If Ashcroft’s poll is right, then the end of Britain is once again on the cards – the collapse of Scottish Labour will have brought a new constitutional crisis to our door. I’d rather spend a lifetime in a Labour-run Britain than a day in a fractured, disunited kingdom – and this, to me, is what this election is all about.
It’s interesting that Nelson phrased it this way, since a “fractured, disunited kingdom” is what there will likely be as long as the union is still formally in existence. All of the major unionist parties have collapsed in Scotland in large part because they are unionist parties, and that means that the SNP is likely to win and hold most of the seats from Scotland for the foreseeable future. As long as Scotland formally remains in the union, the U.K. can only become more “fractured” and “disunited” in practice when one of the major blocs at Westminster is committed to the dissolution of the union. The SNP will be encouraged to try another referendum sooner or later, but presumably the rest of the U.K. will also quickly grow tired of having their governments depend on the support of a party that doesn’t even want to remain in the U.K. Such an arrangement is bound to be dysfunctional and probably won’t be sustainable for very long. Keeping the union on the terms by which it was “saved” last fall may prove to be more trouble than it is worth for all involved.
Or this: 67 percent of SNP voters say there is no chance they will change their minds before the election but only 50 percent of Labour supporters are so certain. Overall, more than 90 percent of SNP voters reckon it is extremely unlikely they will change their minds.
If that is right, there is not going to be any revival for Labour in Scotland in the next few months, and the next government will in all likelihood be faced with a new push for Scottish independence in the next few years.