Would independence mean a permanent Tory majority?

Anyone who wishes to see a left-leaning Labour government in England should be rooting firmly for a No vote.

Anyone who wishes to see a left-leaning Labour government in England should be rooting firmly for a No vote

One of the most often repeated assumptions about the impending Scottish independence referendum is that a Yes vote would effectively mean the end of the Labour party in the rest of the UK.

With a Yes vote Labour would ultimately lose 41 of its MPs, while the Conservatives would lose just one. This, so argue, would result in an inbuilt majority for the Conservatives.

First of all it’s important to point out that the doomsday scenario – Scotland becoming independent – would not banish Labour from the corridors of power in what’s left of the UK. Even without Scotland, Labour would still have won power in 1997, 2001 and 2005 – albeit with a reduced majority.

The Conservatives may have won a few of the more pivotal elections – 1964 for example – but there is very little to suggest that Labour would have been confined to the electoral wilderness. The party would simply have had smaller majorities when in power.

So in sum, fears on an ‘inbuilt Tory majority’ are overblown’.

Where an independent Scotland almost certainly would make a difference, however, is in the nature of the Labour governments we would see in what remained of the UK. Indeed, while it would be an exaggeration to talk of the death of Labour in the rest of the UK, a Yes vote would likely move Labour to the right in an attempt to win over English voters, who as a rule vote to the right of Scottish voters.

In other words, future Labour governments would look a lot more like Tony Blair than Ed Miliband. Which makes it all the more peculiar to see some English progressives cheering on the Yes camp. Anyone who wishes to see a left-leaning Labour government in England should be rooting firmly for a No vote.

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10 Responses to “Would independence mean a permanent Tory majority?”

  1. Malkomm

    Well if it wasn’t for those Scottish Labour MPs, the Tories wouldn’t have any need of coalition partners and would have pushed through those boundary ‘reforms’ that would further reduce the number of Labour MPs.

    If a future Tory government gets their way with those changes to the boundaries how will Labour’s chances be affected then?

  2. InbredBlockhead


  3. InbredBlockhead

    With Straw and his ilk describing the English as a race not worth saving plus Rotherham etc, it is hard to see why England would want Labour in power again. The last , Blair, Brown Scots led Labour Government were the most viciously anti native working class terrorist group, ever faced by the UK. Time yet in the event of a Yes vote for English Nationalism to wake up and think of the children of the native people.

  4. David Lindsay

    Where is this “Tory England” from which Scotland needs so urgently to secede for her own protection? With 85 percent of the population, England returns the overwhelming majority of members of the House of Commons, and the Conservative Party has not won an overall majority in 22 years and counting. Labour’s poll lead stands at seven points, which would translate into a famous Labour victory. There is all of a one-point difference between England and the country as a whole.

    Nor has Labour ever needed Scotland in order to win a General Election. In 1964, fully 50 years age, members from Scotland delivered a Labour overall majority of four when there would otherwise have been a Conservative overall majority of one that would not have lasted a year.

    In October 1974 (the General Election in February had been inconclusive, so another one was held), members from Scotland turned what would have been a hung Parliament with Labour as the largest party into a Labour overall majority so tiny that it was lost in the course of that Parliament.

    In 2010, members from Scotland turned what would have been a small Conservative overall majority into a hung Parliament with the Conservatives as the largest party and with David Cameron as Prime Minister, anyway.

    On no other occasion since the War, if ever, have members from Scotland, as such, influenced the outcome of a General Election.

    For that matter, where is this “left-wing Scotland” that so needs to secede? The above facts, and the common or garden neoliberalism of the SNP, its vote concentrated suspiciously in places that used to vote Tory, tell a very different tale.

    As does the rise of the Labour Movement simultaneously in England, Scotland and Wales in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. If there really was some proto-Socialist paradise rooted deep in Scottish culture, then why did anyone in Scotland feel any need of that Movement?

    All polling shows that political attitudes in the three parts of Great Britain are practically interchangeable. The difference is that Scots think that those in Scotland are well to the left, even if their own, as individual respondents, are not. The English, especially, think of their own views as out of step with a right-wing polity at large. But in fact, those individual views are entirely typical, and effectively identical, on both sides of the Border.

  5. swat

    No. People will tire of Tory dogma, and will readily swirch to a social policy that values people.
    So Labour will still be able to form Govts if it is not overtaken by militant Lefties.

  6. Cole

    What are you going on about?

  7. InbredBlockhead

    Soz guy? Thought it was kinda self explanatory. Ur, you struggle with English cuz, innit?

  8. LondonLynne

    Scotland have stirred up politics like never before in my lifetime.
    This has given the British people a chance to change things which we have not managed to do via the ballot box.

    See Owen Jones – PETITION FOR CHANGE
    ‘Fellow citizens: Whatever happens in Scotland Referendum, the status quo must end!’

    Sign petition for change: http://www.change.org/p/fellow-citizens-whatever-happens-in-indyref-the-status-quo-must-end?

  9. robertcp

    People are saying that Scotland being independent would not make much difference apart from the results in 1964 and 1974. However, Labour only had one comfortable majority between 1945 and 1997. That was in 1966 and it would not have happened without the narrow victory in 1964, so Labour might have been out of power for more than 40 years!

  10. InbredBlockhead

    Essex County Council has been outed for
    discriminating against young people of white British ethnicity.

    The council was exposed for operating an
    apprenticeship scheme which states that any employer who chooses a non-white
    non-British over a white British apprentice will be rewarded with a subsidy and
    a grant of £2,500.

    The whistle was blown by the Managing
    Director of recruitment agency Get Me Group, Ben Drain, who learnt of the policy
    when searching for apprenticeship placements for young job seekers only to find
    that they denied the opportunities on the ground of their race.

    “I think it is outrageous that our own
    council is discriminating against young white British people – and encouraging
    employers to ‘positively’ discriminate against them,” exclaimed Mr

    Racial discrimination at local government
    level has meant young white British people are finding it increasingly difficult
    to secure work and build themselves a career.

    The race discrimination plot thickens: In a
    shameful denial of responsibility Essex County Council shrugged off accusations
    of racial discrimination claiming that the Diversity in Apprenticeship (DIA)
    initiative is a national programme funded by the National Apprenticeship Service
    (NAS), and therefore out of their hands.

    In the NAS report ‘Good practice Evaluation
    of the Diversity in Apprenticeships Pilot’ describes their preferred apprentice
    as ‘Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic’ a term referred to by the acronym

    Can you imagine the fallout if the BNP
    modified its employment policy to provide grants and subsidies to any employer
    putting young white British job seekers before any other ethnic group? One rule
    for them, another one for us!

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