It seems we cannot move beyond a clutch of days before yet more bad news blights the once proud ‘party of the workers’. But as the Scottish elections ‘SP16’ enters its final 48 hours, it’s time to make some predictions.
- Labour will come third
I realise this is on the bolder side of historical trends; certainly those in my lifetime; however polling favours the bold. We have had a cascade of polling evidence showing that a dual process of SLAB decline and TeamRuth growth has been happening.
John Curtice (aka the Godfather of Psephology) explains that a SLAB 2nd cannot be ‘counted’ on anymore. According to his ‘poll of opinion poll polls’ for SP16, it really is too close to call:
When we take this, and some of the most recent opinion polling evidence, it becomes obvious: too close to call (based on the science alone). So then why do I claim Labour will finish third?
First up, the scale and depths of remaining Labour voter apathy, disenchantment and depression. Labour will struggle to get their remaining vote motivated and out to the ballot boxes. By flipside, ‘TeamRuth’ realise this could be their once-a-generation chance to return to political relevance in Scotland.
Secondly, the breakdown of ‘no’ voters voting preferences favours Ruth’s team. 36% of ‘no’ voters reportedly plan to back the Conservatives; whereas only 34% say likewise Labour. So amid a serious loss of support to the SNP, the Labour Party are also facing being a second-option among ‘No’ voting Scots.
Thirdly, the Scottish Conservatives under Ruth have run a unique campaign this time round. Unique in the sense that resources are being overwhelmingly channelled toward the list vote. 80:20 in favour of working the list vote. This is the first time the balance has been struck in such a manner. And given Ruth is the most trusted, and popular opposition leader; this certainly helps. Also worth noting, Ruth’s name is going to be plastered all over the regional ballot paper – this will sway some voters. Just don’t forget how effective ‘Alex Salmond for First Minister’ proved to be for the SNP back in the day.
- The Greens will overtake the LibDems
I fully anticipate the LibDems regaining some lost ground, advancing up one to perhaps 6, maybe 7. Sadly for them however, this is unlikely to be enough. I fully anticipate a lot of pro-separation minded voters of ‘the45’ to tactically split their vote. Voting SNP in the constituency ballot, but Green in the regional ballot. The effect this will have will be to sergeant pro-separation votes more efficiently than pro-Union votes (which will, sadly, continue to be split three-ways).
- UKIP can be ignored
UKIP are a busted flush, heading down the electoral drain to the dregs of Scots politics where they belong. It brings me great satisfaction to note that of the three most recent opinion polls I’ve seen for SP16, UKIP are collapsing to 3% in all of them.
The party that brought to you such horrors as rampant homophobia, misogyny and anti-immigrant bigotry is set to recede. Hopefully their imminent internal civil-war will take place and we can also see the back of that awful Mr Coburn too.
I should note in all of this, my assumption is an SNP majority government again, probably with 69-70 MSPs.