Are SNP-Labour battles no more than a minor side-show?
Anybody who reads the overnight PB threads might come to the conclusion that the only thing that matters in the coming general election is Scotland. For some reason there are periods in the twilight hours when the site becomes almost a Sassenach-free zone (see note below).
Quite often I’m accused of not taking Scotland seriously enough or I’m taken to task for asserting (post Glenrothes and Glasgow North East) that Labour is doing better in its heartlands north of the border than elsewhere in the UK.
Yet I maintain that the critical issue in the coming months is the number of Tory MPs that will be elected. That, and that alone, will determine whether there’s a majority government or not.
So in that context constituency skirmishes that won’t affect the Tory seat total are essentially a side-show – their outcome will not impact on the big picture.
Unless we are in hung parliament territory the fierce and undoubtedly interesting SNP-LAB or SNP-LD battles won’t affect whether Cameron will enter Number 10. The same applies to LAB-LD fights across Britain.
In the big 32,000 sample PoliticsHome marginals survey in September the projection was that the Tories would have a net gain of just one in Scotland.
Now Luton was a different matter. Both its seats – North and South – were projected as Tory gains. According to Thrasher and Rallings Luton North has a 2005 notional Labour majority of 16.39%, while in Luton South it was 14.71%.
Dave needs to take all the seats with required swings like this if he’s going to get a working majority.