General Election 2015

As I write, the SNP membership has increased by 63% to be the UK’s third party by size. (The LibDems, whose membership has fallen by a third since May 2010, have 43,451 members: the SNP now have 62,870.)

The Scottish Green membership quintupled in a week, from 1,200 to nearly six thousand.

The most likely result of the May 2015 general election is still a Labour majority or Labour as the largest single party.

The SNP are likely to take more seats in Scotland than currently predicted: I think they will likely have 15 MPs, and I don’t think we’ve seen the full consequences of 18th September and the 84%+ turnout yet. The LibDems are currently predicted to fall to 19 seats, and that could – amusingly enough – make the SNP better coalition partners for Labour at Westminster if Labour needs a coalition.

I don’t see UKIP having any seats at all. They are not a party capable of gaining seats whenever there’s a significant level of turnout. If there was an 84%+ turnout at every election, UKIP would be classed with the Monster Raving Loony Parties, where properly they belong.

(While I plan to vote Scottish Green, since my MP is Mark Lazarowicz who voted for the Tory welfare cap, I don’t think it likely we’ll be seeing any Scottish Green MPs at Westminster. Which is sad, because they’d be great. But we are, I hope, going to see a lot more Scottish Green MSPs after May 2016.)

The VowWhat David Cameron wants from “the Vow” is, of course, to ensure that Scottish MPs have less power in the Westminster Parliament because there is no doubt that the Tories are done in Scotland.

I don’t know if you believed “the Vow” or if it affected your vote on the 18th: it didn’t affect mine. The proper place for major constitutional changes is not, as Cameron seems to think, to push them through before a general election can take power away from his party, but to propose them in manifesto form before a general election and let people vote on them. Devo-max and devo-plus were handwavingly-illdefined when they were first proposed in 2012.

Demonstrably – since No had a majority over Yes for two solid years, and the only polls that showed Yes slightly ahead also showed a large number of “Undecided / Don’t Know” – Scottish voters were not tricked into voting No because of a front page three-stooges headline in the Daily Record.

I have strong issues about the Labour party’s attitude to the NHS – not least that they don’t seem to wish to acknowledge the damage they did to the NHS themselves with PFI after years of Tory underfunding from 1979 – but when Ed Miliband announces plans for the NHS in England after May 2015 that Scottish MPs will be able to vote on, well, anyone who believes (as apparently Eric Joyce does) that changes to the NHS in England have no effect on the NHS in Scotland, either doesn’t work for the NHS or doesn’t know anyone who does.

I’m thoroughly dubious about anyone who is pushing for major constitutional change right now (and what David Cameron is proposing post-referendum is huge) when we are eight months away from a General Election.

Scotland voted No by about a 10% margin with a huge turnout – literally bigger than for any election or referendum in Scotland since 1950. That was a victory for democracy.

For David Cameron to take that win for democracy as authorisation to remove voting rights for Scottish MPs at Westminster is a mockery of what we won last Thursday.

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