Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Burning questions for tomorrow - and a few tentative answers

Will the SNP remain the largest single party?

Yes.

Will Nicola Sturgeon remain First Minister?

Yes.

Will Labour suffer a net loss of seats?

Highly likely, barring very significant polling error or an implausible late swing.  But it should be remembered that they only took 26% of the all-important list vote in 2011, so their losses may not be all that dramatic if the more Labour-friendly polls are closest to the mark.  The most recent Panelbase poll has them on 22% of the list vote.

Who will finish second?

Probably Labour, but it's too close to call and the Tories are in with a shout.

Who will finish fourth?

Too close to call between the Greens and the Lib Dems.  The polling average favours the Greens, but not by much, and we know that polls have significantly overestimated the Greens in previous elections.  The fact that the Greens are virtually a list-only party may also prove a disadvantage - it's not inconceivable, for example, that the Lib Dems could get one more seat in the Highlands than the d'Hondt formula warrants if they hold onto both constituency seats in the Northern Isles.

Will RISE win a seat?

Highly unlikely.  No poll to date has shown the slightest scrap of evidence that they are in contention for seats.  However, there is one previous example of a fringe party winning a seat against all the odds (the Scottish Senior Citizens' Unity Party in 2003), so it can't be ruled out entirely.

Will Solidarity win a seat?

Probably not, but they arguably have a better chance than RISE, simply because of Tommy Sheridan's personal popularity in Glasgow.  Their description on the ballot paper will apparently contain the words "Tommy Sheridan" and "Indyref2", and you can see how that might catch a few eyes.

Will the SNP win a second overall majority?

Probably, but the chances of them failing to do so are higher than is generally realised.  Some projections based on recent polls have had them below 70 seats, which doesn't leave much margin for error if there is a small late swing against the party, or if the polls aren't entirely accurate.  It's perfectly possible we could wake up on Friday morning with an almighty hangover, and be left wondering how exactly we let this one get away.

Will there be a pro-independence majority?

Very likely, but not certain.  The votes should be there for it even if the SNP themselves fall slightly short, but the biggest risk would be misguided "tactical" switching on the list to either RISE or Solidarity - because any such votes would in all probability be totally wasted.

Will the SNP win at least some list seats?

Highly likely.  I've yet to see a plausible scenario in which they take zero list seats - and of course they may take well over ten if they do just slightly less well in the constituency ballot than the polls currently suggest.

Will Kezia Dugdale have resigned as Labour leader by the weekend?

The odd thing is that if the answer to that question is "no", Kezia probably already knows it.  There isn't going to be the same pressure on her that Jim Murphy faced one year ago. because another crushing defeat won't cause quite such an emotional spasm within the party, and she isn't as hated as Murphy anyway.   If she goes, it'll probably be because she makes a personal decision that it's the decent thing to do, as Tavish Scott did five years ago at a time when nobody was really blaming him for the Lib Dems' losses.  The big question is what sort of scale of defeat might tip her over the edge.

Will the Conservatives have a successful election? 

YES.  The actual result doesn't matter - however well or badly they do, it'll be a continuation of the Scottish Tory renaissance, and will be a personal vindication for their tremendously popular young leader Ruth Davidson.  Read the forthcoming post-election columns from Fraser Nelson, Alex Massie, Alan Cochrane and Chris Deerin if you don't believe me.

*  *  *

As it's Election Eve, one last punt for the video I recorded for Phantom Power about how the voting system works, and why tactical voting on the list ballot is so risky.  Feel free to share it on social media if you know anyone who might find it helpful - the direct link on YouTube is HERE.

55 comments:

  1. This time last year the polls were suggesting an SNP tsunami.All the canvassing I'd done tallied with the opinion polls yet still I wouldn't allow myself to believe it.This year,street for street,my canvass results are the same as last year but turnout is my worry.

    Will Kezia go? I think it will be entirely up to her.Does she have the appetite for it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dugdale's tenure has been nothing short of catastrophic but Scottish labour is as out of touch as the tories which is why some in slab may still be deluding themselves that she can turn things around.

      What could see her go is those in labour who fear for their council jobs next year piling on the pressure. While what could save her is publicity elsewhere from the tories inept London Mayoral contest and other places drawing attention away from their Scottish car crash.

      The Greens have been gifted one of the easiest campaign issues they could ever dream of by Rennie's incompetent lib dem leadership. Rennie and his supporters couldn't even be arsed to argue or persuade their own members during the lib dem fracking debacle, which is why so many greens have gone big on fracking in lib dem areas and found such fertile ground.

      As has already been noted, the Westminster bubble doesn't particularly care about the result when it comes to Davidson. Why let the facts get in the way of demented yoon tirades? They will ramp her regardless and provide plenty of amusement for years to come.

      Delete
  2. I am not making any assumptions. Well not with the huge number of PVs sent out and the total lack of an exit poll tomorrow.

    Edinburgh and Glasgow 62% and 65% respectively on the PV turn out. According to STV. Those are the only PV figures I have heard so far.

    How does that compare with last years GE? Does anybody know? What does that say about tomorrows possible turn out if anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow higher than Edinburgh? Or have you got those figures the wrong way around? The Glasgow seats were between about 55 and 65 percent in the GE. If the figures you quote are reliable then that suggests we're heading for a similar turnout and a record high for a Holyrood election by a big margin. However given how low key this campaign has been I really struggle to believe we'll reach anything like those figures. Love to be proven wrong though.

      Delete
    2. Postal vote turnouts are always much higher than the overall turnout however, that particularly applies in lower turnout elections, but it is true generally. You also need to know what the turnout percentage is of. The percentage of postal voters in Glasgow might be lower, but the turnout within it higher. As a guideline the percentage of the electorate with postal votes across GB is usually low 20s.

      Delete
  3. Should the SNP win a majority - the likely outcome - at least they will own the next 5 years. Every screw up, every failure, every scandal laid firmly at their door. If they formed a minority government or a coalition, they'd just shift the blame for everything. Of course, they could still blame WM but that's wearing thin and no longer logical considering the new powers.

    For unionists, a wee bit of disappointment on Friday morning may save us a lot of hassle a few years down the line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd blame the SNP if it rained on a Thursday, and I'll blame you and yer ilk for every slight against Scotland and her peoples, done by Westminster.

      Delete
    2. You sound like someone from a 1700s timewarp!

      Delete
    3. That's interesting Aldo because that's what I believe the Unionist calculation to be. The current government seem to be following the Canadian government playbook on this. Oil jobs in Aberdeen, jobs in shipbuilding, steel, renewables allied to the hangman's noose of personal income tax being the main focus of the devolution settlement AND the Tory and Labour game plan should be giving us a clue. We should expect to see Westminster pull the strings to keep the SNP off kilter and the economy squeezed for the next 5 years

      Delete
    4. I'm auld enough tae huv heard your kind pish afore, if that's whit ye mean.
      I don't blame Westminster, as much as I blame Labour, as that's what that place has done from the get go. But Labour have for over a hundred years promised, home rule and a better deal for workers; they've done sod all on home rule that the EU didn't make them do, and since the creation of the welfare state, they have triangulated to the right and sold the working man and woman down shit creek so they (those paragons of socialism) can get a dead stoat coat.

      Delete
    5. I think the SNP have enough self created problems coming their way without the British government having to artificially create problems for them.

      A decision is due on fracking. Lib Dems / Labour / Green will oppose, vehemently. Some SNP MSPs may join them. That could mean the SNP relying on the tories to help them pass fracking. Ooooft!

      The independence vote that will never come. It will create a lot of friction between leadership and grass roots.

      Education. An upcoming battle with the teaching unions over new national tests will possibly lead to strikes.

      The return of the council tax. From 2017 it will go up by 3% annually for most of us. The "rich" (by 1991 standards that is), will face an even tougher increase.

      Failure to tackle poverty. The Yes campaign kept telling us we were living out a real life version of Les Miserables. Well, the SNP can do something about it now. Except, they wont.

      2016-21 will be far from smooth waters!

      Delete
    6. Bullingdon tax dodgers and election expense cheatsMay 4, 2016 at 8:25 PM

      I say old chap, you sweaties will hate winning and it will jolly well serve you right if you do! You just wait till a few days after this 2011 election when the chickens come home to roost and then you'll be sorry.

      Delete
    7. Given that fracking will still be subject to moratorium until we've got the powers to ban it without being beaten in the english courts. Why are you telling such a disgusting lie?

      Shouldn't you go back to covering up child abuse by your beloved labour/libdem/tories ?

      Delete
    8. Fracking will be off the table, as we don't need it but some Westminster politicians have a vested interest.
      National tests, well how do you close the "attainment gap" without knowing what to concentrate on?
      2016-2021 will no doubt be rough, especially as the other place will be more concerned about brexit, and not Scotland; so no change there.
      As for the new taxation powers, worthless without ALL tax being available to spend or adjust, as you no dought know.

      I admire your conviction, in your belief in the union, but I believe you are mistaken; through party loyalty or what ever.
      The right for a nation to govern it's self is indisputable, and the natural state of things. The UK is approaching £2 trillion of debt, I put it to you, they are doing a shit job and we ourselves could do no worse and may be could do better.

      Delete
    9. Sunshine on CrieffMay 4, 2016 at 8:43 PM

      Bit of a freaky comment above, but let's not forget that the EU had absolutely nothing to do with Scotland's devolution settlement.

      Can't believe people are still punting that nonsense.

      Delete
    10. Why do I know that the SNP will allow fracking? Because Sturgeon was asked about it in one of the debates and replied with these words or very similar: "if fracking can't be proven to be completely safe, we will not allow it". Why not just say "no fracking, ever"? The caveat she included is most telling. Fracking will be declared totally safe and Sturgeon will give the green light. As to why she will do that, she knows the Scottish fiscal position is ruinous, unimpressive, and very likely to get a lot worse with N Sea oil set to go the way of the coal mines and shipyards before it. She needs a new boom industry to make the sums add up for independence and has decided to sacrifice green and left wing support in the hope of gaining more votes than she loses.

      Delete
    11. And the "British" fiscal position is?

      Delete
    12. The EU connection..

      https://ncdiblog.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/our-unsu-ng-heroes-the-explosive-truth-about-the-formation-of-the-scottish-parliament/

      Delete
    13. Much better than the Scottish fiscal position. The UK deficit is half of the Scottish deficit.

      Delete
    14. By whose figures? GERS? Gies a break.

      Delete
    15. GERS come from the Scottish Government.

      Delete
    16. They are selective in their make up, and originally devised to obscure Scotland's economic output, to the detriment of the Scottish government, as you no doubt know.

      Delete
    17. Even their originator designed them to make Scotland look bad to put down any notion that there was in the early 90s of an independence surge.

      The Noble Baron Laing wrote to his boss, John Major explaining it, but unfortunately for them it was was leaked.

      Delete
    18. Sunshine on CrieffMay 4, 2016 at 11:26 PM

      jimnarlene - oh, I know exactly what you're talking about, I don't need a link to it. It's just that that fantasy has been debunked and totally discredited time after time that I'm surprised it's still doing the rounds.

      In short, the EU has absolutely no control over the internal self-government of a member state.

      Delete
  4. And remember folks, #BothVotesLabour!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunshine on CrieffMay 4, 2016 at 11:27 PM

      Never again!

      Delete
  5. Are we doing predictions then? Here's mine:

    SNP 69
    Labour 26
    Tories 22
    Lib Dems 6
    Greens 5
    UKIP 1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazingly, I think that's a perfectly plausible prediction! Not sure about the UKIP seat, but they might nick one if their support is geographically concentrated.

      Delete
    2. Cutbot seems to allow more easily for a UKIP win. I put them in at 4%.

      Delete
    3. My enthusiasm for cutbot was slightly dampened when I checked the regional predictions against the original figures for the TNS poll

      Delete
  6. I've been distracted and I more or less missed the whole campaign. Apart from a 2nd referendum, what the hell was it about??

    Also,anyone got any good individual constituency betting tips? Still time to make it to a bookies tomorrow....

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wish the Greens well and would like to see them trounce the party of the odious Carmichael and that half-wit Rennie. As for RISE and Squalidarity, they should be consigned to the political toilet where they belong

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People's Front of JudeaMay 4, 2016 at 8:30 PM

      Only real question about RISE is who gets the blame and I'm afraid Colin Fox a few of his chums over at Bella and common space look set to be directly under the bucket of shite when it gets poured over them.

      Delete
    2. I entirely agree. The infighting should be quite spectacular. Oh and I do hope the "Darling of the Left" falls flat on her face in Glasgow.

      Delete
  8. "the biggest risk would be misguided "tactical" switching on the list to either RISE or Solidarity - because any such votes would in all probability be totally wasted."

    If we don't get a pro-indy majority, then I think that could well be the reason why. I'll be voting SNP twice, but at least Greens have a chance on the list to scrape a few MSPs.

    According to the polls, RISE and Solidarity are no-where near the 6% needed to win a seat. We could see thousands of votes completely wasted in terms of actually helping to win a majority of pro-indy MSPs

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sunshine on CrieffMay 4, 2016 at 8:50 PM

    "Will there be a pro-independence majority?"

    Not unless the SNP get a majority. The Greens' support for another independence referendum apparently depends on a "citizens initiative" which involves getting one million signatures in favour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean like a national covenant?

      Now where have I seen that done before!

      Delete
  10. Westminster shall interpret the result as it sees fit. Since the Scottish Parliament cannot bring independence about, having a pro-indy majority is irrelevant.

    Only an SNP majority is unambiguous in terms of its interpretation. Green? Might mean concern for the ozone layer. Not exactly going to upset the senior parliament at Westminster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SNP majority is also ambiguous as a mandate for independence. Buried deep in the manifesto was a "maybees aye, maybees naw" that didn't explicitly declare the circumstances in which a referendum would be held other than Brexit. They are now rowing back from this as even in the event of Brexit there would be a dead heat in Scotland on the question of the union.

      They may as well have bitten the bullet and said "no indyref for 5 years" or simply not mentioned it at all. Now they will have a full parliament of the hardcore saor albas screaming "Are we there yet??!! My mate's mum's pal did a straw poll in the pub and yes won! Trigger event!!!"

      Delete
    2. Heathite omnishamblesMay 4, 2016 at 10:03 PM

      Are we OUT yet??!!

      Delete
    3. Bullingdon tax dodging DaveMay 4, 2016 at 10:09 PM

      It's not my fault I'm scared of my own party's rabid eurosceptics. I'll throw Gidders under the bus if it will save my own skin.

      Delete
  11. Glasgow Working Class 2May 4, 2016 at 9:37 PM

    James, is that an aff ra cuff attempt at a comedy remark that Sheridan is popular?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't feed the troll, folks.

      Delete
  12. Predictions then...

    SNP: 71 (71+0)
    LAB: 23 (0+23)
    CON: 21 (2+19)
    GRN: 09 (0+9)
    LIB: 05 (0+5)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Libs will win O&S.

      Tories will win all the borders constituencies + maybe 1 or 2 others.

      Delete
    2. Edith Snellgrove-WhitmanMay 4, 2016 at 10:32 PM

      Ruth tells me the Tories are not doing as well on postal as they had hoped.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 5, 2016 at 12:41 AM

      You and Ruth bum chums then! Ruth Tory girl has your confidence?

      Delete
    4. Don't feed the troll, folks.

      Delete
  13. Off Topic

    I have to smile at the possibility that Labour in Wales might very well lose its majority. What then for Corbyn? Not smiling about the fat that some Welsh Polls predict UKIP could take as man as 8 seats in Wales. Scary!

    Back to my original post. I was hoping that the Electoral Commission site could give me numbers of PVs for last years election, if they do then I couldn't locate them. just trying to get a fix on what the turn out might be tomorrow. It is like ploughing through a well soggy peat bog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working Class 2May 4, 2016 at 11:52 PM

      UKIP like the Tories and Jock Nat si Tories are against raising tax to help the poor. The only choice is Labour wan & twa.

      Delete
    2. Don't feed the troll, folks.

      Delete
    3. Glasgow Working Class 2May 5, 2016 at 2:23 PM

      Nat si Bigot.

      Delete
  14. So Ruth says the Tories have won second place.We'll wait and see.She's so confident of beating Labour.Cocky,in fact.Shes going to look very silly if they don't.Shes taking the voters for granted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruth the truth shines through.

      Never in doubt.

      Delete
  15. Glasgow Working Class 2May 5, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Hardly matters yah numpty. The Nat sis vill be in power for another 5 jarr with their Tory policies. Wonder how many will be attending food banks by then. Tax the rich.

    ReplyDelete