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Scott’s Blog

Will the SNP really wipe out Labour in Scotland?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

 

According to the latest Ashcroft poll on seats in Scotland, the Scottish National Party are set to wipe Labour off the Scottish electoral map. 

If the Ashcroft polls are borne out by the results on election day, Labour may find they are in the staggering position of having less MPs in Scotland than the Conservatives – now that would be truly something!

The Ashcroft poll, sampled the voting intentions of 16,000 voters across Scotland and found that the overall swing to the SNP in Labour-held constituencies was a whopping 25.4%.

The devastation that could be wreaked on Labour by the SNP will change the political landscape in Scotland and perhaps the whole of Britain forever.

In fact, most of the high profile Scottish politicians we know such as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander and the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander will be defeated, as will Margaret Curran, the Shadow Scottish Secretary.

Labour face losing 39 of its 41 seats in Scotland. All their attempts to shore up their support seem to be failing – not even the election of the charismatic, bruiser, Jim Murphy to the Leadership of the Scottish Labour Party seems to have had any impact on Labour’s fortunes.

But an SNP landslide in Scotland could have a profound impact on the rest of the UK. Having as many as 40 SNP Members of Parliament could see them holding the balance of power in Westminster and re-igniting the whole Independence question just eight months after losing the referendum debate.

So what can Labour do about this SNP menace it faces? Well, if Ed Miliband has any sense he will adopt a very tough line pre-election. He will need to rule out any post-election coalition deal with the SNP and make clear to those thinking of voting for the SNP that it will weaken Labour and result in a Tory Government that will be reluctant to approve any further devolution.

Now Mr Miliband is not known for his bold political strategy. Just imagine what the polls would be like if he had committed Labour to an in/out referendum on the EU? Chances are, he would not even have to bother about what happens in Scotland. But he bottled that one. Will he have the nerve to rule out jumping into bed with Alex Salmond post- election? To be honest, chances are he will bottle that one too.

There is one ray of light for Labour amidst all the polling gloom in Scotland. Ashcroft himself cautions every time he publishes a poll that they are merely a snapshot of opinion on any given day. The Labour vote may and indeed is likely to harden as we approach May 7th. Ed Miliband is therefore likely to gamble everything on his vote holding up when it comes to actually putting a cross in the box.

Scotland will be a really interesting battleground, not only for Scots but for the rest of us. The results north of the border may just decide the next UK government, the future of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband’s own future and who knows, the future of the United Kingdom as we know it.

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