Tuesday, May 28, 2019

And now we're being asked to believe that the SNP's support consists mainly of hapless unionists who didn't know they were voting for a pro-indy party

I don't know about the rest of you, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the last couple of days.  It's been years and years since we last saw the anti-independence parties flailing about like this.  Having tried and failed to get some purchase out of the optimistic line that the highest share of the vote anywhere in western Europe wasn't really good enough for the SNP, they're now attempting to convince us that the SNP's voters are all unionists who were blissfully unaware on polling day that they were voting for a pro-independence party, and are now profoundly shocked at the discovery that Nicola Sturgeon is planning an independence referendum.

Honestly. That's what they're saying. Don't believe me?  Here's Exhibit A from the ever-reliable Alex Cole-Hamilton of the Lib Dems -

"Nicola Sturgeon will shortly betray pro-UK Remainers who lent SNP vote by presenting it as mandate for #indyref2"

(I've spared his blushes by tidying up the punctuation a bit.)

And Exhibit B from a Twitter troll called Patrick Branchfield -

"I don’t know if I’m more angry at @NicolaSturgeon for these lies or the plonkers who vote for her?

EVERY election she says a vote for them isn’t about independence, minutes after the polls close these votes are weapons for #indy2

Waken up to this woman please Scotland"


Hmmm. Not for nothing is the SNP's support for independence known as "Scotland's best kept secret". And of course Nicola Sturgeon cunningly ramped up the concealment by publicly announcing her intention to hold an independence referendum a few weeks before the election. These hapless unionist SNP voters really didn't stand a chance.

Why has the political weather transformed so completely since Sunday? Basically because the shock to the system that the SNP suffered two years ago has just been precisely reversed. In 2017, Nicola Sturgeon announced an independence referendum just before a national election was held (although of course she didn't know that election was coming) and there was a significant swing against the SNP. Interestingly, John Curtice noted on Sunday that the swing was misinterpreted, and it wasn't so much a backlash against an independence referendum as it was a rejection of the SNP's pro-Europeanism by a minority of Leave voters. But nevertheless, it was widely perceived to be the turning of the tide against independence, and the unionist parties were emboldened to believe that the more intransigent they were in their opposition to an indyref, the more voters would reward them.

That theory has just been tested to destruction. Once again, Nicola Sturgeon made a referendum announcement just before a national election, but this time there was a dramatic swing in the SNP's favour. Once again, the Tories ran a single issue "No to Indyref 2" campaign, but this time they took a hammering. On some sort of level, the unionist parties must be questioning the lessons they thought they learned two years ago. The cognitive dissonance in Labour ranks will be particularly extreme - they'll be thinking "the voters weren't supposed to react like this".

I can only repeat the question I've been asking for four years. Given that Labour's disaster in 2015 was caused pretty much exclusively by the loss of Yes voters who were appalled by the party's behaviour during the indyref, how do they think they're going to reverse that result by doubling down on British nationalism? OK, I understand that they've also lost unionist support to the Tories since 2015 and they're having to fight a rearguard action to deal with that, but ultimately they're never going to regain their previous dominance of Scottish politics unless they start making their peace with Yes voters.

44 comments:

  1. Well, 'now is not the time' certainly cost the Tories a lot of votes. Down from what 29% in 2017 to just 12%?

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    1. To be fair, how much of that was lost to the Brexit party? You can hardly blame "Now is not the time" for that!

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    2. As per my post below, the brexit party isn't officially pro-union. See their manifesto and the fact that Farage made it very clear before the EU elections that Scots should vote for Brexit if they want true independence, including from the UK.

      :-)

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    3. Not completely valid because they were different kinds of elections and folk don't vote for the same things in them. Of course, the widespread success for SNP shows improved support and the Labour vote is a disaster for them but to what extent it's permanent is not easy to say.

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    4. Believing what Farage says will do nobody any good at all. His attitude to Scotland (shown in comments before this election period) is that we should get back in out box and do what we're telt. You'll only get independence by voting for pro-independence parties and they don't include Brexit or UKIP.

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    5. scottishskier: "Well, 'now is not the time' certainly cost the Tories a lot of votes. Down from what 29% in 2017 to just 12%?"

      Come on now. That's not fair. They may have taken a drubbing as you say, but they've also learned their lessons.

      Or maybe not:

      Sajid Javid: “If I become PM, I won't allow a second Scottish independence referendum. People stated views clearly in 2014, so there should be no second vote."

      That's not 'now is not the time', is it? That's no second referendum full stop. That's 'We Tories imposed a divisive EU referendum on the Scottish people despite little demand for it up there, and now we're going to deny you a divisive referendum to avoid the humanitarian crises of food and medicine shortages brought about by that EU vote and a no-deal Brexit. But not only that, we're going to impose London rule on you FOREVER.'

      By the way, being lectured by Tories -- whose main reason for existing is to divide and rule -- on divisiveness is like being lectured by Mad King Donald on authenticity. Being lectured by Tories on divisive referenda is like Donald lecturing you on authentic hair and skin colour.

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  2. Also begs the question that if the unionists did not think the SNP were running a campaign in support of another independence referendum (as the main vehicle to prevent Scotland's enforced exit from the EU) then why was the Ruth Davidson Party running a campaign to stop Indy Ref 2?

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  3. In stating that any independence vote will not take place until autumn 2020 Nicola has both set a ball in motion and allowed time to see the new Tory leader and Brexit do their worst.

    Incidentally, the polls were pretty accurate. Something that should give pause for thought to the unionists.

    Surprised Alex Cole-Hamilton-Ole-Biscuit-Barrel isn't running for the Tory leadership...he would fit in with Ruth's ultra unionists a treat.

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    1. A slight underestimation of SNP + Green (46%), mainly from panelbase (42%). So Yes figures maybe a 1-2% higher than the 49% average for indy 'tomorrow'.

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  4. I notice that the SNP have been drawing a lot more attention to the Tories' poor performance than to Labour's total collapse. The latter just so obviously don't present any threat anymore. They barely merit a mention.

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  5. Not that anybody cares. But it 1 in 3 SNP voters actually voted to leave the EU then wouldn't that make Sunday's result into 38% plus 19% for actual SNP support in a non EU plebicite? Now my arithmetic was never up to much but that's over 50%. The other popular attack line is that the SNP vote was was nowhere near a majority so nobody wants independence.
    Yet the same brain dead spasmoid SIU and 77th brigade drones are making both claims simultaneously. Obviously they can't both be true.

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    1. GWC's Brexit party votes can't be counted as 'Pro UK'.

      I've seen their manifesto and there's no mention of UK unionism.

      :-)

      Also...

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scottish-independence-nigel-farage-brexit-party-snp-european-elections-nicola-sturgeon-a8919456.html

      Scottish independence only possible after Brexit, says Nigel Farage

      Nigel Farage has made a pitch for SNP voters saying Scottish independence would only be possible if the UK first leaves the European Union.

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    2. Well, this wasn't an EU plebiscite either. There were issues other than Brexit in play (indyref2 being the most obvious). If a punter declined to vote SNP this time because of their Brexit policy, they might do the same in other types of election for the same reason. And it's reasonable to assume the SNP picked up a bit of support from soft-No Remainers this time, which probably won't transfer to Holyrood and Westminster elections.

      Not to piss on the parade or anything. The SNP generally do underperform in European elections. I'd expect them to get more than 38% in a Scottish election held tomorrow, but not 19% more.

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    3. ...and remember in the EU election 16-17yr olds did not vote.

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    4. Anon, just one question how on Earth you can say 1 in 3 SNP supporters want out of the EU ? it must take a lot of arithmetic to be that sure, and as you also said your arithmetic is not much good perhaps a re-think or some extra tuition in numbers for you.

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  6. Scottish Skier, you are like one of those Opus Dei nutters trying to take the Scottish people back to the grand days of James 11. Flaggulation being made compulsory.

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    1. Yup. FYI: there is an " E" in second syllable.

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    2. Lydia R ButtercupMay 29, 2019 at 7:43 AM

      Maybe she means the Flaggle Lock puppet selies fol childlen.

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  7. Just out of curiosity I looked up a rough estimate of how many new voters there'd be in 2020. Around 7%. For a roughly static population that means a loss of 7% of previous voters. Not sure if that's going to be a factor. Just that that's more than the swing needed to overturn the last referendum vote. Obviously the same would be true of the Brexit vote in a far shorter timescale.

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    1. Simply that all other things aside the electorate that voted in 2014 will have changed enough in 2020 that it more than covers the swing needed to change the result. In this case 5% is half the difference between a 45/55 split.

      Obviously that assumes a higher than average vote for No in the older generation and yes in the lower and no one changing their minds.

      One thing it does highlight is an ever increasing pool of potential voters whos not voting pattern simply doesn't exist and the more time passes the harder it'll be to weigh polls according to recalled vote in 2014.

      The same kind of thing applies to the EU referendum in that there's around a 3% churn which is more than enough to reverse the 2016 result.

      My point is that as time passes the electorate changes and the closer a result was the sooner there's sufficient change to make a repeat of it uncertain.

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    2. Constipata Rees MoggMay 29, 2019 at 7:46 AM

      I like extrapolating but only if there's nobody watching. Fnirp fnirp fnoop.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. This is one of the most important reasons votes cannot be 'once in a generation', even if all the e.g. 2014 voters signed up to that officially on some sort of form.

      Within just a few days of the 2014 iref, the electorate had already changed markedly through the addition of new, young voters coming of age in their hundreds. This is hundreds of thousands now. These cannot be asked to abide by a vote they never had say in.

      And of course, many older 2014 voters no longer live in Scotland. They've e.g. moved back to England, taken a job overseas...married their EU partner and moved to... Others have moved to Scotland in the opposite direction, taking jobs here, paying taxes, putting their kids into school..

      So even if every 2014 voter still resident was of identical opinion to 5 years ago, the result could be overturned simply by new voters.

      Electorates change by the minute, so votes must be allowed at any time on demand (of the new electorate). That's the basic rule of democracy.

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  8. James, they support the Tories in seats where they can oust the SNP. They support each other in councils. They even going as far as to put paper candidates up in the occassional seat so as not to split the pro union vote. They are agents of the state. That is their first pupose and when all every other reason they have for taking part in Scotttish politics has been removed it will be their last purpose as well.

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    1. Scotland would be a desert like the southern EU members with mass unemployment and labour movement. Any dissent would be ruthlessly put down by the German led EU. The EU is not a human friendly organisation. The UK would be better off joining the USA.

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  9. I'm shocked to be made aware that the SNP stood for Scottish Independence. The things you learn every day.

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  10. The excellent thing about 'Now is not the time' is it has utterly zero credibility now. It's just a Yes vote jackpot machine now. Where it had a slight smidgen of possible credibility before due to the Tories winning 2017 (so maybe Westminster has some sort of say? At least in timing maybe etc etc?), that's completely gone post May and Scots EUref2.

    Even the most ardent unionist could not hope to justify it on the doorsteps. The UK PM has resigned. Her cabinet has fallen. The elected UK government has fallen. Any new PM + cabinet as no mandate for anything even if they can stop the rats in the sack fighting for long enough to survive a confidence vote. British politics works by mandate and the public understands that very well. Gordon Brown was screwed from day 1.

    Like it or not, the only government in Scotland with any mandate, and a whopping one it is too (they've won every election at all 4 levels what twice now?), is the SNP in Holyrood. And that's before we add in the double remain vote in both the UK EU referendum and the following 'Scotland only' second EUref the other day.

    The UK government had failed. They've fallen. The pro-UK brexiters have lost again in spectacular style. It's obvious to every voter in Scotland, unionist, nationalist or DK, that 'Now is the time' democratically without a doubt. Whether you want iref2 or not, democracy must be respected, as does the umpteenth mandate of the SNP.

    Westminster must concede and hope to win again fairly like 2014, or continue to say no, bring democracy to an end, and break the union in the heart of Scots forever.

    There is only one way to save the UK now for the long term, and that's with granting iref2 and winning it.

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  11. Genuine question, but do unionist parties believe that by simply overturning the result of the 2016 Scottish election because they lost it, they'll be put in good stead for winning the next one?

    That appears to be the plan; overturn the 2016 result by refusing a section 30, then win 2021 so neutering the Scottish people (not the SNP, but the actual entire Scottish electorate).

    This plan relies on Scots enthusiastically voting in 2021 to continue to have their own right to vote withheld from them.

    Forgive me I propose that will be about as successful as Lab + Con strategies in the recent EU elections.

    I might also venture to suggest people look south to see what happens to parties the electorate view as not respecting the way the country voted...

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  12. The recording on SoundCloud of Nicola Sturgeon's conversation with Dearbhail McDonald at the Royal Irish Academy can be listened to here:

    https://soundcloud.com/the-royal-irish-academy/nicola-sturgeon-interview-27-05-2019

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    1. Nat si cow. Jenny Cranko. Couldn't get a shag in Strangeways.

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  13. Democracy: A system of government first developed in Greece whereby an English politician personally decides the political / constitutional futures of entire neighboring countries by withholding their right to vote while threatening legal crackdowns.

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  14. Why are you agreeing that the english have the power to stop us even holding a vote?

    We don't need any legal challenges. The power is set out and defined in law and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

    Any local councillor who attempted to block the holding of such a vote would be in prison.

    If the english refuse to accept the outcome of a legal vote then it is nothing more than a declaration of war. A war in which they have no allies, no ammunition, no forces, no food and no fuel.

    Why do people on our own side fall for the cringe?

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    1. Two very relevant questions. Why indeed?

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    2. I was merely commenting on what appears to be the EVEL English governments official position...

      And that of assorted soon to unelected PM candidates.

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    3. War War the Scots battling with the English to let the Germans run Scotland.

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    4. As you well know GWC, it's the English government threatening Scotland.

      Scotland is now subject to clear and open threats that voting will be outlawed if it is not to the liking of the unelected (in Scotland) English government / MPs.

      Next will follow threats as to what will happen if Scots do dare simply to exercise their right to vote. See Spain for a recent example of what we can expect.

      I'll wager the first threats will be to Holyrood and that England will move to take back powers wholesale if Scots don't vote the way it wants.

      History tell us this is what happens in such situations, and it's not as if the brits don't have loads of form here.

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    5. You have to remember the Brits are mainly Scottish then English Welsh and Irish. With some European Protestants fleeing Catholic oppression. We do not wish to return to selling Jesus nails do we!

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  15. Some good points and the way James kind of opens your mind to taking a different track, or perhaps just because I'm a bit thick, its easy to make me think.

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    1. Yes you part of the thick Scottish Nat si English hating Cult.
      Most of you are descendents of the Irish. Pretend Scots.

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    2. Mordecai Splitter (Nottingham Poet)May 29, 2019 at 9:31 PM

      Uh-oh. Cordelia's in a bad mood. She's been barred from the off-licence, so no buckfast cocktails for our sophisticated lady tonight.

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    3. I have a band of men.

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  16. I say we Scots can run an independent nation without being in the UK an oan Oor knees tae Germany and its French compliant neighbour. SCOTLAND can be INDEPENDENT. An those bastards who say we cannae then get it right up them especially the English. We hate the English even merr than any English living in French Canada. We love French Canadians and hate Scots who moved to Canada.

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