No independence referendum in 2016—but by 2020 it's almost certainby Pat Kane / May 8, 2015 / Leave a comment
So was the Tory majority procured through Project Fear II? Just a few bleary hours after the result, that would seem to be the case.
The first Project Fear was the winning strategy in the independence referendum for the No side—a well-drilled, cross-party orchestration between the press and the Coalition government, to blare the klaxons about the systemic instability that a Yes vote would bring.
With a cruel irony, the Conservatives have applied the same scaremongering strategy to their erstwhile No-voting partners in Better Together, the Labour Party—all those primal screens showing Miliband popping out of the pocket, or dancing to the strings, of either Salmond or Sturgeon.
What partly explains the frankly stunning discrepancy between the polling organisations predicting a dead heat, and the final result delivering a slender Tory majority, isn’t just the shy rUK voter, but the tactical rUK voter—previously a Scottish phenomenon (well, they’ve moved on to a different reality altogether.)
And those tactical votes were surely partly driven from a drumbeat of “chaos” and “instability”—and perhaps also combined with a genuine ideological disagreement, among middle-Englanders, with the left-of-centre policy amalgam that a Labour-SNP arrangement would represent.
Is there a genuine note of disappointment from Sturgeon and her team that the SNP isn’t now able to contribute to a majority swirl of progressive forces in Westminster? I think so.
That’s partly because Sturgeon knows this truth: that the gradual build of confidence-and-competence in Scottish government among Scots would have been the most solid route to a robust majority in a second independence referendum. (That positive spirit is what’s powered the Yes voters to keep their movement going, by means of the SNP—or the “YeSNP,” as I call them now).
Read more on the election result:
Why Europe isn’t happy about our election result
Who will be the next Ukip leader?
Labour isn’t working
Independence would have happened best under conditions of optimism, progress and uplift; now it’ll be a harder, grittier route, grimly fighting the sturm-und-drang of a regnant Tory party. But that’s the path that lies before Sturgeon and the SNP—and you might imagine the deep strategising that’s going on in their…