Are we entering hung parliament territory?

The YouGov poll showing Theresa May’s lead has halved in a week and now sits at a rather nervous nine points has been met with widespread wonderment. But should we be that surprised?

Theresa May has ran one of the most protective election campaigns ever witnessed. She refuses to engage with the public and responds only to questions she has had advance warning of.

Appearing on news broadcasts at the party’s secretive campaign events it is an awkward Tory leader who nervously parrots her pre-prepared sound-bites. May frequently stumbles over her words as the clip below demonstrates.

Her refusal to participate in the ITV debate was a massive blunder. The inclusion of UKIP’s Paul Nuttall meant she was there by proxy. Every blow landed on Nuttall, and there were many, was a blow landed on May.

Friday’s release of a manifesto that targeted pensioners risked alienating one of the Tory’s core constituencies. The elderly are unlikely to respond well to removal of the triple-lock, removal of winter fuel payments and the introduction of means testing.

It’s been a very poor campaign for May. It’s been the same North of the border where her Caledonian lieutenant has reduced her party to a single-issue group in Scotland. ‘No to a second referendum’ is Ruth Davidson’s only pitch.

We will have to wait to see just how impervious Ruth’s North British Nationalist campaign is to the UK manifesto policy gaffs. Will Ruth’s campaign take a hit?

And what if Jeremy Corbyn continues to eat into Theresa May’s lead? What if Labour eroded May’s advantage to the point that she was in danger of losing her overall majority? Well that brings the tantalising prospect of a hung parliament into play.

Could a Corbyn led Labour party assume power? Would Corbyn seek backing from the SNP in order to keep the Tories out? The answer to both questions is yes.

Any narrowing of the polls would have ramifications for Scottish Labour’s campaign. This weekend the hapless Kezia Dugdale signalled to Scottish Labour voters in the Highlands and the Borders that they should lend their vote to the local Tory candidate in order to keep the SNP out.

But what if UK polls indicate that the race for Number 10 is on a knife-edge? Dugdale would be campaigning against her own party taking power. She’d have to urge voters not to vote Tory under any circumstances. Whether her urging would be heeded is another thing.

If Corbyn did become the next Prime Minister, one thing would remain. Scotland would still face being dragged out of the EU against our will.

Jeremy Corbyn, like Theresa May, will implement Brexit … just not May’s version. Corbyn has though signalled he would not want to be a member of the Single Market.

Labour’s manifesto said only that the party would seek to keep the benefits of the Single Market.

Whether a Corbyn PM accedes to Nicola Sturgeon’s request for Scotland to be allowed to remain a member of the Single Market would remain to be seen. We can though be reasonably certain that Corbyn is unlikely to try to block a second independence referendum should he, like May, refuse Nicola Sturgeon’s Single Market request. He respects the will of the Scottish Parliament.

The coming week will be interesting. All eyes will be on the next poll to see if Jeremy Corbyn has indeed cut May’s lead further. If he can maintain this momentum south of the border then it really is game on.

The SNP will still win handsomely in Scotland. But how big a boost if they also hold the balance of power at Westminster. Where would that leave Ruth I wonder?

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15 thoughts on “Are we entering hung parliament territory?

  1. Gary Thom

    Kezia Dugdale did not suggest that Labour voters lend their vote to the Tories, that’s just your interpretation For someone who covers media bias it’s disappointing to see you make an assertion that you would absolutely crucify the BBC for if they were to do something similar.

    1. stu mac

      It is the natural conclusion to take in the context of what she said. I myself wasn’t sure at first so listened back a couple of times. She bangs on about beating the SNP by voting labour then says “of course in some constituencies the Tories are better placed to beat them”.

      I’ve thought about this – the best interpretation for her is that she was caught by surprise at the form of the question which was a bit odd and was careless in how she formed her reply but if so, then she should have immediately made sure she didn’t mean she recommending voting for Tories.

      If she was too slow to do this, then as soon as Indy supporters started pointing out how what she said could be interpreted she should have issued a clarification stating she didn’t mean “vote Tory”: she could have tried to gain ground back by attacking SNP supporters for making an interpretation she didn’t intend.

      However she didn’t and so far hasn’t done so. I can see an argument that she didn’t mean to say “vote Tory” but it is a reasonable interpretation of her words. All she has to do is make a statement saying – “don’t vote Tory”. With the UK Labour party starting to creep up on May down south don’t you think that’s what she should do?

      Of course personally I think Corbyn would be best with a bunch of SNP MPs in the House rather than Kezia’s mob. Their more likely to support some of his policies.

    2. Sam

      “There are a few places in the Borders & Highlands where the Tories might be better placed”. [to beat the SNP]

      It’s a very strong signal.

      She isn’t the leader of a socialist party, she’l leading an anti SNP, no referendum Tory rule is better than SNP governance.

      Labour have a socialist leader in Corbyn, Dugdale has been against his leadership from the beginning.

    3. Phil Riddel

      Dugdale was responding to a specific question(‘who voters should back in order to defeat the SNP’) when she said that in some constituencies the Tories might be better placed to beat the SNP. In this context, no other interpretation makes any sense.

  2. TheStrach

    The Tories will be returned with a majority despite their appalling campaign and manifesto. The shy Tories will see to that.

    It’s irrelevant to Scotland. You don’t get independence by asking for it. You have to take it.

    1. m boyd

      You take it by calling for a UDI June 9th. We won’t beat the Tories by playing fair Britain doesn’t understand fairness it’s an alien concept.

      1. Geejay

        Yes indeed, more and more I’m coming to the conclusion we have to take Independence through our elected MP’s and MSP’s (I don’t like the term UDI, as it reminds me of Smith’s Rhodesia). Independence is never given, it has to be taken.

        A Tory government led by May, who is appearing more and more of a totalitarian frame of mind, will have some very nasty things in store for Scotland. And Corbyn is no friend of Scotland.

      1. Geejay

        Yes, I remember reading that, and I’ve just re-read, but I think things have moved on. May will oppose a 2nd Referendum (and as Stu says himself, Refs are not a particularly good way to decide complex issues), I think the Barnett formula will be eviscerated, powers repatriated from Brussels will not be devolved – power devolved is power retained – they may even try to dismantle the Scottish Parliament and the Tory policies, which favour inequality, are an assault on the vast majority of our people, apart from the very rich, and are an obscene attack on the poor, the disabled, the unemployed.

  3. Irvine Manderson

    By focussing on IndyRef2 and arrogantly expecting that voters are interested in nothing else the Tories have created an own goal against themselves and handed the opposition parties a gift of silver haired votes to win over by way of their far right manifesto plans for funding of elderly care costs, abandonment of the triple lock on pensions, and introduction of means testing for winter payments.

    The SNP vote is steady and the one section of the vote the Tories cannot afford to lose is the elderly so these Tory manifesto plans is where the SNP should be focussing their attacks at every opportunity from now until the election.

  4. Clydebuilt

    Gaining a few Scottish MP’s doesn’t put Ruthless into a position of power in charge of budgets where she would have any say on funding the things she pretends she would protect and maintain.

  5. bringiton

    The Tories must be pretty confident that the elderly will not desert them in their time of need.
    Either that or the calculation is that any losses will be more than made up for by former working class Labour voters who have been conned by HM press into thinking that is where their interests are best served.
    If it looks like a hung parliament is on the cards,as it did in 2015,expect the Tories to drag out their SNP bogey man threat where Scottish votes might decide outcomes in England.
    The idea of foreigners having any sort of say in running England’s affairs is anathema to the majority of England’s voters as we have recently witnessed.

  6. Graeme

    Yes Dxboz that what bringiton means at least how I interperate it

    To the English anyone who is not English is a foreigner and therefor inferior

    Graeme

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