Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Of course the SNP will vote to bring down the Tories - if they can

Over at Stormfront Lite, Alastair Meeks has mused that an early general election is unlikely to happen, and that part of the reason is that the SNP would not vote for it -

"The SNP also seem to be staring down the barrel of a gun. Unless their poll ratings recover markedly, they look set to lose many more seats at the next election simply because those voters who wish to defend the union now have a clear route map which party to back in most constituencies. So there looks likely to be an enduring majority opposed to an early election, with or without the DUP."

With all due respect to Alastair, this is a classic case of a southern commentator not really 'getting' the political realities in Scotland.  As I said in my article in The National the other day, I do think the SNP would probably prefer there not to be an election for a while, but it's a much more finely-balanced call than Alastair thinks - lots of SNP seats are vulnerable to Labour, but there are also a hell of a lot of new Tory seats that look very precarious, and in which the SNP are the only realistic challengers.  If you can imagine the psychological impact of Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson reclaiming their seats (what would Peter "only Salmond's result matters" Kellner say then?!), you can see why the SNP might reckon that an early election is not an entirely unattractive prospect, especially if Tory support starts to drop even a little.

There are two other key points - firstly, although Alastair is correct that SNP seats in the central belt look vulnerable to Labour, he's largely wrong about the reason.  "Defending the union" tactical voting obsessives were not exactly thin on the ground in the campaign we've just had, so it's hard to see how that problem is suddenly going to get dramatically worse.  No, the real problem is the sheer momentum behind Corbyn, and the way it may carry along left-wing voters who in many cases actually believe in independence.  From that point of view, an October election could look a tad scary, but the momentum may well have fizzled out if things drag on until next year or beyond.

Secondly, regardless of the strategic judgement on whether an election is in the SNP's best interests, there is no real doubt that they will vote in favour of one if they get a chance, and that they will vote against the Tory government in any vote of no confidence.  Yes, they abstained on the calling of the election we've just had, but they were able to justify that on the basis that it looked overwhelmingly likely that the Tories would significantly increase their majority.  If there looks to be the remotest chance of getting the Tories out, they will have no choice at all - the long-term consequences of being seen to "keep the Tories in" hardly bear thinking about.

All of this is fairly academic, because the arithmetic supporting a Tory-DUP deal is reasonably secure - even if the Tories suffer a string of by-election defeats, it would probably take at least three years before there would be any chance of a defeat on a vote of confidence.  That's unless there are defections - Alastair dismisses that notion on the grounds of the wide ideological gap between the parties, but I would have thought the Liberal Democrats might start to look like a tempting alternative home for one or two liberal Tory MPs if the Brexit negotiations go badly.

More realistically, though, if an early election happens it will not be because the Tories have literally been brought down - it'll be because they can't get their business through the Commons, and start looking for an escape route, or because Theresa May is replaced and the new leader decides to gamble (and it would obviously be a huge gamble) on gaining a personal mandate.

34 comments:

  1. James, do you not think the big test will be on Monday at the Queens speech? I for one can't see the Tories rebelling for at least a few years. They'll be too scared to hand the keys to Corbyn. Although, Tbh one thing I have learned from this election, is that nothing is predictable!

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    1. You are clearly an immature political has been. The Tories are in power. Corbyn is finished and collecting his salary. 2022 is the next election.

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    2. I hope you enjoy being the plaything of the DUP. Your rabid howlings are downright liberal compared with those of your overlords' new masters.

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  2. Also all the seats lost could easily be regained at the next election. Nothing is certain when it comes to elections.

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  3. The Tories manifesto for governance in Scotland is:
    No second independence referendum.
    People will be so glad to hear that when the further cuts to public service budgets being planned by Tory Central start to bite.
    Public service workers having their pay frozen again can take comfort from the fact that the Tories don't want them to have any say in Scotland's future and what a good thing that is for them!


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    1. The Nat sis had no proposals to alleviate poverty and save public service jobs.
      Blaming the Tories failed. Bleeding the majority English was not an option. The Scots have to pay more for their services. Stop yer maonin Jock and put yer haun in yer pocket.

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    2. I hope you enjoy being the plaything of the DUP. Your rabid howlings are downright liberal compared with those of your overlords' new masters.

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  4. The punters are not swallying yer anti Tory claptrap. The majority see right through the Tartan Tories and their Tory policies. The biggest scum are the silent cowardly so called lefties that joined the nat sis....

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    1. away n dinnae talk pish ya cockwomble

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  5. Another factor in this is the actual outcome of the recent GE and Mrs May's decision to have an agreement with DUP, in addition to the creditable performance by Jeremy Corbyn.

    Voters are sentient and intelligent people and factor in many things before casting their vote. Because they voted FOR X last week does not mean they will not vote AGAINST X next week'

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  6. Knickerless in negotiation with the EU. Wull dae anythin ye tell us Herr Juncker kneeling doon unzippin his troosers....We hate the English Herr Juncker gulp! So dae we meine frau, legs tremblin.

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    1. I hope you enjoy being the plaything of the DUP. Your rabid howlings are downright liberal compared with those of your overlords' new masters.

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  7. The only party that abstains or votes with the torys is labour

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  8. It's a bit more than just annoying that so much of the corbyn surge that helped take seats from the SNP was down to pro-EU voters supporting an anti-Eu party. Why were so many young people misled into throwing their votes away?

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  9. Labour votes against the welfare bill
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/these-are-the-184-labour-mps-who-didn-t-vote-against-the-tories-welfare-bill-10404831.html

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  10. Aye the impersonator Nat si welfare junkie shitbags are back... Here we go again....The nat sis promised to raise funds to alleviate any cuts but decided to be Tartan Tories.
    Knickerless and May, sounds like a business.

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    1. I'm not sure folk are paying that much attention to you now, fella. Your posts are all the same - trigger words and gravy.

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  11. I think that the single most important thing from now is to have a consistent Brexit pre-deal message. The most difficult thing about that will be how to make that message fit in with the huge number of unknowns that might or might not form part of the Brexit deal-actual. And then once the unknowns are known there'll be a tiddly wee campaigning window in which to go sputnik with a firm post-Brexit message. This isnae gonna be easy folks. Working out the pre-deal and post-deal messages will be difficult enough. Getting that message to everyone will be even harder.

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    1. It is difficult to know the unknowns when the unknowns are not known although the difficulties in the Nat si party are known.

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    2. I hope you enjoy being the plaything of the DUP. Your rabid howlings are downright liberal compared with those of your overlords' new masters.

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  12. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/majority-scots-want-want-second-10624842

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    1. Yeah, it's the Daily Record, fella. I tell you what, when a person who looks for a bit of balance across the publications starts saying something like that.... It's impossible these days to single out a single source and say "you can expect balance there". Traditionally it's been the newspapers that were a bastion of balance, backed up and confirmed by the BBC. A few years ago, well before an Indyref was even being talked about, the BBC was my go-to for news. When I got home from work it was often the first thing I put on the telly. I rarely watch it these days, for political balance at least. Their political team spoiled it. And it's not like their political reporting is deliberately partisan. It's just that #1 they can't help being human, and #2 they deny being human. And then you have publications like the Daily Record. The DR goes well beyond subconscious partisanship. They go for it. Really go for it. It's so bad now that you can, without even having seen that day's headline, expect it to be 10 - 90% shite. For me it's a case of once-bitten. But then you have the problem of where to actually go for balance. Well, perhaps philosophically, there's nowhere to go. You have to "balance out" the coverage by looking over a healthy selection. And if you find one that, on balance, is balanced, then you give it a bit more weight. Surprisingly, it's the online offerings that hold that mantle now. Sites like SGP and Wings and WGD and Derek Bateman - sites that are dismissed as mouthpieces by the mainstream - those are the balance reflectors now. But even then there's a problem, because those are all pro-indy. They might have different takes on similar issues, but they all support independence (to degrees). SGP is the go-to for objective analysis of the stats and a reasoned interpretation of what they mean to real people. Wings is belligerently frank about pick-a-topic-apart. The Dug can be a bit ranty but he has a tendency to hit nails on the head when it comes to the mood on the ground. Derek Bateman is nuance personified. I wish the guy would put more stuff on his blog because I've no doubt folk would donate-subscribe for that standard of journalism if it was more regular. And then there are the bigger beasts, the ones that purport to be broad(ish) churches - Bella and Commonspace. They generate greater output, but they're still indy-partisan. The thing with all of them though, is that they have no anti-indy counterparts. There are sites that are anti-indy, but they are anti-indy regardless, mean and aggressive. The weight of the indy counter balance is still held by the mainstream media. But those outlets - whether it's The Express or The Guardian or the DM or The Times or whoever - are tainted. They have history. They have form. And then there's the Daily Record. When I was a boy you either bought the DR or The Sun. The Star if you needed extra tits and outrage. Back then they could count on decent circulation figures so they didn't need things like click-bait. They could afford to exhibit a basic social conscience. But then they turned from newspapers into businesses, and all that changed. And so, we are where we are today, with the mainstream media needing to sell product, being driven by egos from the back of Bentley's. The hacks don't stand a chance. They'll write what the ego's expect them to write. In the words of The Donald, it's a shame. So basically now, if you want something that's balanced, you need to gather up different takes on the same thing and make a judgement from the bundle. If you do that regularly then you can start to weight accordingly. And you find that the SGP's of this world are weighty, and the Daily Record's are light as fuck.

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    2. Partly it's just human beings being human beings.
      In the last month, the Tories, Labour, UKIP and the SNP have all accused the BBC of bias. Because people pay more attention to negative things than positive ones.

      It's the same phenomenon that makes people think that the other queues are moving faster than their one in the supermarket. It's very well documented.

      And afterwards, everyone says 'Well yes, but we're the ones who are REALLY being discriminated against'.
      It's like religion. Every god that has ever existed is a silly fairy story, except my one.

      We've do have some clearly, insanely biased media. The Daily Mail, The National, The Morning Star, all these fawn over their respective masters.

      Most of the others are just playing to their particular demographic, or are shameless opportunists like the Sun and the Express.

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  13. Vote corbyn get trident

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  14. The Tories are doing a great job of being absolutely appalling and I'm more than happy to watch them keep digging... It's time Britain lost its grandiosity and exceptionalism and starts to know its place (middling). This is the death throes. I'm quite enjoying it.

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  15. Speaking as one of those ex Yes voting Corbyn supporters I was always concerned my vote would be perceived as a vote against a second indyref ever. In the end those concerns were outweighed by me being genuinely convinced Corbyns Labour represented a real chance for UK to become the country I always hoped an independent Scotland could be.

    I think the fact that Elections IN Scotland potentially are NOT defined as prop or anti indy should be welcomed however much media in this country try to interpret results differently.

    I would also say that being "open minded" on constitutional matters is by far the more common mainstream position now whether that be Brexit or Indy. Again I think that's positive. The end result is the important thing not the constitutional vehicle that delivers it.

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  16. If there is a Westminster election so be it. We have to fight it. This time we should not go soft on Labour .
    remind them of how they have betrayed Scotland. Callaghan Government hid the oil wealth, Blair Government re drawing the boundary in the North Sea and of course standing with the Tories in Better Together. Labour are a Unionist party Corbyn is a Unionist and a vote for a Unionist party is a vote for the Union.
    Radical manifesto my f...... a..... its a manifesto that is return to Kenysian economics . It makes absolutely no attempt to address the the power structures that maintain wealth and privilege in the UK. The House Of lords no change . undemocratic FPTP election no change .
    Maybe am I showing my age but I remember all through the 80s the one more heave and we will have a Labour government argument. Only problem was Thatcher kept winning on the backs of English voters even Major won in 92. Even if and thats a big if Labour won they will have done nothing nothing radical to change the way the UK operates and the Tories will be back in and we will go back to as we were.
    The Party was complacent in the election I got to admit I was , thought my seat was safe. but we now got a majority down to under 2500k .
    I have now learned my lesson and I will not be going through the motions this time .
    it struck me on polling day how large our core vote is. The problem with the election was we never motivated the activists never mind the core voter base
    A stronger Indy message a more energetic campaign and they will discover that the SNP is far from finished

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  17. WeSaidNoToYesMen :-)June 16, 2017 at 7:19 PM

    Hang on, so...

    1) Other parties ganging up on the single biggest party and vote share winner in the Uk is GOOD

    2) Other parties ganging up on the single biggest party and vote share winner in Scotland is BAD

    hmmm...

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    1. I hope you enjoy being the plaything of the DUP. Your rabid howlings are downright liberal compared with those of your overlords' new masters.

      Delete
    2. WeSaidNoToYesMen :-)June 17, 2017 at 11:41 AM

      I voted labour me old mucker squire guv geezer

      I notice the SNP have a lot in common with one side or the other of the old firm. That is, if you criticise their side they assume you must automatically support the other bum cheek. You can't possibly support a third team.

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    3. Red Tory, Blue Tory - all the same to me. Guv.

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    4. I'm sure this is just an oversight, but you failed to identify the key difference - the SNP are the majority party in Scottish seats. The Tories do not have a UK-wide majority.

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