Nobody knows exactly how well the SNP will do in next week’s general election, but by 8th May their MPs are likely to represent the vast majority of Scotland at Westminister, and one poll this week suggested they could take all 59 seats.
In recent decades, Scotland has drawn its MPs from a mixture of the Labour Party (the dominant force since the Thatcher years), the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and a small smattering of Conservatives. This May, then, could see major change—but what impact would such a homogenous bloc of MPs have on the country they serve?
Jim Gallagher—former government Director-General for Devolution
One party states don’t work. We used to see that in Scottish local government, until the late Donald Dewar agreed with the Liberals to change the electoral system. Today we have something surprisingly close to it in the Holyrood Parliament where, despite a supposedly proportional electoral system, 45 per cent of the vote delivered the SNP a substantial majority, ruthlessly exercised. In both places politics ceases to be open competition between parties and is replaced by internal factionalism. The result is poor public policy. SNP dominance in both Holyrood and Westminster will leave half or more of Scotland feeling not just unrepresented but misrepresented, certainly on the constitutional question, which they thought they had answered.