Just a quick note to let you know I've written an analysis piece for The National about the by-election result and the changes I think the SNP will need to make in response. You can read it HERE.
Friday, October 6, 2023
One of the most idiotic self-inflicted wounds in UK political history: in a by-election that might never have been held if the SNP hadn't campaigned for it, Yousaf suffers crushing defeat that calls his future as leader into question
Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election result:
Thursday, October 5, 2023
No matter what the result tonight, someone will pop up and say "oooh, you can't read too much into by-elections, voting patterns are different for by-elections". Which spectacularly misses the point, because by-elections are important not because of what they show about public opinion, but because of the effect that they have on public opinion. The most celebrated by-election results, like Hamilton 1967 and Govan 1973, produced extraordinary nationwide snowball effects that fed into successive general election results.
However, to produce a snowball effect, a by-election result would need to have the "wow" factor, and because there's such a strong expectation that Labour will win tonight, I'm not sure a narrow Labour victory would be enough to produce a game-changing form of momentum. To get a sense of where expectations lie going into the by-election, I ran an unscientific Twitter prediction poll the other day, which produced the following results -