General Election 2017 – Scotland

The Last Word

[06:52] First and foremost this was a United Kingdom general election. This means that before we get stuck into what all of this means for Scotland and the independence movement we need to get stuck into what this means for the UK. Theresa May went into this with a majority of 17, hoping to execute a power grab. Her plan has failed miserably.

The “strong and stable” Mrs May will be leaving this general election without a majority at all, but as the largest party it is likely the Tories will crawl over the line by making a deal with the DUP – with its 10 seats in Northern Ireland. This will make this government an incredibly weak and fragile government, not at all well suited to navigate the difficult Brexit road ahead.

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Overnight the currency markets reacted badly first to the BBC-Sky exit poll, showing little hope for a Tory victory, and then to the result – plunging the pound to its lowest point against the US dollar and the Euro since January. Sources inside Downing Street have said that May returned in in foul mood, exhausted and down, and with Tory MPs now openly suggesting she resign, it is hard to see her staying in office for long after this debacle.

At this point in time the best chance for the Conservatives to stay in government will be by making a deal with the DUP that will definitely make tensions in the north of Ireland worse. Of course the DUP will tow a hard line against Sinn Féin and its demand for a border poll, possibly even pushing for an unsustainable hard border with the Republic of Ireland, further alienating potential allies in the Article 50 talks – beginning next week.

As far as Britain’s position is concerned ahead of Brexit, this is a cluster f**k. Economic and fiscal uncertainty is now not going to improve, and with the currency problem continuing to worsen investors will be in the driving seat, driving all the advantages towards Brussels. If the Tories turn to the DUP and alienate the rest of Ireland, the final nail will be in the coffin of friendly negotiations. In that event, with a slim and weak government coalition it is almost certain the Brexit talks will collapse quickly and without a deal. May has gambled everything for her own personal advantage and she has lost. She has made Britain exceptionally weak.

In Scotland it was not what we wanted. The increase in the Tory vote – 13 seats – has ensured a continuation of Tory mismanagement in Westminster, but all is not lost. The SNP has held 35 seats, thus remaining the largest party in Scotland and the clear winner of the general election in Scotland. With Brexit looking so shaky the SNP 35 seat bloc will be instrumental in a working opposition alliance. If Brexit fails, as is more likely now than ever before, we will probably see a return to the open civil war in the Conservative Party. Infighting is on the cards, with the result being a government incapable of effective rule. It may even be fair to say that this is the prelude to another general election in the not too distant future.

This is a wake-up call for the SNP and the independence movement. Our night did not go well because fewer of us voted, and we really have to get our act together in terms of getting people out to vote. There is something in this that suggests either that people in Scotland are tired or they are not taking it seriously enough. Part of our wake-up must be realising that the weakness of the British government at this time is the greatest opportunity we may ever have to force our will on London. We have every reason this morning to be cautiously optimistic. So let’s keep the heid.


Where to from here?

[05:25] Right, enough of this nonsense! It has been a tough night for the SNP and the Scottish independence movement, but what we need here is a wee reality check and some perspective. In 2015 we saw the SNP take 56 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats. That was absolutely astounding. It was unprecedented, and we all knew that at the time. We were never going to keep that hold over the country.

That massive win was very much thanks to Westminster’s first past the post system and the fact that the unionists in Scotland hadn’t gotten their act together. Much has happened since then, and the unionists have figured out that they need to club together “to save the Union.” Well that has now happened. Sadly, disturbingly, this has meant that Scottish unionism has rallied around the Conservatives. Look, if they imagine saving the Union means voting Tory – all that tells us is that the union is dead.

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The bottom line is that the SNP has won in Scotland. No matter how we may be feeling at the moment, that is the reality. In fairness, it probably better reflects the real divide in opinion in the country. This has been a different referendum in Scotland than it was in England. This was all about the constitutional question in Scotland, meaning that this is unionist – not so much Tory – versus nationalist/independentistas. It is better that we know this.

The analysis is that in Scotland it looks as though the SNP has broadly kept its numbers, with the problem that fewer have turned out to vote in a good few places. Where the SNP has lost seats it is certainly the case that unionists have both turned out and voted tactically. Best of luck to them, that’s just democracy. In England it means that May has shot herself in the foot. We can’t see any way of her surviving this. The Tories, if they are to stay in government, will have to negotiate with the DUP, possibly even the – “anti-Brexit” – LibDems. Either way it means a less stable London government going into Brexit. This weakness is good for us. Remember that.


What is also possible – and the numbers are looking promising – is that Corbyn’s Labour Party might be able to cobble together something of a rainbow coalition with the LibDems and the SNP, depriving the Tories of government altogether. If this option becomes a reality then the SNP will find itself in the strongest position it has ever been in on the road to another referendum.

It wasn’t exactly what we wanted, but right now it is a case of let’s wait and see.


We have Lost Alex Salmond

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[04:26] Colin Clark, Conservative, has won 21,861 votes in Gordon, ousting former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond from his seat. Winning the general election in Scotland, securing for the SNP its second largest majority in Westminster in its history, has come at an awful cost. So far the Tories have taken 10 Scottish seats, saving the bacon – most likely – of Theresa May’s flimsy government. We have a lot of soul searching to do.


June is the End of May

[04:14] Theresa May called this idiotic general election in the hope of winning nothing short of a super majority in order to railroad her Brexit plan, but already it is clear that this has blown up in her face. At this point in time Labour is sitting at 212 to the Conservative’s 210 Commons seats. Jeremy Corbyn in his victory speech called on May to resign, and it is hard to see how she can stay if she fails to deliver.

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In her chastened victory speech she said that the country needed a period of stability, but if anything this is telling us that strength and stability is the very last thing Theresa May has been capable of delivering. Since the publication of the Sky-BBC exit poll the pound began to tumble yet again – nearly 2% against the US dollar.

It’s still early in the count, but it is obvious May will not get the boost she was looking for. It is now even possible that she will fall short of a majority. By sometime tomorrow Corbyn could be on the way to Number 10 – a firm message to the EU that the UK is wobbling.

Our assessment is that it is unlikely Theresa May will be Prime Minister for another week. Even if the Tories pull this out of their backsides, they will not want May to head the Party.


Some Numbers

[03:31] In Scotland it is obvious now that the SNP will win the 2017 general election and more than likely maintain the lion’s share of the popular vote, but this is no reason for triumphalism. This, compared with 2015, is a sore night for the SNP and indeed the whole independence movement. We have to go over some numbers to get a grip on what’s happening.

Let’s take Kilmarnock and Loudoun. This is a seat that has been held by the SNP’s Alan Brown – although this was not reported by the BBC. Back in 2015 he won with 30,000 votes and took 55.7% of the vote. In this election the unionists have gained 2,916 votes, and the SNP are down to 19,690 – that is 10,310 few votes. At most this means 2,916 SNP voters in 2015 have switched – though it is more likely most of these are new voters. But the maths is clear: 7,394 SNP voters in 2015 never turned out yesterday.

This is an image of what has happened in almost every seat the SNP has lost. This then is our first question, why are fewer SNP and independence supporters voting? It is certainly not the case that the SNP support has migrated. The numbers simply do not support this. But that less people are going out to vote has hurt us in this election.


“Scotland Saving the Tories”

[03:01] We can’t deny that the SNP is having a tough night. We’ve lost the leader of the Westminster parliamentary party, and that is going to sting. There is no need for panic. This general election is still in the bag for the SNP. We are, regardless of the BBC ignoring the fact, still well ahead, still winning.

But what we are hearing and seeing is that Scotland is saving the Tories, and the new rape clause party MPs from Scotland may well save the day for Theresa May’s Brexit agenda. It is hard to accept that this is happening in our country, but accept it we must. A growing number of our friends, family, and neighbours are choosing to save the Union by backing the Conservatives.

This is, however, a unionist consolidation rather than anything near an ideological support for the Westminster Tories. If anything this tells us that Scotland is very much a different country from the rest of the UK. We are having a very different general election.

My own thoughts (Jeggit) is that much of this has to do with greater apathy in the ranks of the independence movement. It is clear that far fewer of us have turned out to vote. There are a few lessons to be learned from this. We are in a conflict, a real political fight for Scotland, and we all have a part to play in this. We have to stay active – as hard as that is to hear… again.


More Unreported Wins for the SNP

[02:22] God, we have lost Angus Robertson. And again we get to see the BBC highlight an expected unionist gain in Scotland. It was a loss of Angus to the Tories This is a blow for the SNP, but again we note that only ONE SNP win has been reported, but at this moment the SNP have NINE wins!

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Now we are hearing that this “kills Scottish independence.”

We need an independent Scottish broadcaster. We really do.


Angus and the Game the BBC is Playing Tonight

[02:12] We have just heard that the Tories have taken the constituency of Angus. This is a serious disappointment, of course, but we should be prepared to see the Tories do well in the country out of the consolidation of the unionists.

If You have been following the BBC and Sky coverage of the count in Scotland you will be under the impression that the SNP have won one a single seat. Mhairi Black’s was the only one so far to make it to the big screen. But while the pundits take a dump all over the SNP and make such fanfare about unionist gains, they have been very quiet about the SNP winning in Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Dundee West, Dundee East, and West Dunbartonshire – all holding between 40 and 46.7% of the vote.

Right now, right before our eyes, the BBC media machine is working one over on Scotland and the independence movement. This is your national broadcaster.


Kilmarnock and Loudoun Held by SNP’s Alan Brown

[01:53] Delighted to see that my home parish of Kilmarnock and Loudoun have held for the SNP with Alan Brown gaining 42.3% of the vote, but you will notice that it wasn’t announced on the BBC or on Sky.

What appears to be happening is that the majority of the SNP wins will be kept quiet so that the overall impression of Scotland will be that the SNP took a serious hammering. I have always known the BBC to be this vile, but tonight we are seeing this plum to whole new depths.


Mhairi is Back!

[01:41] So Mhairi Black holds her seat; the youngest MP in this history of modern British politics, the most popular politician in the whole of the UK, and the BBC couldn’t make it more obvious it couldn’t give a sh*t.

We have to worry about this positioning of the state broadcaster with Toryism and Scottish unionism. We are not going to hear about our country tonight without the infusion of the British establishment’s hatred for our independence movement. All the same – Well done Mhairi!

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Labour take Rutherglen and Hamilton West

[01:22] “It’s going to be a terrible night for the SNP in Scotland” has become the BBC mantra and this has only been reinforced by the Labour win in Rutherglen and Hamilton West. Let’s bear in mind that the turnout was much lower, that’s definitely an issue for the National Party activists. The SNP vote in 2015 was 30,279. That is down to 18,836 tonight. Even still this is only 265 votes behind Labour.


BBC at War with the SNP

[01:03] Holy crap! The BBC coverage of this general election in Scotland could not be more partisan if it tried. Every single mention of Scotland and all we have is the BBC vs the SNP. There is no mistaking here that through the eyes of the London establishment the SNP is the enemy. This could not be more disgusting.

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BBC and Sky Exit Poll

[00:30] Okay, the bums on the BBC gabber panel are giving it loads on the “Let’s assume the exit poll is right…” We have to remember that this exit poll – the only exit poll that is being wheeled about the unionist media is a Sky and BBC exit poll.


According to this the SNP is meant to be losing 23 seats. In all fairness we have to expect to lose between 10 and 15 seats, but we’re not buying the 23 garbage being bandied about on the Tory news network.

What will be interesting of course is to see what the change in the popular vote is over the night. It is more than likely that the SNP will hold its own or even gain. Time will tell.


The Count Begins

[23:55] Polls are closed and the count is underway. We will be covering the count in Scotland through the night, and we are delighted to have you with us. Currently there are 56 pro-independence seats in Scotland out of a total of 59 available Westminster seats. 54 of those seats are currently held by the SNP.


According to the BBC’s exit poll projection the Scottish National Party will carry 34 of Scotland’s seats. We are hoping this is just more BBC BS – as most of its polls relating to Scotland have been.

Comment on the BBC is that the Tories are hoping to snatch Gordon from Alex Salmond, his seat being a symbolic victory for the unionists.


The Butterfly Rebellion
Glasgow, Scotland
 

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