Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Why the only way Scotland can deliver a Tory government to a putative Labour-voting England is to vote...Scottish Labour

There's been an interesting explosion in cries de coeur from Labour types keening about the possibility of their erstwhile Conservative colleagues governing the UK for the next five years as a direct result of Scotland 'letting Labour down' whilst the people of England vote Labour. 

Let us lay aside the fact that Scottish Labour has just spent the last three years campaigning alongside the Conservatives for the principle that the latter party has the right to govern Scotland even if Scotland rejects them at elections, and check out the claim that Scotland could deliver a Conservative government to the good Labour-voting burghers of England.

It is an incontrovertible fact that of the two main parties in Scotland, the National party has expressly ruled out a coalition government, or any confidence and supply arrangement, with the Conservatives. Labour has refused to make a similar commitment, incidentally. 

If one assumes that Scottish Labour will not prop up a Conservative government, then it means that for all intents and purposes, a Scottish Labour MP and a National party MP are fundamentally interchangeable in terms of Commons arithmetic inasmuch as it means the election of x Scottish Labour or Nationalist MP in Scotland - regardless of yellow or red rosette - means that the Conservatives must win x+1 seats in the rest of the United Kingdom to go ahead of Labour in the rest of the United Kingdom by one seat. 

There are 532 seats in England which are being contested by either Labour or the Conservatives. Consequently, to win a majority of seats in England, the Labour Party would need 267 of them. 

If the Conservatives were to win every other seat in England, they would therefore have 265 seats in the country. 

In the unlikely event that this situation occurs, then if would need the Conservatives to win three more seats in Scotland than their opposition to have an Anglo-Scottish majority. The polls in Scotland are, to put it mildly, unkind to the Conservatives at this time. To give them that three extra seats, the Conservatives would need to win 31 seats in Scotland, a gain in seats of just over three thousand per cent. I consider this unlikely to occur. 

With Wales added in, the ridiculousness of this assertation is even more clear. Of the 40 Welsh seats, Labour currently hold 26, the Tories just 8, and the Liberals and Plaid on three apiece. If this situation remains, the Tories would need another nineteen seats in Scotland to have a majority of seats in Scotland, Wales and England, taking them to 40 of Scotland's 59 seats: an increase of four thousand per cent. The north of Ireland will probably be about eachy-peachy in terms of what Labour or Tory whip their MPs would take, but even if one assumes that Sinn Féin and the SDLP and the DUP lose all of their seats to the UUP, giving the Tory-aligned Unionists all eighteen seats in the statelet, this would still mean that the number of seats the Tories would need to win in Scotland would be 22 of our 59 seats. 

The Conservatives currently have one MP in Scotland. In the previous Parliament, the Conservatives had one MP in Scotland. In the Parliament before that, the Conservatives had one MP in Scotland. In the Parliament before that, the Conservatives had no MPs in Scotland. In the 1992 Parliament, they had eleven MPs here, in the 1987 Parliament, ten and in 1983 21. One would have to go back to 1979 where they had 22 MPs to reach that minimum number possible for Scotland to deliver a Tory government to Labour-voting England. 

Labour must think you're thick. With the National party ruling out any agreement with the Conservatives, and the latter looking set to get only one seat, the only way for Scotland to deliver a Labour-voting England a Conservative government is for Scottish Labour to win at least 21 MPs in Scotland and support the Conservatives in a coalition.


  1. It may be of interest to you that, on R4 this morning, they were discussing Nicola Sturgeon's upcoming speech at the UCL concerning the disaster which is the Tory austerity policy, mainly on the young, women and ill.

    The discussion moved to discussing the fact the SNP is in a fight "to the death" with Labour in Scotland for the left of centre votes. Their policies reflect that and some Labour MPs apparently are envious of them.

    However the cracker was that the interviewed correspondent, who was pontificating, said that Labour are making moves on the DUP as a partner post WGE. He quoted an MP or maybe more than one, who said that Labour would be much more comfortable working with the DUP than the SNP.

    I am speechless but maybe I should not be thinking this is in any way an unexpected development.

  2. It is my deepest hope that the Labour party get wiped out in the GE. That will make up nicely for the referendum. The SNP have been in office a while now and usually that means they are expected to lose seats but this is not happening . Scots are aware of the political shenanigans of the big two.

    Labour have kept Scotland in it's place for generations. No more. The party that was born here will die here to cheers from every YES voter they slated and smeared. And every No voter who was conned AGAIN by their lies empty promises. Labour could offer us independence and we; would never give them the vote.

    Murphy, labour Londons Blairite puppet is trying to cash in on the YES word thinking we are fools. This is pure comedy.

    P45's in the post for the lot.