Friday, August 10, 2007

Scottish Poll Could Mean Early Election Is Less Likely

An opinion poll north of the border has caused great excitement in the SNP ranks and gloom among virtualyl everybody else. The SNP is on a massive 48%, which, when you bear in mind that only two years ago they achieved a mere 17% at the 2005 general election, is quite an achievement. It's not so much a Brown bounce and as a Holyrood Honeymoon for Alex Salmond.
The Labour Party is on 32%, the same as they achieved in May, but the Tories and LibDems have halved their votes to 8% and 8% respectively. The LibDems have been consistently scoring single digit figures in Scottish polls, but the Tory figure is quite astonishing. The SNP are saying that support for independence is behind support for the SNP, but that is a longer game. The issue for the moment, they say, is whether Labour will suffer in Scotland at the next election.

And that is why the key result from this poll is that it means an Autumn election is just that little bit less likely.


David Boothroyd said...

Is that an opinion poll for UK election voting or for Scottish election voting? They have shown big differences.

It's not surprising that Alex Salmond is getting a bounce as he has done a lot of very popular and populist things, and generally demonstrated a surprising level of competence. The test is to sustain it when he has to make unpopular decisions.

Mulligan said...

Those big differences just serve to highlight everything that is wrong with current system of devolution.

So in effect the Scottish voters don't want Labour politicians making decisions that effect them but are quite happy to dump them on the English..

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Thankyou for flagging that one up. Warms the cockles of me heart it does and no mistakin'.

strapworld said...

The Scottish Conservatives should offer their full support for the SNP, now they are in charge, and hopefully they will gain much support for doing so.

chatterbox said...

Scottish polls are notoriously rare and equally prone to being off the mark.
The last one had the Libdems down on 4% but the Tories up 2%. The Libdems are struggling at the moment and the Conservatives are getting some better press than they normally do. I would not bet money on either of those sets of polls being very accurate.
Although Goldie looks very safe, McConnel and Stephen do not.

BOF2BS said...

I thought the %'s were both conservatives & lib dems on 8% with SNP as stated 48% & labour at 32%.

For Westminster seats electoral calculus converts this into SNP 51 (up from 6)seats and labour 8 (down from 41).

Lib dems & the other party are forecast to have nil.

As pointed out in another blog this in itself would eliminate labours UK majority at Westminster.

Tapestry said...

I thought the BNP might lose Labour about 100 seats in England. If the SNP lose them 30 in Scotland (with Conservatives voting tactically that might be more), we are looking at a Conservative majority merely by maintaining the current levels of support that Cameron is achieving.

Roll on the nationalists. Bring on the lection, Gordon. You're history.

Ralph said...

It'll be fun watch all the Labourites telling us this is a meaningless bounce while Brown's bounce means something.

Even if the SNP take ten seats off Labour the chances of a Labour majority, let alone a workable one go down and down.

Go Alex Salmond.

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Scottish Labour woes could indeed dent Gordon Brown's bottom line. AND they certainly are strong argument AGAINST calling a snap general election.

Believe that when Brown finally sets the date, Labour may lose seats in Scotland but NOT anywhere near the extent suggested by today's reported numbers. Fact is, there were plenty of Labour and Labour-leaning voters who went SNP for Holyrood the last time around who can be expected to return to the fold in a Westminster election. Am doubtful this poll reflects that reality.

BECAUSE right now Scots really aren't focusing on the next UK general election. Instead, they are more attuned to the aftermath of the last Scottish Assembly election.

Labour's problems north of the border have much less to do with anything Gordon Brown is or isn't doing, than with the proven incompetence of former First Minister Jack McConnell and the obvious superiority (at least for starers) of his rival and successor Alex Salmond. Expect JMcC to be history in near future (Scots pundits are already publishing obituaries) and for SLP to elect a new leader tout suite.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Don't underestimate the very considerable contribution that Annabel Goldie makes to Scottish politics. She is liked and doesn't fawn all over Dangerous Dave. Alex Salmond respects her, which is more than can be said for her Southern counterpart. Scottish Conservatives have an important role to play - the Presiding Officer is one, and a good one at that. The only truly despised party in Scotland is Labour, closely followed by the LibDems.

All the effing stories put about by Gordo's lie machine about meltdown North of the Border are now clearly shown to be bollocks despite the near catastrophe caused by Westminster over the election count.

I voted SNP and I don't regret it, even if they do want to give asylum seekers amnesty..I can live with it.

The next thing to watch is for the introduction of the local income tax to replace council tax. You whingers will be pleased to know that Gordo is threatening to pull the plug on subsidies, by saying that he agreed to fund "council tax" not local income tax. Echoes of the Referendum get out.

Very interesting times North of the Border.

EML said...

Very interesting times indeed. I fear for the breakup of the UK if the SNP do too well in any sort of election. The result in May was perfect - good but not excellent for the SNP; bad but not disastrous for Labour.

The same sort of outcome in the Westminster election would perhaps mean Labour losing 20 seats, with the SNP gaining 15 of these.

vanfuertes said...

You have to take these polls with a very large pinch of salt. Remember, in the run-up to the elections in Scotland it was widely predicted the SNP would win and win well. As it happened, Labour narrowed the gap and didn't lose by much on polling day.

Furthermore, our pathetic voting system for Westminster elections means that many Scots who voted SNP in the Scottish election may tactically vote Labour in order to avoid a fate worse than death, i.e. Tories in power at Westminster.

Newmania said...

This is very good news , you can tell this by the degenerate whining of the apologists for the Brown Reich . The Labour Party have benefited for an generation from the anti Union feelings at the Celtic fringe and this long terms drift reflected across Europe has maintained them as a Party at times when they would have been rightfully snuffed out. . Labour are a socialist Party in a country which detests socialism and a Party of redistribution when Capitalism has continued to provide wealth . That is why they delay the boundary commission an the reason they are always beneficiaries of population movement from their deliberately constructed slums to Conservative areas. In their own strategic literature they admit this in somewhat different terms admittedly. The Unionist history of the Conservatism has taken a generation to be sadly abandoned and this coincidence of facts has made a minority Labour Party into a dominant force. Now Nationalist feeling is approaching its proper expression in full independence Labour realise they will be finished forever in England . What will this power hungry malignant yellow fanged predator do thus cornered , we can expect a vicious attack on the constitution which I suspect Brown has already made plans for .( In fact I know he has from admission in his New Statesman mouthpiece)
There will show trial committees that decide , magically that a weird and wonderful transferable vote system is long overdue and by some formula they will prevent the English from ruling our country at the polling booth . If the toad Brown tries to this I and others are ready to take direct action outside Parliament I hope the English will rise up in fury against this odious would be despot
This is why Brown must not have any sort of mandate for wholesale vandalism of our ancient right s at the next election .Forget Scotland it’s the majority in England that counts . Salmon has not yet begun to spend money persuading the Scots or to fabricate grievance , he certainly will and ironically does not want to be too successful until he has the referendum result in the bag. He is justified in this in that SNP votes are pro independence but other votes are not anti independence a sis sometimes absurdly claimed.

I believe both the Scots and the English will benefit from independence of each other and but I am still all ears . On the many occasions this subject has cropped up Noone ,not once , not ever has managed to give me one benefit the English get from staying in this antiquated and undemocratic Union structure. Our taxes buy foreign votes to deny us our choice and we are endlessly abused and hated by those who take our coin .A foreign Party system now operates in Scotland one half of which is counted in England in monstrous imposition of quasi imperial rule . Then of course there is the actual democratic defacit that really only hides the structural and far more serious deficit
The left attack Conservatives by pointing out the incoherence of a Unionists Party encouraging separation. They are years behind . Unionists are like the ridiculous old buffers that grumbled on about the empire into the 1970s , They are beating their wings in a vacuum

Interesting times for Scotland but a battle for the future of England will be more interesting provoked by the Scottish question and the gerrymandering Labour have existed on for years . SNP support will rise as they will manipulate circumstances to ensure it does. This time next year it will be worse for brown and he may yet decide to go early , (in fact he would but they are broke )

Old BE said...

It looks to me like it will be the Scots who will finally set the English free.

Come on Salmond, help us out here!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Newmania, I was enjoying your piece right up until,

"SNP support will rise as they will manipulate circumstances to ensure it does"

And then my cornflakes got projected all over the Arbroath Smokies.

If they do manage to "manipulate circumstances" it will be for the better, and if they get more support it will be because they deserve it. We are not such stupid imbeciles when it comes to politicians and you won't get Alex Salmond telling whopping porkies, or wriggling out of committments over semantics.

Indeed, he has been jeered for trying to progress on the Independence Referendum issue (since it clearly cannot happen yet), but you know, it was a manifesto commitment on holding a referendum, and up here,(call us old fashioned) we think politicians should honour them.

I think you pick up on the irony.

Old BE said...

manifesto commitment on holding a referendum, and up here,(call us old fashioned) we think politicians should honour them.

What a shame that Brown seems to have forgotten old-fashioned honour.

Tapestry said...

No sign that Scotland wants either genuine independence from Britain or sublimation in the EU, I am told by my Scottish advisers on CH.

The idea of 30 SNP MPs being sent to Westminster is indeed an exciting prospect. But is it a realistic pospect?

The Scots are keen on raising two fingers to all, it is true. But they want to do that while at the same time extracting as much cash as they can
out of any English or Continentals who are foolish enough to keep sending it.

While the Scots are taken up with SNP romanticism and a feeling of equality with England, you would think they might feel less inclined to keep voting for more money to be donated by the very English that they despise.

They could of course reduce their humiliating dependence on our cash...and abandon Labour in a GE.

But I wouldn't count on it.

When the chips are down, a vote for Labour appeals to the Scottish financial mentality.

They are attracted by the romantic notions of independence and equality, but not with the harsh realities of having to make their own way in the world, when it comes to money.

A vote for the SNP in a GE might hasten the day that the cheques from London stop arriving, and that would never do.

The English will be subjected to as much reverse humiliation as the Scots can engineer, voting SNP in local elections, but surely we realise by now that when it comes to money the Scots are far too canny a bunch, as to waste votes sending SNP candidates to Westminster.

A vote for the SNP is a vote for Scotland's heart. A vote for Labour is a vote for the Scotsman's pocket. And there is little doubt as to which one counts the most in Scotland.

Am I right?

Old BE said...

Do you really think that Scotland can't be as successful as anywhere else in Europe?

I don't see why not. A reduction in the cash transfer would mean the Scottish state could become lean and mean. That's a recipe for growth. There's no reason why they shouldn't "do an Ireland" either.

vanfuertes said...

I've just come across the question which the opinion poll figures were in response to;

'If a Holyrood election was held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?'

To say this in any way relates to how people might vote at Westminster is completely incorrect and a misleading. Methinks the Tories are trying to convince everyone, including themselves, that an election won't be called anytime soon.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

well done Ed. Tapestry, how very dare you.

Alex is enamoured of the Scandinavian model, and quite rightly. I am drinking Absolut vodka tonight just to get into the mood.

Sod the Barnet formula and Skal!

Tapestry said...

ed, I guess a Conservative government would be more inclined to view competition as to tax rates, faster growth and less handout dependency as a good thing - than a Labour one.

So Scots should elect SNP MPs to assist bringing in a Tory government, which would be more permissive and encouraging of growth in Scotland than Labour.

Labour would want to preserve the old union loyalties, keep state spending and dependency high.

Sorry if I doubted Scotland's entrepreneurial spirit. I might have to move up and live there to join in the surge in growth and lower taxes. I have 50% Scots ancestry. My mother lived on the Isle Of Mull.

Newmania said...

Yes it was about the time the first barrel of oil came ashore that the misty romanticism of the Scots suddenly transformed itself into a serious political force

Components of Independence said...

tapestry. Your whole diatribe about Scottish electors worrying about cheques from London completely misrepresents the situation, that exists here. Unfortuantely, for your point of view, a majority of Scots - unionist and nationalist - believe that Scotland should be in control of our own finances (all of them). Not only that but many in the more progressive wings of the Scottish Labour party (shockingly) do believe that Scotland should have at least some fiscal control - and the Scottish Tories are just about coming round to the idea that conservatism is incompatible with unionism. There is a broad consensus throughout Scottish political circles, and amongst the population that Scotland's finances and resources should be controlled by Edinburgh.

It certainly will be the Scots that will be the vanguard for the further constitutional change in the UK. Its not really about independence (although that is my preferred option) or devolution for England, but what further powers Scotland will acquire. Broadcasting is another - and it looks increasingly likely that Scotland will be getting more sway over that, in the near future.

I suspect, on the independence thing (and it is supposition based on quite a bit of evidence and personal experience) that underneath all the rhetoric from folks south of the border, there is a kind of navel gazing and wonderment. Given that across the world, Scotland-shire is seen as a bit of England (aka Great Britain or the Yookay), that in terms of geopolitics and international affairs, any Scottish secession from the union would be deeply embarrassing and humiliating for England/rUK in the immediate term following. To counter that you'd no doubt say that the English would be glad to see the back of us, and sending us our pocket money to keep us quiet (simplistic and factually sh*te as that is), but that is not how it would be seen at large. It would be like the England football team being beaten by the East Fife Sunday league 10 - nil - only a million times worse.

It is certainly what I see when I see some commentator from south of the border, mouth off about Scotland and the Scottish Question and present their opinion as fact, when in reality they have no understanding of the country of Scotland or its politics or its affairs. Sorry to say (but with the greatest respect), there are big shades of it in your analysis, Tapestry.

One thing is for sure though. Gordon is the roadblock to reform in BOTH our countries. And I do hope it puts paid to the lie that Gordon has the backing of all 5.1m of us to go there, and dictate laws for England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Personally, politically and economically, I'd rather Scotland had nothing to do with England. People in Scotland have no desire to rule her, dominate her. Gordon might, but he's just plain weird.

Tapestry said...

grant, I don't think the English would feel humiliated by not having to subsidise Scotland. The dependency is humiliating for both sides.

If Scotland's economy would grow faster, and her state dependency would reduce, that's good news on all sides of the border.

If she cannot achieve such a benign economic state without a more independent political arrangement, that too would be fine in most English books.

But opinion polls are not in accord with these fine aspirations, we are told. Far more vote for SNP at Holyrood than desire the end of the Union.

That's why I am a little supsicious as to the seriousness of the push for independence, and tend to see a little unreality in SNP posturing.

I don't think Scots have made up their minds. Most have only recently become interested in these topics. Is it really good for Scotland to become a tasty sized morsel for EUSR consumption, by splitting away from England?
European Union of Subservient Regions)

I take your point that the English have much to learn about Scottish politics - but I and others are genuinely curious, and not in an unfriendly way as you may think...

of course we enjoy a litle humour at your expense. As that's politically incorrect in the eyes of cultural Marxists, the satisfaction derived is all the greater.

hatfield girl said...

Tapestry, No, it isn't right that Scotland wants English taxpayers' money. Labour wants English taxpayers' money because it is Labour that has bought Scottish votes with English taxpayers' money
- and bought them cheaply.

The defeat of the Labour regime in Scotland has been narrow but definitive; as the Scottish prime minister , First Minister Salmond, meets his party's manifesto commitments at remarkable speed, the allegiance to his party and to an understanding of the viability and wealth of an independent but commonwealth Scotland grows.

And an allegiance to the European Union is not necessary. The Norwegian model of EU relations, plus the two crowns model, (or alternatively the commonwealth model) of a looser England/Scotland or Scotland/ British Isles federation are also on offer.

That's why there is to be a Scottish Speaker's Conference so that all this can be considered - not just a so-called 'referendum on independence'.

The need for such a Speaker's Conference in England too, on England's relations with a federated British Isles, is pressing.

Tapestry said...

HG, You mean the Scots might escape the clutches of the EUSR before England. The lucky bastards! (SR - Subservient Regions)

Would Scotland issue its own currency linked to a Rest of Britain Sterling?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Hatfield and Grant have gone a long way to showing the up side of Scottish affairs. As an Englishman up here I am constantly amazed at how different it is as a country and how there is a feeling about of optimism and excitement. (Not to mention relief at the liberation from Labour)

As I said, and Hatters re-iterated, we could do worse up here than look carefully at the Norwegian model, and of course Mr Salmond has been doing just that for some time.

In November 2006 Alex Salmond said:

"Norway provides an excellent model for Scotland. They secured their independence in the 20th century.

“It’s time Scotland followed the independence example of our nearest neighbours – wealthy Norway and successful Ireland.

There is no doubt independence will give Scotland the freedom to flourish without London remote control. As Norway has shown, this is clearly the best option for any modern, forward-looking nation.”

Since the we have rainfall to rival that of Bergen, I think the transition may be painless.

Newmania said...

GRANT- The humiliation of Scotland going its own way would be comfortably born by the 70% of people in a recent ICM poll that expressed a wish that they hurry up about it.
You are by your own logic unqualified to comment on England ands you can take my word for it that its not a problem. The additional tax payers bung to be sent up to bribe the leftist BBC in Scotland is not really any more than a pro tem bribe from Salmon . He knows better than anyone how important they are as they were behind much of the Anti Union feeling in the first place . The truth is that the misty eyed romantic Scots first sniffed the heather and thought “We are a nation ! “, at about the time the first barrel of Oil came ashore yes ?.As for learning form the jocks ,the bizarre system they have in Scotland should be enough to convince us we are better of as we are forever it has been hysterical to watch the contortions of this full blown ‘vicar and naughty maid in the cupboard ‘ farce.

We would certainly be a lot happier and more fulfilled if the privileged Scots that infest or media and political life were excluded as the English are excluded from theirs. This one way racial prejudice they are allowed to retain , has put a block on social movement here which is immensely damaging whithin this country and the effect of the Scots on publicly funded arts and poltical media is truly hideous. Imagine an English Broadcasting company reflecting English tastes and talents . Imagine the London festival taking over from the dreadful PC Edinburgh worthyness. In many areas an English tradition that has been suppressed since the 20th century when the myth of Britain( which was really greater England ) became a reality. A truly English National theatre would be an immediate artistic flowering. The UK only ever suited the socialists and the Queen.

HG The SNP have made it very clear that they will be “ At the heart of the EU”. Independence in Europe is their theme and they are looking both at Norway’s endless Oil and Ireland’s grants in what they call the circle of affluence …( the what ?!). In fact the utterly different stories are both ’ anything to hand ‘to convince the Scots they would be better off without us, which they are mostly convinced is the case. Our paths will , I believe diverge quite sharply .Ireland and Scotland will be simply neighbouring countries. NI suspect Scotland will initially be wore off but will soon adjust onto a healthier footing. Rates of joblessness and public service employ in Glasgow are vertiginously high which is of course the Labour Party’s strategy. That would all go but proper jobs might eventually be created

With the new shape of the English electorate however England would be in a position to negotiate with the EU without having to lug its currently poorly little brother around all the time. This is a great chance for England and for all I know for Scotland , Oils services and financial services are going into supernova up there so there is plenty of hope but then their problems will no longer be ours and they will no longer be required to comment on our internal affairs.

Weasel Norway is the richest country in the world it has so much Oil they are leaving some in the ground becuase they have nothing left to buy. Scottish Oil reserves are not in that position ad the Liabilities involved are also such that it may be a poisoned chalice .The intruiging possibility that the Shetlands may do a deal with Norway bears watching too

Tapestry said...

Newmania I noticed the SNP website looked like a Brussels subservience strategy. I was surprised to hear that Scots see that they will be achieving more independence from the EUSR, like Norway.

Wrinkled Weasel said...


"Newmania I noticed the SNP website looked like a Brussels subservience strategy"

Where is your evidence for this, or is it just wishful thinking on your part?

Tapestry said...

far from it. i would not want scotland or the snp to be subservient to the EUSR. I would like to see scotland independent of the EUSR so England could follow on behind in your slipstream

I think it is more my fear that the 'independence' of Scotland from the UK is really only the EUSR regionalisation programme being sold in a deceitful way, much supported by the BBC which is full-on backing the ever closer union of the regions while breaking up the nations.

the website aroused my suspicions by its scarcely mentioning the issue of european integration at all, which seems a little hopeless.

I know that independence means that in theory scotland can decide her own terms with the EUSR, but that's not the view of the EUSR which believes that the regions that emerge from the nations they were once a part of, are subject to the same treaties agreed by their former nations.

indpendence from the UK will be realtively easy. It is independence from the EUSR which is the real challenge, and it is not even mentioned in the snp website as I can see.

hatfield girl said...

'regions that emerge from the nations they were once a part of, are subject to the same treaties agreed by their former nations.'
Tapestry, could you say where that is laid out? It is such a huge body of information, so that is my excuse for asking should you happen to have it to hand. I had thought that seceding nations from a federal member state had to renogotiate their statuses with the EU - in or out. And if in, then meet the entry requirements, which include automatic commitment to conforming to the rules required to be accepted into the Euro. Which is why Scotland may consider its advantage vis a vis the EU very carefully, and take full cognizance of Norway's EU relations.

There is a mini propaganda Labour programme being pushed out that Scotland is to be compared with other member-states' sometimes uppity regions; which is nonsense because Scotland is a nation on the level of Finland, Denmark, Norway etc., not a region that has a princely state history, or a city state history but that have long been assimilated into federal member states, like Bavaria or Tuscany are to Germany and Italy.

Tapestry said...

hg - the EUSR programme is to break up nations into regions. they will hardly be likely to permit the regions to break away any more than they would allow nations to, once we are signatories to the Constitution.

The Constitution is the last Treaty. It creates the European Council of 24 who will rule Europe. Theer will be no option but to obey EUSR laws by this stage.

If Scotland wants independence, it will have to block the EUSR Constitution or become a Sunservient Region of the EU. Independence from Britain would become meaningless.

If Brown holds a GE, Conservative and SNP should form an electoral pact to ensure the maximum number of MPs get to Westminster to block the Constituion. (Watch out for electoral postal vote fraud, unsealed ballot boxes etc as Labour could well try dirty tricks if it beleives that it will lose the battle democratically).

hatfield girl said...

T, perhaps that is why Salmond is moving so fast on the White Paper on an independence referendum and the linked Scottish Speaker's Conference. If the EU constitutional treaty that is due to be signed in the autumn closes down a wholly independent route for Scotland, and offers only an independent -within-the-EU possibility they'll need to get their skates on.
But I had thought that if Scotland left the federal UK it would have to renegotiate its relationship with the EU.

And why, if Scotland is discussing all this, is there no Speaker's Conference in the Westminster parliament to discuss the state of the UK federation? Scotland may or may not want out, but why, again, are the Scots getting the formal occasion to discuss, take advice, and vote while the English are not even though it is as important to England.

We are having 2 countries representative democracies warped and manipulated and denied so that one political party, Labour and only Labour, can optimise its chances of staying in power.

Anonymous said...

tapestry wrote: "I thought the BNP might lose Labour about 100 seats in England."

A joke? I hope so.

The disparaging remarks about Scottish voters intentions just come across as ignorant and rude.

The subsidy-junkie myths are self-perpetuating but ultiately serve only to fool you into an entirely one dimesioanl view of Scottish culture and politics.

Gus A