Scotland the Brave

The biggest story of yesterday’s British elections has to be the stunning success of the Scottish National Party in elections to the Scottish Parliament. As tipped on this blog, the SNP were rising in the polls, but in the end their success outstripped expectations, as they won 69 seats in the 129-seat parliament, a solid majority, despite a moderately proportional electoral system. The SNP won 45.4% of the constituency vote and 44.0% of the party-list vote. With Greens and an independent nationalist, pro-independence MSP’s will take up 72 seats in the new parliament.

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond (pictured) has promised that the new government will hold a referendum on independence, likely toward the end of their term. For the first time ever, Scottish voters are going to have a direct say on whether they want to be part of Great Britain or not.

In other news, the IRV referendum appears to have gone down in flames, as was widely expected.

3 thoughts on “Scotland the Brave

  1. Jason, good analysis – but I dislike the title. There is nothing ‘brave’ about the SNP or about Scottish voters. I hope the Scots do vote for independence because that is the only chance for non-socialist politicians to have any chance of success there. Deprived of English subsidies the high tax and spend policies which have led to large parts of Scotland having public expenditure figures not far off those that used to prevail in Eastern Europe simply couldn’t be sustained and the voters would have to confront the need for radical surgery to the public sector. Alas, this is precisely why they wont vote for Independence – all the polls show at best 30% support for it. Far easier to maintain English subsidised Scottish socialism and enjoy the luxury of moaning about rule from a supposedly ‘mean-spirited’ Tory England.

  2. I agree that a referendum on independence is unlikely to succeed, in part because Scotland is somewhat dependent on English taxpayers (although the extent to which this is true is often exaggerated, with Scotland’s incorrectly being put into the same category with Wales). I do think there’s something to admire in any voter insurgency against long-held political allegiances in favor of a party advocating radical change, regardless of whether the direction is likely to be successful. In the same way, I’d consider Sussex voters “brave” if they put in a bunch of UKIP MPs at the next general election, even though I think the UKIP’s core objective is unlikely to benefit the country.

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