If the SNP can, as these figures suggest, enjoy a 28 percent swing in their favour in Gordon Brown’s former seat – the safest Labour bastion in Scotland – then, with the exception of Orkney and Shetland, they can win anywhere else. Everywhere else [italics in original]. In 2010, the SNP won just 14 percent of the vote in Kirkcaldy. Now they may win the seat. That’s an insurrection of historic proportions [bold mine-DL].
One might expect that the nationalists would benefit from the new loyalty of pro-independence voters, but the striking thing about the polling in Scotland is that the SNP is also winning over large numbers of ‘No’ voters as well. Some of these voters may be experiencing buyers’ remorse after voting independence down, but that doesn’t seem to be the entire story. There seems to be a widespread repudiation of all the leading parties that is taking place in every part of Scotland regardless of how they voted in the referendum. The SNP has benefited from the surge in pro-independence sentiment at the same time that it remains a useful vehicle to express unionist voters’ hostility to Westminster. After all, how better to convey contempt for the British political class than to vote for the party that wants to separate from them entirely? ‘Yes’ voters that broke with their unionist leaders in September aren’t going to come back support them in May, and even many of the people that backed the union can’t seem to bring themselves to vote for unionist MPs. This understandably alarms unionists for the reasons Massie has given before, but there doesn’t appear to be anything that they can do about it.
We’ve not seen anything like this, you know, since Sinn Fein won a landslide in the Irish portion of the 1918 election. And you will remember what happened after that.
There are still two months left before the general election, so it is possible that the results will not be as favorable to the SNP as polls suggest, but if they are it could well be the most significant political earthquake in British politics in a century.