We need to make this snap election about independence

Ruth Davidson appearing on Reporting Scotland declared “Peak Nat has been reached”.  She was correct of course – in terms of a Westminster election.

It’s all but certain that the SNP will not repeat their momentus result of 2015 when the party won all but three of Scotland’s allocation of Westminster seats.

Davidson was setting out the terms of June’s General Election.  Why?  Because any reduction in the number of SNP MPs will be deemed an erosion of Nicola Sturgeon’s mandate to hold a second independence referendum.

If the SNP fail to replicate the 2015 result, the Scottish media will present the party as having failed.  A Ruth Davidson who has succeeded in taking even a single extra seat from Nicola Sturgeon will be declared the winner.

Just as in 2016, when her party finished a distant second, Davidson’s image will adorn newspapers.

The media is already pushing the line that the SNP will be weakened if the party does not retain all 56 MPs.

They are already preparing the ground for their ‘Blow for Sturgeon … Jubilant Ruth’ headlines.

That’s what awaits the SNP if they present this contest as a rerun of the 2015 general election.  It’s what awaits if they allow Ruth Davidson to define the contest.

It’s why they cannot allow this to happen.

There’s been much talk on social media of turning this snap election into an indyref proxy.  I myself have posted messages to that effect.  My logic is simple.  If, as expected, the SNP return a majority of MPs then it has to mean something in terms of the constitutional debate.  The question is what will it mean?

In 2015 Nicola Sturgeon made it clear that a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence.  The party’s strategy was to persuade voters that they, and not Labour, would speak up for Scotland.  The 2014 indyref had only months previous returned a No vote and the nationalists did not want to face charges of not accepting Scotland’s decision.  The strategy was perfect and a return of fifty six MPs was beyond everyone’s wildest expectations.

This time the backdrop is different.  This time it is the EU referendum result that hangs in the air.  This time it is Brexit being forced on Scotland.  This time it is the Tories who are charged with not respecting Scotland’s decision.  This time independence is not an electoral albatross.

The First Minister needs to make it clear this is not a rerun of 2015.  She needs to define what this election means in terms of Scotland.  She needs to make it about independence.

Having done so then it will allow Nicola Sturgeon to reset the parameters of what will be deemed failure and what will be deemed success.  Losing twenty seats to Unionist parties in a rerun of 2015 will be disastrous.  Winning thirty six seats in an election you stated categorically was about endorsing your party’s stance on independence will be sensational.

Can the General Election be an absolute proxy for independence?  I don’t see why not.  The election is legally endorsed.

Theresa May is already on record as saying she will be campaigning for the future of the United Kingdom.  The First Minister needs only announce she will accept the challenge.

Ruth Davidson will of course squeal.  The Queen of the Union may remind the First Minister that she, Nicola Sturgeon, once stated the only route to independence would be via a referendum.  Nicola Sturgeon need only point out that she requested one but it was blocked.  Thus, Theresa May has forced her hand.

This is a straight fight between Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon.  It is a fight of May’s choosing.  The Prime Minister who only weeks ago said “now is not the time” has suddenly decided now is indeed the time.

May called this general election to, she claimed, end uncertainty.  Well let’s take her at her word.  Let’s make sure voters in Scotland understand exactly what they are voting for.

“Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger” Theresa May told the waiting media as she announced this snap election.  Nicola Sturgeon needs to ensure Scottish voters know every vote for the SNP is for independence.  She needs to ensure an SNP majority is seen as a win.

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9 thoughts on “We need to make this snap election about independence

  1. Waiting for Scotland

    An excellent appreciation of the current circumstances and future implications.

    I wholeheartedly concur. But, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to take our eye off the ball.

    We must secure success in the preliminary skirmish that are the council elections first.

    In Scotland, the momentum for the GE, and our hopes for independence, will lie with whomever prospers the most from the council elections.

  2. Vestas

    The SNP will bottle it I’m afraid.

    They have an open goal in front of them and they’ll go for yet another “mandate for indyref2”, knowing (or at least suspecting) that a strengthened Tory govt will NEVER grant one.

    Sooner or later someone in the SNP must wake up to this because I have serious doubts whether there will even be a Scots Parliament by 2022.

    SNP are WAY WAY too timid and are going to lose us the best chance of indy we will ever have.

    1. manandboy

      O ye of little faith, Vestas.

      Nicola now plays in the EU orchestra. She has all the right music in front of her, updated daily no doubt.

    2. Lisa Smith

      I agree with you on this – we in Scotland are way too hesitant,timid if you like….God we need to become “Scotland the Brave” once more!!!…and start dictating our terms regarding this hellish , controlling, exploitative and domineering political Union we’ve been trapped in for over 300 years!!….how many SNP majorities do we need to keep getting?…how many referendums will we let WM ” organize”( I mean rig!!)?, before we declare the Union dissolved

  3. Abulhaq

    The major theme of this election will be British nationalism and British independence the SNP would be remiss not to regard this as being concerned with our desire to restore Scotland’s national sovereignty too, Davidson certainly will.

  4. Clydebuilt

    Why has Corbyn not taken a stance against May’s call for a GE. Labour stands to loose, the countries facing a strengthened Tory Government.
    Tory Mp’s are facing court cases. (Thanks to Michael Crick).this could loose them their majority.
    Why does Corbyn not halt the election sit back, watch the Tories standing down after court cases. Save the country from a strong Tory majority.
    It’s all there for him to win ……. But he’s capitulating.

    Agree with the article, the SNP need to take a stance on Independence. We’ll never be allowed a referendum if it looks like an SNP win. Mundell’s saying the Brexit process won’t be over for 5 years.
    Even if the SNP dont make Independence an issue in this election Ruthless has.
    So Independence will be an issue. Like it or not. The Tories have dictated the grounds of the election.

  5. Big Jock

    Yep can’t disagree with that. What real good did having 56 SNP’s do. They just ignore them ,and a rerun of 2015 is utterly pointless.

    I think if the SNP take this on they will get 45% of the vote plus, and over 40 mp’s . There is your mandate to declare independence. I have no appetite for a rerun of 2015. I, and the public will have an appetite to fight on either side for Scotland’s future . We can be a sideshow or we can be at the center of the show.

    Will the SNP realise that now is the time.

  6. Robert Graham

    the only reason Mayhem has called an election is because at least 20 of her mps might go to jail for electoral fraud , if Corbyn was smart he would refuse to back the overturning of the fixed parliament act , what would Mayhem do then .

  7. Moureen

    We already have the mandate to hold a second Independence Referendum irrespective of the number of seats retained during this (Get me out of jail ) General Election!
    For the sake of the people of Scotland we must gain Independence soon or we will be trodden on for the rest of our lives.

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