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1 hour ago, aaid said:

There's clearly been a massive shift in voting patterns over the last decade or so in Scotland and to get an idea as to what's going on you need to look quite some distance back.

The most obvious changes have been the slow and steady decline of Labour - the reasons for which are well documented - and the meteoric rise of the SNP.   There's undoubtedly been a shift of voters from Labour to the SNP, primarily in the Central Belt, what would have previously been described as Labour Heartlands but that only tells part of the story.

For Westminster elections, from a peak of 1.28 million votes in 1997, its been a decline since then for Labour.   1997 was obviously the Blair landslide and saw a very high - for Scotland - turnout of 72%.   In 2001 and 2005, Labour lost around 300-400,000 votes from that peak.   They didn't go to the Lib Dems or to the Tories as their votes stayed pretty consistent throughout, they also didn't go to the SNP as they also lost 150-200,000 votes in the same period.    Turnout was way down, dropping to 58%-60%.  It looks like you have a number of Labour voters - probably on the left of the party, disenchanted with Blair, Iraq, et al, staying at home, and if you look at Holyrood elections around the same time - 2003 in particular, you see where that vote is going - to the SSP and Greens, the radical left - not the SNP.   

During that period, the SNP were struggling to become relevant and lets face it, I like John Swinney,  but he was a bit of a disaster as leader.   

The 2007 Holyrood election is where it became apparent that there was a change afoot, with the SNP being the largest party with only 16000 FPTP votes more than Labour.   Labour's vote didn't really collapse, they only lost around the same number of votes - 16000 - from 2003.  However turnout was up, the Lib Dems and Tories both increased their votes by 20000 or so, however, the SNP put on 210000.   Why did this happen, charismatic leader - Salmond - and a campaign focused on him, remember "Alex Salmond for First Minister" on the ballot papers, people ready for a change.   You also had the fall out from the whole Tommy Sheridan trial and the implosion of the radical left in electoral terms as well.   I think that the increase in SNP votes at this point is largely down to disaffected ex-Labour voters, many of who had given up on them years earlier - and the stand of the SNP and Salmond in particular on Iraq, I suspect had a massive bearing in that.

To me 2001 represents the point that people in Scotland stopped voting Labour, 2007 is when they started to vote for the SNP.     In the 2010 UK general election it looked like 2007 had been a blip and Labour had recovered Scotland.  Until fairly recently, the SNP have always struggled to be relevant in UK general elections, arithmetic alone means they won't be part of the government.   With the benefit of hindsight however, 2010 looks less of a recovery for Labour but rather "soft-SNP" voters lending their votes to Labour.

Then you have 2011 and the Holyrood elections which of course was the game changer.   A few things to point out about that.   Labour's votes remained pretty consistent from 2007 but around 370000 fewer people voted for them that did the previous year in the UK GE.  Turnout was lower - as it always is - but still that's a massive amount of "lost" votes.   The Lib Dems also collapsed losing 225000 votes - no doubt as a reaction to going into coalition with the Tories at Westminster.   The Tory vote also fell slightly.    The SNP vote increased by 250,000 though.    They clearly picked up a large chunk of those Labour and Lib Dem votes.   It's also worth pointing out that as a poll just before the election showed support for independence at 28%, a hell of a lot of people who didn't support independence - and who would go on to vote No in 2014 - voted for the SNP in 2011.     That much is pretty obvious when you look at the support for regions such as the North East where they got 53% of the list vote but which was one of the biggest NO voting areas in 2014.    I guess fundamentally people in those cases were happy to vote for the SNP as they either thought that there was no chance of independence happening and they were okay with having a referendum.

2014 changed all that obviously.    It took a lot of "soft-SNP" voters, primarily formerly Labour, less so Lib Dem voters who supported independence into committed and hardened SNP voters and activists.   A lot of people who in 2011 would never have considered voting for the SNP and would've been against independence were converted and they became SNP - or Green - voters.  To the point that on 19th September, the SNP had 1.6 million people who would be highly likely to vote for them.

Counter intuitively, having lost the referendum, it wasn't the Yes side who slunk away to the corner to lick their wounds and regroup, and you saw that in the surge in SNP membership in the days and weeks following the referendum, where people who had been activists in the Yes movement, but weren't SNP members realised that the fight would now transfer to party politics.    BY contrast it was the No side that was bruised and damaged by the campaign, Labour fatally so.    The 2015 general election couldn't have come at a better time for the SNP - a huge pool of highly committed activists and a potential electorate that feels its just been cheated.  In contrast, the opposition had either had the stuffing knocked out of the - Labour and LIb Dems - or in the case of the Tories, thought "job done" and so really were no threat - not in a FPTP general election anyway.

The SNP's electoral position hasn't really shifted markedly since 2015 and it's core constituency remains the 1.6 million Yes voters from 2014 - that is changing as people change their minds - both ways, largely but not exclusively to do with Brexit - and fortunately for them that is growing, not shrinking.   However, I doubt now, unlike 2011, that there's many people opposed to independence who would vote for the SNP.

Various different elections have thrown up various different results, largely due to differing turnouts, different electoral systems.   The common factor though is that the SNP have won every election and by some distance are the largest party in Scotland.
 

Great post. Reinforces how much the Labour vote has collapsed in recent times. Was unthinkable even a few years ago

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22 hours ago, Toepoke said:

Having driven to Aberystwyth a few years back I wholeheartedly concur!

Is there not some mad fact that to get from one end of Wales to the other by rail you have to go out of Wales - to England - and change trains, and that it takes twice as long than it would by car anyway?

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26 minutes ago, scotlad said:

Is there not some mad fact that to get from one end of Wales to the other by rail you have to go out of Wales - to England - and change trains, and that it takes twice as long than it would by car anyway?

Holyhead to MIlford Haven - two ports on the Irish Sea, one in North Wales the other in South Wales.   By Train - 8 hours with a change in Shrewsbury.   By car - 176 miles, 4 hrs.



 

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31 minutes ago, scotlad said:

Is there not some mad fact that to get from one end of Wales to the other by rail you have to go out of Wales - to England - and change trains, and that it takes twice as long than it would by car anyway?

There’s something quaint about that, maybe not in a practical sense. The TV series Hinterland is set and shot around Aberystwyth, never been to Wales but hopefully on my next trip home. Only country that’s got a walking trail around it’s full coast line as well I think. 

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On 7/15/2020 at 1:51 PM, Toepoke said:

There is certainly a very passionate strain of Welsh nationalism, the widespread knowledge of the Welsh language must be quite a catalyst for it.

I think it's far too closely linked to England, both geographically and economically, for there ever to be a majority in favour of independence though.

Think North Wales, certainly along the A55 corridor from Chester to Anglesey, has good Plaid Cymru support. Further south you go though you see more and more Tory and Labour support. 

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10 hours ago, King Of Paisley said:

Think North Wales, certainly along the A55 corridor from Chester to Anglesey, has good Plaid Cymru support. Further south you go though you see more and more Tory and Labour support. 

I was in Bala four summers ago. Cracking wee town, great hearing the Welsh  language everywhere and spent 2 hours chatting to the book store owner who was very much a PC activist and supporter.

I found the further closer to Chester, it got more Anglo/Labour/Tory.

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8 hours ago, weekevie04 said:

I was in Bala four summers ago. Cracking wee town, great hearing the Welsh  language everywhere and spent 2 hours chatting to the book store owner who was very much a PC activist and supporter.

I found the further closer to Chester, it got more Anglo/Labour/Tory.

I spent a few days in Llandudno many moons ago and in one of the pubs I got talking to a few folk who had broad Scouse accents. I asked whereabouts on Merseyside they were from and it turns out they were locals!

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On ‎7‎/‎15‎/‎2020 at 5:38 PM, thplinth said:

2014

Scottish_independence_referendum_results

 

2015

2015UKelectionMapScotland.svgschizophrenic nation.

Shame the rest of Scotland never followed the example led by the weegies and surrounding areas.

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Robin McAlpine: Unite? Behind what exactly?

“Much as I love the independence movement, more far-fetched schemes hatched on social media but with no chance of implementation may make you feel better, but will be as pointless over the five years to come as they were in the five that we just lived through.”

I HAVE a difficult history with unity. As a political strategist, I have no difficulty in seeing its benefits; as a human being who hopes for a better future I have encountered calls for unity only as reasons why I must drop my principles and bow to someone more powerful.

So here we are again: two votes SNP. We may have treated your votes as nothing more than a useful commodity in the past but it will be different this time. Honest, really, truly.

And yet the leadership of the SNP isn’t even trying to maintain a pretence that there is any hope of progress if you give them two votes. They’re actually telling everyone a referendum is not going to happen and then turning to the movement and delivering a stage wink.

This has summarised my last five years. I have made a career out of reading the detail and nuance of politics so I was well aware that the SNP leadership was openly briefing anyone who would listen that they were not going to pursue independence (look over shoulder, wink).

Weirdly, much of the defence of this from within the independence movement is that that they have to say this stuff for electoral reasons while secretly and assiduously following a brilliant plan.

‘Trust them, they’re lying’ is an odd defence, especially given the volume of evidence about who was being lied to. It was the wink that was a lie, not the promise of inaction. Inaction is the only thing this government has delivered.

So to be here again is starting to break my spirit. Please, join me in reading the detail. A few weeks ago, one “Sturgeon ally” was briefing unionist media that people who thought there could be a referendum in the next five years could “fuck off” (their words).

Earlier this week, when Ian Blackford was telling us to give the SNP all our votes, he was asked whether he thought they could deliver a referendum in 2022 and he refused even to countenance the possibility. “One step at a time,” he says – i.e. ‘give us your votes and wait and see what you get’.

Of course, you could just listen to the only person with any say in this matter. On Sunday Nicola Sturgeon went on national television and said that there would be no talk of independence until after both Covid and the resulting economic crisis were over. It wasn’t a slip – she said it twice.

This stands in sharp contrast with her stated goal in last year’s General Election campaign of pursuing a referendum – albeit by setting a condition (a Section 30 order or nothing) she knew could not be met.

And yet still she seems to fear you missed her telling you all of this, so she said it again as plainly as it is possible to say it. You. Are. Not. Getting. A. Referendum. In. The. Next. Five. Years. Is that clear enough?

For three years, the first minister hid behind her self image (don’t talk about independence, just trust me). For the next three years, she hid behind Brexit (don’t talk about independence, Brexit first). For the next five, it appears she plans to hide behind Covid (don’t talk about independence at all).

For me, what is equally beyond dispute is that this is a right-of-centre administration and has been for a while now. All Sturgeon’s trusted advisors are clearly on the right of the political spectrum. George Kerevan’s recent wonderful analysis in Conter of the rightwards drift of the party lacked only the dozens upon dozens of examples of right-wing policy and public-charity-for-corporation that have resulted.

And if anyone tries to tell me the SNP is progressive, they better be ready with some examples – and if those include Universal Basic Income, a ‘Green Deal’, a National Energy Company, universal childcare, ‘affordable housing’, closing the education attainment gap, a Poverty Tsar, land reform, open government, local democracy, Council Tax reform or a ‘revolution in care’, you’ll need to find some more.

Every single one of these (and many more) gained the Scottish Government headlines which might have given the impression it is progressive. Not a single one of the above happened; all were either fake or failed. It has been nothing more than ‘left-washing’ of the most cynical sort.

And if you tell me that what is different this time is you, that you as a party loyalist are going to make sure this happens, please spare me. Democracy in the SNP has been reduced to levels which would make Vladimir Putin blush; there is no serious mechanism for the party membership to set policy before the manifesto is written. What does your leadership have to do to convince you that they don’t place any value whatsoever on what you think?

Things change and change radically. If you really believe that the SNP is going to be in the same polling position by election time you probably need a reality check. Politics doesn’t work like that and a full year of ‘Covid, Covid, look at me, not my record’ isn’t likely to play out. There are those that would like you to believe the Salmond affair is over. It is no such thing.

People will forget the Sturgeon screen-time during Covid and start to look at the record. Most alarmingly, the Scottish Government has a terrible domestic record and no serious plan for the economic crisis ahead.

If things don’t change, be clear where we’re going. Sturgeon with an overall majority will absolutely, certainly not deliver a referendum in the next five years; nor will she deliver a Green New Deal or a new social or economic settlement in Scotland. You can shout all you want – once they have their majority you can “fuck off” (again, their words, not mine).

There is nothing you can do about it. The first minister is in complete control of government and not a single SNP MSP will ever, ever rebel. Her husband is in complete control of the party machine and the party conference has been replaced with a toothless ‘listening exercise’. You can talk big about how you won’t accept inaction, but it’s just talk. You can’t do a thing.

I have never been convinced by second vote strategies, but with the self-imposed irrelevance of the Scottish Greens these days I am starting to hope that there are at least options, but we shall have to wait and see.

Beyond that, I don’t have any answers left. I have tried to work with others to build a cross-party, non-party movement, but SNP HQ did everything it possibly could to crush it. Common Weal tried really hard to resolve the intellectual gap in the case for independence, but were completely ignored in favour of the never-credible liability that is the Growth Commission.

And I’ve explained all the options I know of for achieving independence, but so long as things stay as they are these options are little more than a historical curiosity-in-waiting. Fundamentally, Nicola Sturgeon’s people – Andrew Wilson, Angus Robertson, Alyn Smith, the SPADs – show no sign of believing independence is possible in the next five years. They really, really think you’re all silly children who need saved from yourselves. Poor things, imagining independence is possible…

The Sturgeon team would prefer you to believe that it is a function of her personality that is making independence viable (in the long term) through the SNP. She wants you to forget the SNP won in 2007 and got a majority in 2011. They want you to believe that the 2015 election landslide was because of the ‘amazing’ few weeks she was leader (and not because of the experience of the referendum or Labour’s collapse).

They’d like you to forget that of the four elections she has fought since, three saw reversals or substantial underperformance, and the only one that bucked the trend was when Labour melted down and the Tories became English nationalists.

Voting SNP (now, sadly) isn’t really a vote for a party but for a president. It is a president who does not appear to have ‘we’ or ‘us’ in her vocabulary.

Frankly, I’m about done with the pretence. Another five years of the Charlotte Street Nationalists is just another giant lurch towards a Charlotte Street Scotland. I give the prospects of independence in that time as being as close as damnit to zero.

I’m tired with this, and much as I love the independence movement, more far-fetched schemes hatched on social media but with no chance of implementation may make you feel better, but will be as pointless over the five years to come as they were in the five that we just lived through.

So as far as I’m concerned, it’s over to the loyalists now. Spare me all your sycophantic newspaper columns, Tweets, Facebook posts and on-the-record quotes.

Don’t tell me it’ll be different this time, that there is a secret plan, that the rise in the polls is all a result of genius, that supposed competence wins referendums, that you really, really promise to hold them to account this time, that there will be a manifesto commitment. Don’t tell me that I can trust you.

I don’t believe a word of it. Set out your detailed plan now or, to quote that sentiment towards people like me who actually want independence, fuck off.

https://sourcenews.scot/robin-mcalpine-unite-behind-what-exactly/

Edited by thplinth

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I bumped into angus robertson today while up the highlands, a nice and approachable man, newsed a minute and talked about him standing again, said there are some big decisions to be made going forward 🤷‍♂️ He took time and spoke with the bairns,, all in all seemed a really nice guy

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1 hour ago, hampden_loon2878 said:

I bumped into angus robertson today while up the highlands, a nice and approachable man, newsed a minute and talked about him standing again, said there are some big decisions to be made going forward 🤷‍♂️ He took time and spoke with the bairns,, all in all seemed a really nice guy

Was he with his wife?

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On 7/15/2020 at 5:22 PM, aaid said:

All bar #9 are nothing new and were regularly trotted out in 2014.  The 45% that voted Yes didn't believe them then and an increasing proportion of the 55% that voted No, don't believe them now. 

I should of added Russian interference in a dastardly plot to enslave Scotland 

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1 minute ago, Newryrep said:

I should of added Russian interference in a dastardly plot to enslave Scotland 

Again - so 2014.

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4 hours ago, aaid said:

Was he with his wife?

Tbf it doesn’t really matter if his wife was there or not? Or am i missing something, a nice guy and a pleasant conversation i had is suffice 

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On 7/22/2020 at 12:10 AM, hampden_loon2878 said:

Tbf it doesn’t really matter if his wife was there or not? Or am i missing something, a nice guy and a pleasant conversation i had is suffice 

i think his wife is one of the shadowy characters behind the Salmond trial

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Boris is up in Scotland today to tell everyone about the merits of the union

Great PR for the YES campaign

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1 hour ago, vanderark14 said:

Boris is up in Scotland today to tell everyone about the merits of the union

Great PR for the YES campaign

Choosing Orkney as the venue isn't exactly confronting the issue head on...

 

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16 minutes ago, Toepoke said:

Choosing Orkney as the venue isn't exactly confronting the issue head on...

 

😂 Orkney ?? That takes his shitebaggery to a whole new level . 

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17 minutes ago, TDYER63 said:

😂 Orkney ?? That takes his shitebaggery to a whole new level . 

Geographical equivalent of hiding in that fridge.  

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29 minutes ago, ThistleWhistle said:

Geographical equivalent of hiding in that fridge.  

Too right.
He said yesterday :

“When I stood on the steps of Downing Street one year ago, I pledged to be a prime minister for every corner of the United Kingdom. Whether you are from East Kilbride or Dumfries, Motherwell or Paisley, I promised to level up across Britain and close the opportunity gap

But he chose to go to Orkney rather than fly to Glasgow Airport , which is in Paisley. As usual he opts for the low hanging fruit. The man is spineless. 

 

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14 minutes ago, TDYER63 said:

Too right.
He said yesterday :

“When I stood on the steps of Downing Street one year ago, I pledged to be a prime minister for every corner of the United Kingdom. Whether you are from East Kilbride or Dumfries, Motherwell or Paisley, I promised to level up across Britain and close the opportunity gap

But he chose to go to Orkney rather than fly to Glasgow Airport , which is in Paisley. As usual he opts for the low hanging fruit. The man is spineless. 

 

And those words came from the same person who said: 'A pound spent in Croyden is better than a pound spent on Strathclyde.' Sums up him and Westminster's raison d'etre perfectly.

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7 hours ago, Ally Bongo said:

i think his wife is one of the shadowy characters behind the Salmond trial

Aye, that's what I heard. One of the woman in the trial  (x,h,or d?) Was Angus's wife.  One of the main accuser's ...

 

Mite be shite tho...

 

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Johnson met a crab, made a vacuous remark about the "might" of the union, visited Baxter's soup factory, and went to Lossiemouth to be photographed with a Spitfire and (irony alert) a Eurofighter. Number of genuine Scottish voters encountered: nil.

His language is all so aggressive - the "might" of the union (i.e. we can crush you), visiting military bases - he's all overt colonialism and British Nationalist dictator.  A poundshop Mussolini.  It's all spin, smoke and mirrors, and lies.  contrast with the human touch that the FM shows.  I might think she's too meek on indy, but she doesn't have to try hard to beat Johnson hands down at leadership.

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