Scottish election results: an SNP stunner

By now, the Scottish election results are widely known, and pretty stunning they are too.  Contrary to all expectations, the SNP secured an absolute majority in the Scottish Parliament, as the Lib Dem vote collapsed and Labour and Conservative ones took quite a hit too.  The upshot is as follows:

SNP                                             69 (+23 on 2007)

Labour                                         37 (-7)

Conservatives                             15 (-5)

Liberal Democrats                       5 (-12)

Others                                        3 (+1)

The others are two Greens, and Margo Macdonald.

Full details are available on the BBC website here.  (The numbers about changes since 2007 are theirs, and I think relate to their calculations of what results in 2007 would have been, given boundary changes since  then.  They clearly don’t relate to the actual number of seats each party held in the last Parliament.)

Having a majority makes issues of government formation very easy, of course. The question, rather, is whether this results in a large reshuffle of the front bench or reorganisation of ministerial portfolios.

In his victory speech, Alex Salmond offered to work with the other parties, but staked a forceful claim for the SNP as the national party of all Scotland.  (Details are here.)  He also emphasised the importance of financial issues, particularly borrowing powers and devolution of corporation tax, as well as the prospect of a referendum on independence later in the Parliament.  This has caused some speculation – I was asked by BBC Radio Scotland whether and how the UK Government might choose to pre-empt the SNP’s referendum by calling one sooner.

It’s not surprising that Iain Gray has chosen to stand down as Labour leader, come the autumn.  To add to Labour’s woes, one prospective leadership candidate – Andy Kerr – lost his seat as well. Life’s going to be tough for the opposition parties, given how thin all their ranks are.  For Labour, the prospect of rebuilding is especially tough, as this campaign has shown how short of genuine ideas and energy the party seems to be.

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4 Comments

Filed under Conservatives, Devolution finance, Elections, Labour, Lib Dems, Referendums, Scotland, SNP

4 responses to “Scottish election results: an SNP stunner

  1. mrbfaethedee

    I think it would suit the SNP very well to continue a consensus building approach.
    I like how they were trying to frame the future as post-negative as soon as they looked to be running free – it makes the easy anti-independence messages very difficult to deploy. It matches very nicely with a (majority backed) consensus building approach.

    Amazing night!

  2. Pingback: Scottish election results: an SNP stunner (via Devolution Matters) « English Warrior

  3. Pingback: Wither the Scotland bill? « Devolution Matters

  4. Maybe it is we English who should be encouraging Scotland to leave the UK. We would derive many benefits from this: http://www.bruceonpolitics.com/2011/05/17/should-we-kick-the-whingeing-jocks-out-of-the-uk/
    The fact is that it is inevitable, you can’t give one sector of a nation completely different treatment to other sectors of that nation. Tony Blair has started the chain of events that will lead to the break up of the UK.

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