I've been having a listen to the Polling Matters round-up of 2015, in which Rob Vance has once again been doing his "just forget about Scotland" routine. He doesn't use those exact words this time, but the basic sentiment hasn't changed at all from his last offering on the subject a few months ago. It's very telling - and rather amusing - that he starts out by saying that Labour can't take power without putting together a majority in the "British parliament". That of course is absolutely right, but he actually means the opposite, ie. that Labour need an English rather than a British majority, and therefore that the Scottish component of the British parliament can be largely ignored. He doesn't even properly correct himself after 'mis-speaking', which tends to confirm my theory that certain London commentators are literally incapable of differentiating between an English and a British parliament, between English and British public opinion, between an English and a British party system, etc, etc. To them, it's inconceivable that Scotland could ever matter in a British general election, because Britain is England.
The problem for Vance is that arithmetical laws and basic constitutional principles don't really yield to what is essentially a chauvinistic cultural conceit. You kind of sense that the rational part of his brain knows this, which explains why he feels he has to hang his assumptions on the vague notion that English Votes for English Laws will progress in such a way as to render SNP MPs practically irrelevant in the formation of a British government. He adds almost as an afterthought that he's not sure of how that will happen. But here's the thing - if he can't at least make one or two realistic suggestions of how it's even possible for Scottish voters to be disenfranchised to quite such an extreme extent, what he's saying is effectively gibberish. The moment that Scottish MPs are barred from voting on motions of confidence (and thus helping to determine who forms the government) is the moment Scotland has ceased to be part of the United Kingdom. We'd essentially have the same status as Gibraltar or Bermuda or any other dependent territory that lacks representation in the UK parliament. That just isn't going to happen.
A fairer point to make is that a more radical form of English Votes for English Laws could leave a Labour-led government that has a British but not an English majority in the position of being 'in office but not in power', ie. without the ability to drive through its programme on English health, education and possibly even taxation. But the bottom line is that it would still be in office, which is not nothing. And in any case, there is no sign so far of such a radical version of EVEL emerging - all we have to date is a very casual change in the House of Commons' Standing Orders, which an incoming Labour government could easily change back in the space of a single day.
What this is really about is that Vance finds it emotionally impossible to accept that Labour will either have to defeat the SNP in Scotland to take power at Westminster, or else do a deal with the SNP. But barring an implausibly enormous pro-Labour swing in England, that's exactly the position.