Thursday, April 30, 2015

How Labour lost the Scottish electorate.

It now seems certain that Labour will enter the next parliament with only a handful of Scottish MP's. They may even be fewer Labour MP's in Scotland than pandas. Labour's collapse was predictable and inevitable. It may have culminated in the referendum, but it has been a long time coming,.

Labour could have made a socialist and internationalist case against independence, or even a federalist one within the European Union, but they chose not to. Instead, they went into a coalition with the Conservative Party to push a vision of lack of capability within Scotland to manage it's own affairs. Couple to this an overblown fearmongering, especially with older voters and people had simply had enough.

Labour have also failed to recognise that their core social democratic values are no longer unique. The SNP has reinvented itself since 1979 and is now more clearly social democratic than Labour.

The local breakdown of referendum voting showed that tribal voting has effectively ended. Glasgow voted Yes, even though Labour had traditionally harnessed the working class Catholic vote. Catholic and working class voters now seem more comfortable with the SNP and are voting for them.

Not content with annoying half the electorate many in Labour have continued to demonise those who vote SNP as either racists or "nasty nationalists". This shows a complete failure to engage with the SNP's civic nationalism - if you move to Scotland tomorrow you will be considered Scottish.

Labour's last campaign tactic seems to be an eve of poll leaflet entitled "24 hours left to prevent another referendum". The SNP have made it clear they do not want another referendum unless there is an attempt to leave the EU. Even if they did want a referendum under those circumstances presumably Labour and the Conservatives will vote against legislation enabling it so if it went through it would be Labour's own fault.

With one week left to go, both Labour and the Conservatives may be relying heavily on a pro union bounce from the imminent royal birth.