Why the SNP’s MPs would probably not support a vote for an early general election

Why the SNP’s MPs would probably not support a vote for an early general election

Sturgeon’s party has too many vulnerable seats

Ever since it became clear that Mrs. May’s June election gamble had failed and she’d lost her majority there’s been lots of speculation that this parliament will not go through to its full term in June 2022. Maybe but there is the obstacle to surmount of the Fixed Term Parliament Act which was part of the coalition deal in 2010. The days when a PM can pop along to the Palace and call an election are long gone.

One of the routes allowable is if the government loses a no confidence motion which is not rescinded within two weeks. The other route, as deployed by TMay last April, was to seek a Commons vote with two thirds of MPs giving the move their backing.

A confidence vote is probably where the Tories are most vulnerable although at the moment there is the deal with he DUP. Things could change over the parliament through defections, rebellions and by-election losses that it.

Such a confidence vote would require LAB to secure the full backing of other parties in the house including the SNP and there must be some doubt that they would go along with the idea.

A key factor that is illustrated in the Commons Library table above is the vulnerability of the SNP in many of the 35 Scottish seats that they currently hold. We saw how in the two years between the last two general elections SNP dropped from 56 MPs to just 35 on a Scottish vote share down from 50% at GE2015 to 36.9%.

Voting for LAB confidence motions that would lead directly to a new general election being held and would not, on current party standings, be in the SNP’s interest. Chances are that they’d lose even more seats.

It has been calculated that if LAB, CON and the SNP each finished up on 30% in Scotland then the SNP could be reduced to just 6 seats. That sliimness of some of their majorities is shown in the chart.

Mike Smithson


Comments are closed.