Friday, April 12, 2019

It's another bonzer by-election breakthrough: Sunshine on Leith Walk for surging SNP, but darkness falls on Labour and the Tories

It's happened again - the SNP have notched up an impressive local by-election win in a formerly Labour-dominated area of the central belt, which is exactly the sort of place where they were constantly losing by-elections to Labour on worryingly sizeable swings in the aftermath of the 2017 general election. It does feel like something fundamental has changed.

Leith Walk by-election result (11th April 2019):

SNP 35.7% (+1.4)
Greens 25.5% (+5.9)
Labour 15.5% (-7.0)
Conservatives 10.7% (-3.7)
Liberal Democrats 8.6% (+4.8)
Independent - Illingworth 1.5% (n/a)
UKIP 1.2% (n/a)
Socialist Labour 0.8% (-0.1)
Independent - Scott 0.2% (n/a)
For Britain Movement 0.2% (n/a)
Scottish Libertarians 0.2% (n/a)


Technically this was an SNP gain from Labour, as the vacancy was caused by a Labour councillor's resignation, but psephologically that's a meaningless point because the SNP comfortably topped the poll in the ward last time around. Nevertheless the swings speak for themselves - there was a swing of more than 4% from Labour to SNP, and of roughly 2.5% from Conservative to SNP.  The Tories must be particularly disappointed, because it's not all that common for them to go backwards in local by-elections - very often their vote share actually increases due to the greater motivation of their supporters to get out and vote.

To return to the subject of the previous post, I know some people will say that by-election results like this, along with the trend in recent opinion polls, suggests that the SNP's parking of the indyref issue over the last couple of years has paid dividends, and can continue to do so.  I'd just point out that a strategy that makes it more likely that the SNP will remain the dominant party is not necessarily the same thing as a strategy that brings us closer to independence.  Even if we have another twenty years of SNP rule at devolved level, we'd still look back and wonder what it was all about if we weren't an independent country at the end of it.

63 comments:

  1. The result clearly demonstrates that whatever the strategy is, it is hardly a strategy to keep the SNP the dominant party.

    A measly 1.4% increase on the utterly dismal 2017 council election performance (the SNP national share was 32% that day) is hardly a ringing endorsement. Especially when the massive drops in both Labour and Tory votes are considered.

    I'm pleased for Rob Munn having been one of the hardy souls who campaigned in his first by-election win in 1996 but this is very far from the 'fantastic' result claimed by the FM.

    It should give her considerable pause for thought about her own performance and the abdication of her principal responsibility as leader of the SNP. I seriously doubt it will though.

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    1. What a pratt you would greet if you fell over and found a £20 note. It was a great result and none of your girning can put a damper on it with the Green and SNP vote the indie parties smashed over 60% of the vote just a wee bit more than your Yoon losers eh!

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    2. Anon - can you expand a bit on why a vote share 2.3% above the national average is "utterly dismal"? Your comment kinda doesn't seem to make any sense.

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    3. @anon

      If you plot council election result vs subsequent holyrood election result from 2003->, i.e. using 2003 as a bellweather for 2007...2012 for 2016 etc, then 35.7% SNP would point to over 50% SNP in the next Holyrood election.

      The formula is Holyrood % = 1.5x previous council result % (first prefs)

      I personally don't think you can really do that, but it is what you are suggesting, i.e directly correlating these.

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    4. I am red-tie labour and, I am awful.

      What do you call, a one-legged Chinese gym teacher? Wan Saun Shu.

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    5. Snivelling racist.

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    6. Is " girning " a word? American here..

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    7. Yes. Scotland here.

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    8. I always use a handkerchief, therefore, no snivelling here.

      I am a one-mile racist every morning, before breakfast.

      Back to your unionist, bigotry hole and your EU Withdrawal Deil.

      What do you call a 110 volt U.S. socket? A Trumped-up-charge.

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  2. Is the Greens result even more significant? New young voters voting Green in large number? Protest vote by disgruntled Tory/Lab voters? The 'I dinnae like that Alic Sammin' crowd voting Green instead of Labour? Sea change at Ocean Terminal for sure.

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    1. It is difficult to see the reason for the surge in Green support if it wasn't a transfer of the pro-Indy, sick and tired of SNP platitudes vote.

      Rob Munn is well known and well liked in the area and that might have been what prevented the SNP vote actually going backwards - saving it from what would have been a pretty embarrassing loss to the Greens in the process.

      It will be no bad thing for the Indy movement if the Greens demonstrate they can challenge a complacent SNP. Their problem is convincing people in most places that they are a viable challenger.

      This is broadly similar to the Clacks by-election a couple of weeks ago. Labour vote well down and SNP vote marginally up compared to a poor 2017 result. Neither of those results give me any confidence the SNP is on an upwards trajectory - quite the opposite in fact.

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    2. Positive perspective pro-Indy vote SNP + Greens 61.2%....Sound.

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    3. I voted green for my first preference, I was really impressed with the candidate. Plus I knew I could safely do so knowing if she didn't win the seat my vote would transfer over to Rob

      I do wish there was an easier way to see what each candidate supports - the best we had was the Spurtle, but I'd really like something more indepth that could be used across the country for MPs / MSPs / MEPs / councilors - something akin to "they work for you"

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  3. SNP vote up Eh they won get over it and yourself knumbnuts!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I'm puzzled by the interpretation above in the first comment (Anon, 9:14am) of this result being bad for the SNP. There have been four elections in the Leith Walk ward since 2012, including last night.

    2012 (general election): 28.5%
    2015 (by-election for 2 vacancies): 36.2%
    2017 (general election): 34.5%
    2019 (by-election for 1 vacancy): 35.7%

    Seems fairly consistent to me, apart from the obvious lift in support in 2014/15 post-indyref.

    Green vote in the same elections: 20.3, 21.8, 19.6, 25.5

    Labour: 33.2, 25.7, 22.5, 15.5 (clear, consistent decline)

    Tory: 8.1, 7.9, 14.4, 10.7 (falling back from "now is not the time" surge in 2017)

    Lib Dem: 5.1, 4.0, 3.8, 8.6

    IMO most of the Green surge came from Labour.

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  6. Fat Dod far KilwinningApril 12, 2019 at 7:06 PM

    Julian Assange has a leaky wick.

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  7. Neither the author, or any of the commentators on here appear to know what issues this council bye-election was fought on, or even what local councils do. Like all council election: It wasn't independence. The main issue was rather more pertinent to people living in Leith.

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    1. Anon, you can sneer as much as you like, but the fact is that the majority of people vote for their preferred party regardless of what type of election it is. Local issues are of course relevant in local elections, but they'll only have swung a minority of votes. If you go through election results programmes from the distant past, it's quite amusing: you'll see candidate after candidate earnestly saying "this election was decided purely on local issues, it had nothing to do with the national picture", apparently oblivious to the fact that the swing in their own constituency was in line with the national swing, and was obviously largely caused by national factors.

      So, nice try, but nope.

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    2. How come the Tories fought the by-election on Independence for Scotland rather than local issues?

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  8. Labour and the Tories a bit shit a local levels too then?

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  9. Scotish subsample ave including latest YouGov:

    Con: 22.8
    Lab: 19.8
    Lib Dem: 5.8
    SNP: 41.9
    UKIP: 3.6
    Green 3

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  10. Scottish EU election YouGov Subsample voteshare/seats
    Con: 12/1
    Lab: 11/1
    Lib Dem: 7
    SNP: 49/4
    UKIP: 5
    BXP: 8
    Green 3
    CUK: 3

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    1. That's correct for the EU VI.

      For Westminster the subsample is:

      48% SNP
      22% Con
      16% Lab
      7% Lab

      The average seems low though. Should be more 44% very conservatively.

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    2. The Hanbury sub sample (33.3%) pulled down the average without that would be 44.

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    3. Take your Hanbury sub sample and swivel on it.

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    4. Cordelia there, sharing entirely too much about its personal habits.
      It needs help.

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    5. Scottish Skier seems to be obsessed with Eunice Vicenze.

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  11. Euro election poll, Scottish split:
    SNP 49%
    Con 12%
    Lab 11%
    Brexit Party 8%
    LD 7%
    UKIP 5%
    Change UK 3%
    Grn 3%

    YouGov

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    1. You have a great talent for wish fill thinking and making up numbers out a thin air. Your in for a nasty surprise when we win the Nazi Empire election and UKIP takes most seats. Nigel Farage us the leader thus country is screaming out for.

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    2. "Screaming" being the operative word.

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    3. Viv, if UKIP do better than third place I'll give you a billion euros.

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    4. Viv - Maybe a minor point, but Nigel Farage isn't in UKIP.

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    5. It's not our job to be as confused as Nigel.

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  12. FYI: 100 years ago british troops murdered hundreds of unarmed Indians. Amazingly good shooting : 98% of bullets hut a human. For those who are unaware of how far the crown and gov will go to achieve goals.

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    1. Rubbish. Silly IRA and EU tittle rattle. Anti-British piffle.

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    2. Saw what you did there, Cordelia.

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  13. The EU elections are basically a new referendum on EU membership.

    If pro-Remain parties win in Scotland (SNP, Greens, CHUK, Libs, Scottish Labour) then that's it, brexit cancelled for Scotland, that or a second full referendum with leave winning is needed.

    Ok the 2016 vote was 'UK-wide' so the UK result is the one that counted, however, Scotland is a completely independent EU constituency, so only the votes here count. Unionists / brexiters have made this absolutely clear.

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    1. of course Scottish Labour support Brexit. https://scottishlabour.org.uk/where-we-stand/manifesto/negotiating-brexit/

      So are not a pro Remain party.

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    2. In which case, remain supporters know what to do.

      (and it seems they're doing it).

      From that Yougov poll, seems Remain is into the 60%s anyway, which would tie in with 2016.

      I personally think it's the best thing ever that Corbyn is in negotiations with the extreme right Tories to form a grand English nationalist anti-foreign people brexit coalition. Even if he doesn't sign up to it, everyone knows he's totally willing to if they price his right. No quibbles at all about selling out his socialism to the Tories.

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  14. https://twitter.com/flaviblePolitic/status/1117102601265348610

    @OpiniumResearch - 12th Apr
    Lab : 36%
    Con : 29%
    UKIP : 11%
    LDem : 8%
    Grn : 4%

    Flavible FPTP Projection

    Lab : 322 (+60)
    Con : 229 (-89)
    SNP : 50 (+15)
    LDem : 26 (+14)
    PC : 3 (-1)
    Grn : 1 (=)
    Ind : 1 (+1)
    Changes with GE2017

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    1. Now this would be one interesting result. Lab govt w/ LD C&S plus customs union Brexit?

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    2. Drivel. The EU have been playing silly beggars but Mrs May gas pulled off a master stroke. Our vote and seat shares are far higher.

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    3. Indeed. Begging the EU for an extension she didn't want, then being sent out of the room while the 27 decided her fate, was a masterclass in taking back control...

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    4. Oh dear. Look below the surface and don't believe all you read in the papers. Read between the lines. Mrs May is a serious strategist and us luring the in EU in to the place she wants them she is playing them like a violin.

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    5. Nobody, apart from Corbyn, can see what the point of a customs union actually is. If the UK isn't in the single market as he proposes, then we just get a really hard brexit, but with the customs union leaving the UK unable to do new trade deals.

      It really is the most stupid idea of all, and there are a lot of stupid ideas going around right now.

      It doesn't even solve N. Ireland as that's about keeping full free movement of people (including all EU citizens), goods, services and money. A customs union is nowhere close to that; ask Norway.

      Anyway, Corbyn is taking away the right of young folk to free movement. He'll never be elected on that basis; cost him 2017 already.

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    6. Oh my dear Lord above. Will you people ever inform yourselves and look beyond your parochial little home? The amount of rubbish I read here, posted in barely recognisable English, points to the fact that one of the great lies of history was the superiority of the Scottish education system. Possibly superior to Bongladesh and Swaziland.

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    7. Were you ever able to find Bongladesh in your Big Britannic Book of Foreign Type Places?
      While I'm here, a wee note for SiU lurkers (we know you're here, we can hear you hyperventilating): "Don" is the guy to put at the front of your indyref2 campaign. Us Jocks just love condescension.

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    8. Sad to see how a simple typographical error can cause such upset. It seems our separatist chums are feeling a little sensitive and vulnerable. Perhaps they aren't quite as confident as they wish to portray themselves, and us mere mortals to perceive them. Touche

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    9. QED.
      Don't us Jocks just love the Imperial condescension?

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    10. Actually "us" is the object of a sentence, e.g. "They saw us.". You may be searching for "we", which is the subject.
      That's called education.

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    11. No, dearie, it's called condescension. Keep it up, though; I'm sure you're attracting so many converts to the Unionist cause.

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    12. Don your Pritchard, you fud.

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    13. I think I made it cry. That was funny.

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  15. SNP on 6% UK-wide for EU elections in the new opinium poll.

    That would imply them at ~50% or more, i.e. like the yougov poll.

    If Corbyn wants his brexit, he will need to go into coalition with the Tories soon to head off #EUref2 in the form of the EU elections.

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    1. We nead Scottish socialist political leadership. Where are the working class heroes like Big Tam and George.

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    2. Donald Dewar (deceased)April 14, 2019 at 1:44 AM

      Indeed. Scotland needs more socialists like Alistair Darling and Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill.

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    3. The price of the parliamentary route to Socialism in Scotland is £300 a day and a robe lined with rodent fur.

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    4. Baroness Curran of Comedy CavalcadeApril 14, 2019 at 8:48 AM

      Rodents inside and out.

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    5. And they'll fight like rats in a sack for that ermine.

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    6. Puddles AlexanderApril 14, 2019 at 6:49 PM

      I wonder if Baron Splendid of Flippinghome would agree to a televised sack fight (including biting) with Baroness Helen of Lidl? Could the new BBC Scotland bid for the broadcasting rights?

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