In the madness of Scotland’s politics where the Council elections were posted as a nominal loss for the SNP of seven seats by the BBC, we now have the Scottish Conservatives talking about a ‘Fightback’.
Yes they’re fighting back.
A leftist SNP Scottish Government that has generally been mitigating against the effects of the Tory Westminster government policies and spending cuts.
What was the fight?
Pretty much for the hearts of minds of the Scottish Electorate.
Labour are pretty much now a ghost of the party they were in Scotland and took another tanking in the Council elections.
In terms of any ‘fight’ in Scottish Politics, it was to drag the public away from the Labour’s Scottish group.
Their vote has dissipated either to the SNP or Tories.
The Tories were really on the sidelines of this fight for the votes of Scotland’s working class and progressive conscience but they did pick up some of the fallout.
Labour to Tory?
Yes. But some of that is the underlying culture of working class people believing that they are loyal to the union and the institutions of Britain.
So it’s slightly more complex.
The votes switched from Labour to Tory as the Scottish Conservatives have wrapped themselves in the Union Jack as the pro-union opposition to the SNP.
Is ‘Peak SNP’ over?
Not so much, the effect is pretty much a vote switch from one party in favour of the union for another.
It’s not so much a rational belief in Theresa May’s government or the ability and policies of Ruth Davidson’s Tories.
It’s a motivated crowd and their effect was evident in a low turnout local council election held under proportional representation.
It may repeat in other elections but with either higher general turnout or first past the post elections, the effect might be more limited.
Are we down a hardcore opposition to the SNP?
Pretty much, although it could be just that the demographic on the Council elections are of older voters, more likely to vote and also to be those having a pro-Union view.
There’s issues with media reporting and those reliant on news papers and TV News may not be getting the balanced reporting they think they are.
What happens next?
June and the General Election. The first past the post basis will focus minds and it will have build up with debates and election specials.
There’s questions on tactical voting, there’s issues in terms of whether some SNP seats are vulnerable to sustained local campaigning and if a real Tory revival is possible and likely to happen.
The media need a story and a break in the run of election success for the SNP is probably what newsrooms are looking for.
Another ‘push’ may be what the Scottish Tories believe is required, but they are sharing a platform with Theresa May and Brexit.
There may be opportunity, but it isn’t without risk and a really sustained attack on the Tories or a bad showing with Theresa May in debates or questioning might have a knock on effect on her party in Scotland.
I have a feeling the elections might open up a few seats in England for Labour or the Lib Dems. I think some marginal seats might shift, I sense some anti-Tory sentiment and brexit guilt are evident.
There’s tactical voting websites, campaigning and possibly a need by younger voters to knock the system and establishment that was leading them headlong into Brexit.
Tory gains in Scotland would be totally counter-intuitive against the background of the UK Wide context.
There’s little sympathy for the narrative that Theresa May is trying to create of ‘rally round, so I can effectively negotiate Brexit’.
Brexit is the election issue and all Scottish party leaders previously campaigned for remain.
It’s a weak point for Ruth Davidson as is the lack of co-operation with the devolved parliaments and the things thrown up in Gina Miller’s Supreme Court case that showed the primacy of Westminster over the devolved parliaments.
So, a fightback within an election called by that same party to justify it’s decision to exit Europe and also in order to try to topple an opposition that’s effective as a government in its own right and on its own turns.
Makes sense yeah?