Friday, 6 May 2016

Some Thoughts The Day After

Looking at some of the discussion of the election last night. I have to disagree with some of the analysis even from close friends in politics that we should blame the SNP 1&2 strategy. The SNP made this pretty clear this was not a vote for independence rather electing a government in the Scottish Parliament. I think it is right that unless there are extenuating circumstances there shouldn't be another referendum within the next five years. I don’t think we can criticise SNP members for voting SNP as long as they are not saying it was best for independence. Likewise it is wrong for SNP members to blame the Greens for unionists winning constituencies as Alex Salmond ever so subtlety hinted at with Alison Johnstone (of course even though she was perfectly entitled to stand). Questions need to be asked why a more popular candidate wasn't chosen to take on Jackie Baillie a very winnable seat.

Undoubtedly the results were based far more along constitutional lines than at any other election. Labour had a nightmare but more worrying is the spin that the media are putting on it that they went too far left, Corbyn effect etc. (Again Salmond’s whopper that you cant out left the SNP, OBA, local council cuts, top rate of tax etc are all areas that credible opposition can be taken on the left of the SNP). The truth is the rot for Labour set in when Blair, Brown and cohorts made the choice that to win elections they had to appeal to the Middle England vote to do so would go against the voters of North England and Scotland but the assumption was they would never vote Tory. They didn't count on the SNP filling that traditional Labour role (on societal issues at least).

Perhaps even more alarming for Labour and Dugdale is not only the decline in seats but who actually won seats for Labour... Sarwar, Baillie, McIntosh will all try to move the party back to a new Labour track.

I think there are positives, the increase in Greens, the fact the SNP don't have a majority means they will have to seek more of a consensus which worked well for them in 2007-11. A Conservative opposition may also allow the pro independence parties to set dividing lines which are more evident than comparisons to devolved parliament and Westminster.

For those pro independence non SNP/Greens supporters the question is what next for you? As a former Labour member are they kicked hard enough down that the pro yessers can rejoin and have a positive impact? Or are they a busted flush. Should we throw our chips into the Greens or SNP and try to move them onto a more socialist agenda? Or is there a void which now needs to be filled?

One thing you can’t say about politics in Scotland. It sure isn’t boring.

1 comment:

  1. I think Labour and Labour voters need to make a choice now. It's a simple binary choice. Yes or No. The outcome for both will tip Yes over the line.
    If the party fall fully behind unionism then I believe more core voters will dessert them for Yes. If they choose Yes, then the core will follow anyway.
    As an ex Labour voter myself, I was a convert in 2011. I'm sure there are still more there.

    The tory vote last night was not a resurgence, it's a crystalisation of hard unionism. It's like a boil that's just come to a head.
    Labour have just been forced into making very difficult choice that will make them or break them for good.