The Final Countdown

Written by Lindsay McGarvie                                                 

By this time next week, the polls will have long since closed and Scotland’s votes will have been counted and confirmed.

But while the General Election result across the UK remains too close to call, here in Scotland, the result is expected to be - by all accounts, predictions and polls – a clear cut one.

Pundits and pollsters have long since given up gave up on talking about ifthe SNP will win in Scotland; the question they’re now focusing on is how much the final margin of victory will be.

Indeed, there are some bookmakers now offering odds as short as 4/1 that the party will complete a full sweep of Scotland’s 59 Parliamentary constituencies.

Those odds on Nicola Sturgeon’s stellar campaign will have shortened on Wednesday with the publication a bombshell poll by Ipsos-Mori for STV news that took support for her party to 54% and further depressed Scottish Labour’s anticipated share of the vote to a meagre 20%.

When replicated across Scotland, the unthinkable started to become thinkable; that Scotland may, in one fell collective swoop of the pencil, elect SNP MPs to represent each and every one of its 59 seats.

One veteran political hack told me this morning that Jim Murphy would “bite your hand off to get 12 Labour MPs”. And remember, the Scottish Labour leader is a strict vegetarian.

While the chances of such an absolute SNP landslide and Scottish Labour annihilation remain improbable, there is no doubt that the SNP party machine will scoop up the vast majority of  Labour’s current cohort of 41 MPs. Not to mention the big Lib Dem beasts of Danny Alexander and Charles Kennedy.

This nationalist wave also has many people asking; how can a party that saw the very reason for existence rejected so comprehensively by voters in last September’s referendum now be on the verge of winning by such a comprehensive margin.

The respected psephologist Professor John Curtice, writing for the FiveThirtyEight blog, suggests three reasons:

- The 45% figure that lost it the referendum (and which is roughly the average of its opinion poll ratings in 2015) is, under the first past the post system, enough to deliver an electoral landslide

- The question of Scotland’s constitutional future matters more to voters now than at any point

- Voters now regard the SNP as the party best placed to deliver a fairer society

So not long now to wait and see whether Ms Sturgeon’s Westminster colleagues will have the magic numbers to become Westminster power brokers.


This week’s polls (poll of polls) Scotland - SNP: 52%, Lab: 24%, Con: 15%, Lib Dem: 5%, Oth: 4%



Lindsay McGarvie is a Director at 3×1 Public Relations with over two decades experience in journalism/communications (former Scottish Political Reporter of the Year). He is a PR and public affairs consultant with unrivalled UK media contacts and extensive crisis/reputation management experience and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.