SNP: why did several SNP stalwarts lose their seats, yet not a single Labour "big beast" did? The Tories thought they had England in the bag, and so concentrated their assault on Scotland.

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    4. I don't have a problem with the SNP raising the prospect of another independence referendum after brexit; after all Davidson and company told us that we had to vote against independence to stay in the EU. As for ill-feeling, what was Nicola Sturgeon supposed to do after Scotland voted against leaving the EU? It would have been an abdication of leadership in those circumstances to have sat back and done nothing like the unionists did.

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    5. Coalition of CatastropheJune 9, 2017 at 6:21 PM

      It was indeed a bad day for some good people but we unquestionably won the election in scotland and still have more MPs than all the other parties combined.

      There isn't a party in scotland who wouldn't bite your hand off if they could have won as many MPs as we did yesterday.

      So it's only right not to take too much notice of the immediate faux concern and amusingly pompous doomsaying. Nor the mystic meg precognitive entrail sniffing after the fact. There's nothing there to notice so far anyway. No deep thought, no hard-headed strategy, no particular insight.

      We'll take stock now just as we should. So unless you're a foaming at the mouth BritNat yoon the measured and thoughtful response this morning from the First Minister seemed appropriate and will be carried through to every constituency when they also fully assess the night.

      Thing is, we can actually turn on a TV, Radio or the internet and see precisely what a full-scale polictical hypershambles looks like and it looks very like a tory party imploding and eating itself.

      Yet again.

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    6. There isn't a party in scotland who wouldn't bite your hand off if they could have won as many MPs as we did yesterday.

      I'm sure everyone would love the same number of seats the Tories got in the UK as a whole. Doesn't mean they did well.

      Delete
    7. That's not a fair comparison. Theresa May called this election with the specific aim of not just winning, but dramatically increasing her majority. That's why it's possible to objectively say she failed.

      Delete
  4. As far as an early Election goes what about the EU dimension ?.
    The EU have already said they won't start negotiations unless there is a stable government.
    How can they complete complex negotiations with the current omnishambles ?

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  5. Thanks for this perspective today, when many of us are still suffering from 'morning after the night before'. The loss of some of our star performers, particularly to third rate chancers, is a bitter pill to swallow at this juncture.

    Of course, it won't prevent the Unionist parties with fewer seats between them than the SNP asserting 'independence is dead' & the Scottish media reporting the result as 'SNP honeymoon (finally) over', but your post provides some invaluable cooler pause for reflection.

    I tend to agree that there won't be another GE any time soon - the Tories won't risk it, yet. She's certainly indicated she intends to limp on, at least until the inevitable leadership challenge. In the meantime, the really terrifying prospect is what WON'T May concede to keep the DUP on side. Bad news if you're a NI non-Unionist, LGBT, equal marriage supporter, pro-choice, pro-EU or, indeed, support Scottish independence.

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  6. In my opinion there was a different campaign in the MSM compared to online. Is this the election that the new online campaigning shifted more votes? Younger voters got caught up in the 'Corbyn Surge' and some older ones to. More resources to be used online in future?

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    1. A lot of money is needed for that kind of campaign. Rumour has it the SNP was skint from spending on the several previous elections before this one. That might explain part of the result.

      The Tories have outspent every other party in Scotland, clearly money buys votes! There is a complaint going in about their spending https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brexitinc/adam-ramsay-peter-geoghegan/dark-money-driving-scottish-tory-surge

      This is all quite worrying for democracy!

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    2. As I understand it, the SNP did a reasonable amount of targeted Facebook advertising. It may have been less than the Tories did, I don't know, but it was certainly something they did.

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    3. Yeah, no where near as much as Labour or the Tories. I got hit by a load of Labour stuff over the weeks. They'll have been targeting my age group, which clearly works.

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  7. Soft anti EU SNP went to Labour along with those hoping for a Socialist Westminster. Orange anti SNP Labour went to Tory. Poor SNP campaign.
    Pretty simple, really.

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  8. Disappointing to lose so many seats to the Unionist party but at least,we have a pretty good idea,after they fought the last two elections on an anti independence ticket,of where we are.
    Brexit will change that dynamic in a big way however.
    The Tories are going to have to decide during negotiations,which sectors of the economy they wish to favour and which they are prepared to trade off in order to so do.
    Wouldn't bet on Scottish interests figuring too high in those circumstances and the elected representatives of the Tories in Scotland are going to have to explain that to their voters.
    No more hiding behind the bad,very bad SNP.

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  9. James, I will be amazed if there is not another election in the next year or two. May has effectively entered into an agreement with possibly a party even more reactionary and extreme than UKIP. When May goes to negotiate with the EU then they are going to take her and the UK to the cleaners. She does not even have any credibility in her own party as a result of this shambles of an election. The effects of leaving the EU are going to start to become apparent and it is not going to be pretty.

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  10. Just wondering how Corbyn feels about Dugdale failing to attack Tories, being complicit in tactical voting,reserving her firepower for the snp.How many tory seats were gained i wonder.

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    1. I expect the SNP are going to continually string her up on that! It was mentioned in their first official comments after the election. She deserves to be exposed for that!

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  11. WeSaidNoToYesMen :-)June 9, 2017 at 6:45 PM

    You're gonna need a helluva lipstick for this pig, james

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    1. WeSaidLOLToTwits :-DJune 9, 2017 at 6:53 PM

      Robert Peston‏ @Peston 2 hours ago

      Senior Tory MP: "We all f***ing hate her. But there is nothing we can do. She has totally f***ed us".

      She's well beyond the lipstick stage or even Cameron's porcine inclinations.

      ROFL

      Delete
  12. Coalition of Clusterf**kJune 9, 2017 at 6:56 PM

    Paddy Power‏ @paddypower 10 hours ago

    Next General Election:

    5/4 2017
    9/2 2018
    5/2 2019

    http://pdy.pr/KEUM3x
    #hungparliament

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  13. The SNP needs to put independence on the back burner and concentrate on providing strong and stable leadership for our precious Scotland. They'll have to keep ears to the ground to understand if the mood changes but the figures from last night tell us that for at least 50% of the electorate, independence is not the priority at this time. Yes, a lot of SNP supporters and YES voters stayed at home, and maybe a good whack of YES voters lent a vote to Labour. The SNP has to be ready to offer the Scottish people an escape route but seem less like they're trying to tempt people out of the union. We've still got a Tory government, a large chunk of our population protested against they SNP by voting Tory, but although most of them are not Tory at heart, they are unionist at heart: The SNP has to play the long game, the next few years are not going to be good for the UK, the SNP may find people seeking refuge sooner rather than later.

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    1. The SNP cannot play the long game forever though.

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    2. CRUSH THE SABOoooh shit!June 9, 2017 at 7:43 PM

      A month is going to feel like a year for this catastrophic tory shambles of a government as they struggle to keep it from constantly imploding and burying everyone in it's rank incompetence.

      So there will be no forever required. Be sure of that.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Speaking as a long time SNP supporter I have to say that this was by far the worst SNP run campaign I have ever seen and we should thank our lucky stars that it wasn't IndyRef2 being voted on otherwise it would have been game over.

    Like others I was under no illusion that the previous UKGE result was a one off that was unlikely to be repeated and so losses were to be expected to more accurately reflect the recent political divide in Scotland.

    However I did expect that the SNP would have put up more of a fight than they did.

    Allowing the unionists and their media to set the political agenda and simply rolling over rather than refuting unionists false news was never going to win votes.

    Its sticks in the craw to have to say this but you have to hand it to the Tories who played the divide and rule game well with their voters appeal to Scotland's large fishing communities to vote for them in order to keep the EU fishing boats out of Scots fishing waters.

    The SNP failed miserably on this occasion to come up with an adequate response to the wishes of the 20% or so of SNP supporters who want independent Scotland's relationship with the EU single market to be like that of Norway and Iceland.

    Ruth Davidson deployed what was a one trick pony that should have been put down at the very outset by the SNP.

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    1. You either get it or you don'tJune 9, 2017 at 7:39 PM

      "Allowing the unionists and their media to set the political agenda"

      Yes, I'm still puzzled why the First Minister didn't storm Pacific Quay and enforce fair TV coverage while reprinting every unionist newspaper in the land to correct their blatant bias.

      A shocking mistake and blunder to be sure!!

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  16. Totally Legitimate Cash in Hand - No Questions asked, or answered.June 9, 2017 at 7:47 PM

    Adam Ramsay‏ @AdamRamsay 5h

    If the DUP are to be in coalition, we *must* know who gave them £435,000 for Brexit campaigning:

    https://opendemocracy.net/uk/adam-ramsay-peter-geoghegan/secretive-dup-brexit-donor-links-to-saudi-intelligence-service … #DUPcoalition

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  17. You may disagree James, but in my completely honest opinion, the SNP should have seen this coming. Losing their majority in Holyrood was a warning that talk of another referendum would lose support, and it was not listened to.

    Calling for Indy Ref 2 straight after Brexit was confirmed made the SNP look opportunistic and single minded. Also, a third of 2015 SNP voted for Brexit and 15% voted No to independence, and Nicola Sturgeon has done nothing the past year but alienate them at every possible chance. In fact, although other factors were at work including the Corbyn bounce, the SNP received ìa lower share of the vote than Leave at the EU Ref, showing that it is indeed not a priority for the majority of people.

    In addition to that, the SNP has stumbled along since last year with no clear purpose or convincing reason to support them. In short, the SNP have taken voters for granted, and we all know what happens to parties that do that. I'm encouraged by Nicola Sturgeon's speech earlier, I believe that another referendum will be ruled out for this parliamentary term at least and we will now return to more traditional political debates. Some serious thinking is needed to determine what direction the SNP go from here, taking less decisive stances is especially necessary and I hope that a new goal for the SNP can be found and some support can be won back.

    I have always been very unsure about Indy Ref 2, and certainly now I am completely against it. Even though I will always support independence and I was very upset about Brexit, I feel like it must be accepted that now is not the time time to return to the independence debate, and that time may be a long way away.

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    1. Rape Clause Ruth and her revolting Bigot toriesJune 9, 2017 at 8:35 PM

      "Calling for Indy Ref 2 straight after Brexit was confirmed made the SNP look opportunistic and single minded."

      The sequence of events was Theresa May trying to bounce the article 50 announce of a Hard Brexit in the commons with little to no opposition. Something which could hardly pass by unremarked since our manifesto explicitly mentioned it and the events that were transpiring.
      You can *perhaps* argue about emphasis but the fact is it couldn't be ignored and wouldn't have mattered if we did.

      The tories in scotland and SLAB were already campaigning along British Nationalist lines anyway and barely a day went by without them rabbiting on incessantly about the next Indyref.

      They were the ones who didn't have any substance to campaign on. We, for good or ill, campaigned on local issues for the local elections and westminster issues for the westminster election. Or at least we TRIED to.

      The bottom line may well be that some people need to readjust their expectations drastically on how much we can actually deliver a message to the electorate via broadcast TV, Radio and the papers. Caught in a stranglehold of unionist ownership and control as they self-evidently are.

      Some may have been a touch naive, yes even near the top of the party, at just how far unionists would go to impose and stamp their narrative onto every election and issue we now face in scotland.

      Hence the bizarre sight of westminster issues being completely ignored for the westminster election, the same for local council issues and completely myopic unrelenting focus on whatever was perceived to be a problem area for us at any given time.

      Didn't matter what the unionists did as Ruth's Rape Clause proved.

      That would never be the leading story or blasted across the TV, Radio or the Papers. i mean, let's be real here, why the f**k would they ever embarass or seriously question Ruth Davidson after setting her up for months as the 'saviour of the union'?

      Of course they wouldn't and they didn't. Same for Dugdale's Blairites inside SLAB and their relentless undermining of Corbyn. Best to sweep it all under the carpet really.

      "I have always been very unsure about Indy Ref 2, and certainly now I am completely against it. "

      well at least we know where you stand. There are of course sound progressive and humanitarian reasons for supporting the SNP over the westminster parties - as a quick glance at the starte of the other parties will show you right now - but the SNP are always going to support an Independence, hence the name. Anyone who thinks they won't hasn't really been paying attention for several decades.

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    2. Fin : I do disagree, yes, and most fundamentally on your final point. A second referendum would never have been proposed if there hadn't been a Leave vote...but there was a Leave vote. Being dragged out of the EU against our will is not some trivial point of detail, it changes absolutely everything, and holding an independence referendum in those circumstances is a moral imperative, not a question of strategy. I very much hope you're wrong in your interpretation that Nicola Sturgeon is backtracking, and that she is instead being straightforward in saying that she is simply going to reflect with an open mind.

      As for "they should have seen this coming", I think it's fair to say they would have held off from the referendum announcement if they had known the snap election was coming, but I don't see how anyone could have known that. I'm far from convinced the SNP would have done any better anyway - much of the dynamic would have been the same, with Brexit supporters drifting off to the Tories, and Corbyn-mania drawing people back to Labour.

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    3. I think people dont realise yet just what Brexit is, will look like and how it will affect them.

      When they do. Well, thats when we wake the baby.

      Delete
  18. Weell ye ken noo!June 9, 2017 at 8:08 PM

    All those BritNat tories in scotland who Davidson egged on to the polls are now looking on at the astonishing spectacle of quite possibly one of THE most incompetent and shambolic excuses for a Westminster government and PM in post-war Britain.

    I can almost feel the SCON voters intense pride and patriotic union jack spirit from here.

    We'll see how long they can stand the sight of weakness, chaos and complete ineptitude from their chosen party because it's hardly going to stop any time soon.

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  19. 2015 was, like Wuthering Heights, a Sport. A poisoned chalice of 94%. When was the last time that was achieved in a democratic election? Just 7 years ago we had 6 MP's. As James points out, under any other circumstances 2017 would be reported as the landslide it was.

    Re IndyRef2 - there were many calls for this to be done within a few months, this year even. When NS did decide the SP would have a vote on it that was before May called this unwanted, now is not the time, GE, and May had insisted several times there would be no GE. And we believed her, because of the Fixed Term Act. It was unfortunate timing, (or deliberate on May's part), for if May had been true to her word there would have been no GE until 2020, and therefore after Brexit and after IndyRef2 when we would have been independent.

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    1. contd. So it is easy to say NS was "opportunistic" etc announcing that there would be an IndyRef because of Brexit, which was in the Manifesto for the SP after all, but that is the cleverness of hindsight. With a GE in 2020 Independence would have been in the background until the result of Brexit negotiations. It was only the Tories, Pink and Blue, who obsessed about Independence. Looked at from the viewpoint of pre GE announcement, the SNP strategy seemed sound.

      Delete
  20. Wee Ruthie tells it like it isn'tJune 9, 2017 at 8:51 PM

    David Halliday‏ @DavidJFHalliday 37 minutes ago

    Look. We went to the country seeking a mandate for no more referendums and lost, so won. What bit of "lost, so won" don't you get?

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    1. Yes, she should resign as she didn't "stop the SNP".

      Delete
  21. James agreed with almost all of this - including comparison of last night with "landslides" - clearly that word has a different meaning in scotland?
    Where I have a problem is when you write "We could be in for a John Major-style scenario where a weak Tory government holds on for grim death over a period of years while being ground down by defeats in by-elections and being constantly held to ransom by extremist backbenchers and Northern Ireland unionists". Even with the DUP supporting them, her majority is only six - she cant afford too many losses in by-elections

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    1. Yes, but with Sinn Fein not taking their seats, the effective majority for the coalition of chaos is 13. I'm not sure whether it's viable, though - a lot will depend on internal Tory discipline.

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    2. Oh I understand that - its that it would be contrary to 100 years of their history and practice James. Would they do that? Mibbes aye, mibbnes naw.

      Delete
    3. I can make this simple: to the old guard sinn fein the idea of a loyalty oath is a big effin deal. To the next gen? They would probably síť for corbyn If If they thought it would mean 5 actual years of change.you have To remember in your bbc bubble that sinn fein is the IRA , in ireland of the catholics sinn fein are defending them for 100 years from the DUP ( terrorists) and British security forces (kinda terroristy).

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  22. Would the Tories and their friends in Labour have made the election solely about independence if our EU resident citizens had been able to vote?
    Would certainly have changed some calculations.
    This was not a true indication of independence voting intentions.

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  23. Thanks, James. I felt like shit all day, but I see the plus side now. Thanks"

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  24. Have always found your site informative, but there's no point whistling in the dark and saying nothing has changed. Sure, it's not a disaster, but it is a disappointment.
    Surely, it's all about Brexit (which seems to be surprisingly absent from all the comments here). Independence, when both the residual UK and Scotland would remain in the Union is one thing; independence when the Scottish-English border would become the border of the EU (presumably) is another. So it's understandable that quite a few people are scared of that and are not sure what it means. Back when the referendum was held, you were talking about independence light: same army, currency, etc. Now it would be different.
    Can those who are now scared by the prospect be convinced not to be? Maybe, but not so much by arguments as by what happens after Brexit. And, specifically, what will happen on the neighbouring island, where, for the first time, the land frontier will become the border of the EU. A delicious irony means that the DUP will work to ensure that the effects are minimised. When that all plays out, Scots will have a clearer idea of what independence might actually mean. In the meantime, given the (relatively new) uncertainty about what it means and given the toll taken by incumbency (SNP dominance of Scottish politics over such a long period), 37% or so (probably more) prepared to contemplate "real" independence isn't so shabby. After all, six months before the referendum, not many expected 40% to vote for independence.
    Time will tell.

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  25. Spin, spin, spin. Face the facts Indyref2 is dead in the water. The public don't want it. End of discussion.

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    1. Face the facts, 3 elections in a row won by the SNP, I think they call it a triple lock mandate?

      You can't really argue against it when the Tories got less than half the vote and are voting through policy affecting all.

      Delete
    2. This 'mandate' chat is pretty weak beer.

      In the 1st place, no one believes it. The FM's reaction shows that sane and intelligent people in the SNP (of which she is one) recognise the results as a defeat for their strategy, not a mandate for anything.

      Secondly, even if the mandate argument was not bogus, 'mandates' mean nothing if you have no power to make them a reality. Anyone who expects a Tory minority government propped up by the DUP to allow a legal referendum on *Scotland leaving the Union* is clearly in total denial about the most basic realities.

      Indyref2 is finished. It won't happen - at least not before Brexit. The Yes movement (broader than the SNP) needs a new strategy.

      Delete
    3. I have to say I'm finding this incomprehensible. Winning 35 seats is a "defeat"? If you want to know what a defeat looks like, try 1979. (Indeed, try absolutely any Westminster election prior to 2015, or indeed any Holyrood election prior to 2011, because this result is light-years better than all of them.)

      And nobody who truly believes in self-determination can possibly say "we're going to drop our commitment to letting the people of Scotland decide our own future, because London probably won't let us do it anyway". I mean, what?!

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    4. James - In your recent post, you quite rightly say you can't keep marching people to the top of the hill. It's a good point. You also can't lead them down the garden path. Are you seriously, in all honesty, saying that there is any possibility whatsoever of a Tory minority government backed up by sectarian bigots is going to allow a legal referendum on Scotland's place in the Union? If you do, then I'm bereft. If not, then why tell people that something which you know is not going to happen in fact is going to happen?!

      I suspect you won't like the source, but Jim Sillars is right. The SNP needs to work on making the argument for independence and building the offer that *will* at some point be put to the Scottish people again.

      The prospects of another indyref before Brexit are over. It was unlikely before Thursday, it's impossible now. A change in strategy is needed.

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  26. Meanwhile our lady and saviour of personkind JK PLagiarist launched an astonishing (drunk or drug fuelled probably) rant because a man used the word whore to describe T May selling her principles to the DUP for power. If you can't use whore or whoring in that situation then when can you?

    Also Brian Spanner is still a good friend of hers/her online alter-ego despite the raving mysogyny, racism, sectarian bilge and being a yoon.

    In the god old days the papers would be full of stories about her stinking hypocrisy. Sadly not in Scotland.

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  27. This a quote from The National that I happen to agree with:

    “Too many big figures have lost for us to be sitting here spinning this in some way or another,” one SNP source said. “Colleagues who have spent decades building up this party and this movement have lost their seats. We need to be honest about what happened. This could have been avoided.”

    It wasn't a disaster but it was a very bad night. For God's sake, ALEX SALMOND lost. There's no point in pretending this wasn't a bad election. There are a number of reason, in my opinion. Some the SNP couldnt have helped. Some they could have and I have absolutely no doubt they could have and should have done better.

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    1. "For God's sake, ALEX SALMOND lost."

      The salient point is not which individual lost, but that he lost in the rural north-east. It's been plain for some time that there is a particular problem in the north-east. Other than the psychological impact (which no-one can deny) the fact that it was Alex Salmond does not make the loss that much worse - everybody always overestimates the potential for personal votes to save seats. If the swing is big enough across a region, seats will be lost no matter who the candidates are.

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  28. Agree. We need to get a grip on this quickly, and be prepared for the fact that it might get worse before it gets better - that means having clear tactics as well as the longer term strategy. Strategy without tactics is the slowest march to victory

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  29. The tide's going out and you know it. No end of weasel words can disguise the fact that Sturgeon has single handedly kicked the prospect of independence into the far future, if not forever. Good!

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