Britain 2015… alarm bells should be ringing

Is this what NO has in store for us?

A Tory-UKIP Coalition: Is this what a NO vote has in store for us?

by Kevin Williamson

With many eyes glancing towards Scottish opinion polls for an indication of where we’re at with YES v NO, the opinion polls for Westminster 2015 make for sober reading.

The ConDem Coalition is into its fifth year now.  There is less than ten months to the next Westminster elections. For the last four years the UK government has unleashed hell on public services, welfare, the NHS, education and everything else they’ve touched. England already looks like a foreign country as far as politics concerned.

Could things get any worse?

The NO camp in Scotland are putting all their eggs in the shoogly basket of the Labour Party under Ed Miliband; presumably coming to the rescue like a pink knight on a white charger. But as the polls below show, four years into the most divisive, destructive government since the 1980s, Labour are making scant progress.

Little wonder.  Labour have bought so far into the ConDem austerity agenda they offer only the thinnest veneer of choice. They’ve decided that to win Middle England the sacrificial lambs will be the poorest, the disabled, immigrants and those on welfare.  Even the crude cost-cutting exercise that is Universal Credit has been embraced by Miliband’s Labour.

But what are the chances of them getting into power?

The most recent opinion polls make for grim reading for Labour supporters and anyone wondering what Scotland will have to endure if a NO vote goes through.

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Labour (36%) and the Tories (31%) are in front, while UKIP are averaging 15%.  The LibDems are polling around 8%.  These polls suggest an overall majority is beyond both Labour and the Tories. With a consistent average of 15% of the vote UKIP are on course for at least 30 MPs.

The very best that Scots could hope for after a NO vote is a Lib-Lab Coalition.  That in itself is an gruesome prospect, given the LibDems enthusiasm for austerity and privatisation. and the Labour Party’s ongoing rightwards lurch under Miliband. But there is still the prospect* of a Tory-UKIP Coalition whose combined average in the polls is 46%, a clear ten points ahead of Labour, and 2 points clear of the combined vote for Lab & LibDems.

It is only the UK’s archaic anti-democratic FPTP electoral system that offers any hope.  Otherwise UKIP would be looking at winning around 100 seats.  That in itself gives an idea of what a sham democracy Westminster has become.

As 2015 approaches, and as UKIP crank up the anti-EU and anti-immigrant rhetoric, their support could even rise in lieu of a credible alternative from the 3 big parties. The last 12 months suggest Labour will join them in the gutter rather than argue for something different.

Alarms bells should be ringing.

I wouldn’t want to be a NO voter in Scotland if a Tory-UKIP Coalition is imposed on us from London.  Blame will hang in the air like a bad smell as Westminster politics get ugly.  If UKIP do get their feet in the door of power many at the very bottom of the heap – those losing their jobs or having their benefits removed – may decide to hell with democracy, lets fight it out on the streets.

The up side is that Scotland does have a democratic alternative.

 

(*Edit: have changed “the most likely prospect’ to “there is still the prospect” to reflect the nature of the FPTP system and unpredictability of where the UKIP votes will come from).

 

 

 



Categories: Austerity Britain, General Election 2015, Poverty

Tags: , ,

33 replies

  1. “But the more likely prospect [than a LibLab coalition] is a Tory-UKIP Coalition”

    This is utter utter… psephological incorrectitude. UKIP are nowhere near winning FPTP seats, and if they do, it’ll have disproportionately decimated the Tories so badly that Labour will have won an overall majority.

    • Unless the Tories and UKIP come to a pre-election deal – which leaves UKIP with the sole Eurosceptic candidate in around twenty marginals and they win a dozen – plus a few more from Labour in those ‘immigrants are stealing our jobs, houses, schools, health services etc.’ seats.
      So Labour might win with a small majority, but that small majority is more than cancelled out by 15 UKIP wins.
      We’ll then see the former leading lights of the now defunct ‘Atlantic Bridge’ leading the ‘out’ campaign in the Euro referendum – Hague, Osborne, Greyling, Gove, and Fox.
      Google ‘Atlantic Bridge’ (and follow all the links in the relevant Wiki entry) to find out what that will mean for rUK – and us …….if we vote ‘No’.

  2. Heard the same psephological calculations about UKIP’s chances of winning a Euro seat in Scotland. Yet they did. As I said in the piece only the archaic FPTP system might prevent them. But even that makes assumptions.

  3. Please, please vote Yes so I have an escape route from this dump. Currently stuck in Carlisle!

    • As a fellow Celt (of the Cornish persuasion, with no hope of ditching these hateful people (Tories)), I would urge all Scots to vote YES . . . Cut the ties that bind, you owe nothing to this murderous tribe of grasping, spiteful individuals…. Break away, breathe the air of freedom, be your own govenors! Good luck, and I’ll be watching with great interest if not with a hint of jealousy that we don’t have the same choice.

  4. UKIP won a Scottish Euro seat because MEP seats are chosen by a PR system and UKIP simply got enough votes, so it’s not any kind of argument that they’ll win any WM seats in 2015, let alone anywhere near enough to hold the balance of power.

    Sorry. It’s just complete piffle. Do people keep pushing it because the No side get away with so many lies that we think “damn it, why can’t we scaremonger with empty lies too? It’s no fair!”.

    Here’s an article with analysis from people who know what they’re talking about when it comes to elections: http://t.co/sb1xlSjByC By their calculations UKIP could hit 23% without winning a single seat. Please please please, let’s put this UKIP/Tory coalition fantasy to bed.

    • You missed the point, UKIP and the Tories might make an electoral pact ie not fight each other for concessions made. that takes their combined figure to 46%. More than enough to form a gov in WM.

  5. What? It’s only Tory votes that UKIP are taking? This is not the time to be burying your head in the sand. The impact of UKIP can already be seen in the policies being offered by both major parties. They wouldn’t need to be in coalition government to have their abhorrent policies enacted. The Tories are doing it now and they will continue to do so. A Labour government, even a majority one (which is about as likely as a Scotland World Cup victory) will march to their tune also. A YES vote gives us a choice of left of centre government in whatever party form in 2016 – a NO vote gives the nightmare of centre right/extreme right/off the wall right government from 2015. There can be only one choice on September 18th.

  6. In a scenario where UKIP got 23% of the vote and got no MPs the UK would be thrown into a constitutional crisis of its own making which would play right into the hands of UKIP. This would be dangerous uncharted waters. Farage or unelected UKIP members may even have to be invited into government and/or the electoral system changed. All of this presupposes that UKIP votes will be evenly dispersed across the country.

    • That happened a lot to the LibDems, and the Social Democrats before them, in the 80s and 90s. It’s unfair, but it’s FPTP, and all the main parties support it, because it gives them ridiculous amounts of control when they finally get their chance at the wheel.

    • By ‘the country’, do you men the entire ‘Union’, or just England? I think it’s worth being clear (something the political class and mainstream media ought to try), as UKIP gets nearly all its votes in England.

    • Farage or unelected UKIP members may even have to be invited into government”.

      Lord Farage of the Dog and Duck – I rather like that.

  7. It really doesn’t matter who wins in 2015, if there is a NO vote, they will ravage Scotland.
    It really won’t matter who wins in 2015, if there is a YES vote, they will never get their way with Scotland again.

  8. I agree with nabd – the deficiencies of FPTP will likely prevent UKIP from actually winning seats. After all, it took the LibDems until 2010 to be in such a position – a journey of nearly 30 years.

    In my opinion, most of the UKIP vote will return to their Tory roots when faced with an actual General Election. David Cameron’s anti-EU roll in the mud over Juncker last week only makes sense in terms of signalling to UKIP-inclined voters that they can return to the fold, much like Thatcher’s “swamping” comments did to Tories defecting to the NF in the 70s.

    However, the ability of such a racist party to influence the agenda is well noted in the article, and that is their real impact.

    The welfare policies and neo-Liberal economic agenda being pursued by the ConDems, and the willingness of Labour to play their game, is the real worry for me.

    I have already warned friends planning to vote No that they can never complain about Westminster governments again if the No side wins!

  9. I believe the Tories will win because UKIP voters will go back into the Tory fold because they can’t stomach Ed Miliband or Noo Labour back in number 10. UKIPPERS might not like Cameron but they sure detest Miliband. All Cameron has to do is make some firm anti-EU policies including an in/out referendum and hey-presto! … another 10% on the Conservative polling figures.

    There is only one assurance, vote YES and say goodbye to Westminger forever!

    • Entirely possible. That 48% support for UKIP/Tories could swing Cameron’s way if he plays the anti-EU and anti-immigraion card in run up to 2015. The risk involved in voting NO is high.

  10. To be honest I don’t think that UKIP will get any seats in the 2015 election with FPTP unless that 15% is concentrated in target seats and not spread across the country.

    The most dangerous scenario is this:

    Cameron guarantees an in-out Euro referendum in the next Parliament if he gets a majority.

    He could get a pact with UKIP to support Tory candidates in return but he wouldn’t have to.

    Since an in-out referendum is the Holy Grail of UKIP policy and since the only way to get it is to get the referendum promising Cameron into No.10 they might voluntarily switch off their candidates, run joint candidates with the Conservatives or UKIP supporters might just switch anyway.

    That will boost the Tories current poll figures.

    It will really come down to what Cameron’s strategy is on Europe and whether he thinks the risk of an in-out referendum is worth getting back into power. It’s not even clear which way the Tories would campaign in that referendum.

    • It’s on record that Cameron would campaign to stay in, although what Cameron says is nothing like what Cameron does. I suspect the official party line will be to campaign to stay in, but that might not prevent some individual MPs or senior/well known party figures campaigning to leave. Of course, even if Cameron’s still PM this time next year, there’s no guarantee that the referendum will even take place. Cameron has form for ‘cast iron guarantees’ that are totally worthless.

  11. Does anyone on this site honestly see Ed Milliband with the keys of 10 downing street in 2015. Forget strategy this or strategy that this man is unelectable and most of the people on this island know it. His own shadow cabinet members and his mp’s are actively briefing against him. Wake up smell the coffee, then vote YES in September!!

  12. Bear in mind that the political landscape will be transformed out of all recognition by 2015. The referendum will be over and we will know the result.

    If it’s a Yes, my interest in Westminster 2015 is fairly subdued. But those thinking about voting No because they cherish some hope of a Labour victory next year really need to think about what will happen if No is successful. Cameron is positioning himself to take the credit for saving the union. It will significantly boost his popularity. By voting No, I believe we would be actively helping Cameron sweep back into no. 10.

  13. The above posters are correct that UKIP could be several percentage points higher and still only win 3 or 4 seats (FPTP) plus distributed vote across the country.

    If they target seats as per P.Ashdown strategy AND have a deal with the Tories they could win a dozen or more. If it was a recipricol deal the Tories without UKIP opposition in key seats could win several more than expected.

    However I think that the UKIP vote will collapse on the basis of Tories returning to the fold from UKIP for a guaranteed EU referendum in 2017.

    I think many LibDem voters will switch to the Tories and the Labour vote will drop significantly in the run up to the GE (Milliband/Balls reality)

    I think we will have a straight Tory majority by a handful of seats but the remaining dozen LibDem MP’s will be there to make life comfortable.

    Heaven help us whichever way it goes if Scotland vote NO.

  14. If we vote Yes our choice will be between exactly the same Labour or the SNP that handed a community over to Donald Trump against its will and wants to tax cuts for big businesses and has introduced the big brother social work regime of “named persons” over children and families.

    I wouldn’t want to be a Yes voter who had divided families, and had forced some Scots to watch their equally Scottish relatives who were born outside Scotland and could not be resident here on indy day to languish trapped living in rUK against their will and suffering all the things you describe. And to blame for them suffering this more certainly because of Scotland’s removal from British elections, our inclusion made the difference last time to the Tories not getting a majority.

    I have petitioned the European parliament for the EU not to treat the referendum as legitimately conducted or a new state as mandated to exist, unless by automatic right the campaign esp its media coverage had made most voters aware of the question over citizenship through a parent, where Yes won’t give unrefusable citizenship to the children of our emigrants, including our economically reluctant emigrants who were actually supposed to be a Yes argument!

    • Tern.
      You are not in the running for the vacant Labour seat in Angus are you?
      Sounds like you come from the same stable as the last one.

    • “Scots to watch their equally Scottish relatives who were born outside Scotland and could not be resident here on indy day”

      Since that may apply to me, I responded to the constitutional consultation suggesting adding in a “grandfather clause” to Scottish Citizenship. As that situation could apply to some SNP MPs, I’m hoping that they take the edge case seriously.

      But you’re confusing this referendum with a policy decision. It’s not.

  15. Sorry to say it but suggesting that a Con/UKIP coalition is likely/possible is fearmongering and then to suggest that if it does happen they will be civil unrest on the streets of Scotland or alternatively if UKIP get a fifth of the vote but no or few seats similar unrest will happen in England is just alarmism of the worst kind. I hope things stay positive. My concern is the Yes side might become project mcfear as voting day gets closer while the no side goes positive. More likely of course is increased negativity on both sides leaving the poor voter wishing all this was not happening

    • We have to map out two possible narratives on offer in Sept : where the UK is going (NO), and where an Indy Scotland could take us (YES). If we don’t map out the first then we’re not participating in a genuine debate about Scotland’s possible futures.

  16. A Tory majority would be the safe bet.

    For Labour to win, they should be strongly ahead at this stage with just under a year to go. There are several factors working for the Tories:

    – improving economy
    – Ed Milliband’s awful personal approval ratings
    – usual late swing towards incumbent
    – UKIP protesters “coming home”, even more likely given the FPTP small party squeeze

  17. nabd

    Disagree entirely. UKIP does not have to win seats to keep Labour out of Government.
    It just has to sweep up disaffected votes to prevent them going to Labour as it did at the recent elections. That was why MSM promoted them so strongly.
    Labour has lost huge parts of its committed core vote in Scotland and the same thing is happening particularly in the north of England where huge numbers of traditional Labour voters voted UKIP

  18. tern

    Over 80% of the community supported the Trump golf course proposal . You need to get out more. The rest of your post is bonkers and verging on racist.
    To suggest that Scotland should be used to prevent England getting the government it votes for is seriously undemocratic.

  19. The results of a future election in the whole of the UK are meaningless to the argument.

    The referendum is about independence for Scotland. It seems very weak to put forward a defence of the Yes vote that revolves around ‘we don’t want the Tories in power’. There are good reasons to vote ‘Yes’, but before the majority will do so the real issues need to be addressed; currency, the EU, and rules of engagement with Westminster…..We need to sound like a government in waiting.

  20. Great article. Time to break free. Good look Scotland. Hope you go for it.

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