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The SNP Surge and the British General Election

Alex Massie considers the implications of a big SNP general election win:

Scottish votes could well determine the outcome of this general election, but the matter of Scotland — that is to say, the battle of Britain — will not be resolved this May. This is just a preliminary skirmish for the other, larger, battles that lie ahead. David Cameron would be wrong to think that his mission in May is to sneak over the finish line: his fight will have just begun. So unionists are entitled to feel a deep and heavy sense of foreboding. This election is going to be a disaster.

This further confirms my view that the unionist win last September may have only delayed the dissolution of the union and Scottish independence rather than preventing it all together. The problems besetting unionist parties in Scotland now are comparable to the predicament of the ‘No’ campaign during the referendum. The nationalists set the terms of the debate, and the unionists were compelled to fight the election on the ground that the nationalists have chosen. The unionist parties still can’t seem to overcome the deep distrust felt for them by at least half of Scottish voters, and the nationalists are more than happy to exploit that distrust to their advantage. Since the unionists are divided among themselves and have never had much of a compelling argument for their side, it is not surprising that they have continued to bleed support. It is unlikely that they are going to be able to stop the bleeding before the general election, and after that it may then be too late for them.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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