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If it’s an IndyRef YES then CON can afford to lose 9 seats at GE2015 knowing it’d have a majority after partition

August 14th, 2014

Looking at the mathematics of a Scottish 2016 exit

This post has been prompted by comments on previous threads about the impact on LAB chances should Scotland vote five weeks today for independence.

The plan is that the actual separation should take place in March 2016 which could have an impact on what happens in the aftermath of next May’s UK general election. For clearly on separation Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats will cease to exist and the commons will be reduced from 650 seats to 591.

    For the Conservatives securing a majority would a fair bit easier. It could afford to lose 9 seats next May and not have to rely on a coalition post a break-up.

In 2010 Labour took 41 of the Scottish seats, the LDs 11, SNP 6 and the Tories 1 which was no change on GE2005.

Assuming that LAB retains its 41 Scottish seats it could be hard hit if those MPs were to go within a year but the impact would be ameliorated to some extent by the overall drop in commons seats numbers. The current target of 326 for an overall majority would be down 30 to 296.

Given the tightening between the parties it is possible that Labour could just have a majority in May next year only to know that ten months later 41 MPs would be departing. At current seat levels a seat lead over all other parties of 68 would suffice. But if there’s no Scottish element that would increase to 79.

The general election next May would be very odd given that partition was due to take place in less than a year. What would happen in Scotland? Who knows?

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble