lick here for Part 1: Introduction
…here for Part 2: Tories and Brexit Party
…here for Part 3: Labour and Lib-Dems
SNP and Plaid Cymru
In addition to their havering over Brexit, Labour under Corbyn have done nothing to fix the deep institutional sickness in Scottish Labour and are no better than most English politicians at giving the impression that they give any distinctive shit about Scotland at all. So the SNP are still riding high as the main alternative to the Tories in Scotland and, as ever, will interpret this anti-Tory, anti-Brexit vote as expressing support for a second independence referendum.
After losing some ground to the main parties last time around, the SNP will be hoping to repeat their virtual clean sweep in Scotland. It won’t take many remain supporting Labour and Tory voters to switch back for them to manage this. Indeed it looks like a foregone conclusion as far as I can tell, although the campaign will no doubt be fierce in a range of marginals.
The SNP would certainly prop up a Corbyn government in return for a 2nd indy-ref, although as always their cause would actually be best served by a hard-right Johnson administration which would be extremely unpopular in Scotland.
So under Labour there would likely be a referendum but independence would probably lose again while Johnson would refuse a referendum and might cause support for independence to climb to the near irresistible heights of 60%+.
Similar dynamics are at play in Wales, although Plaid are weaker there than the SNP in Scotland and Welsh independence far less popular than Scottish. Nevertheless Plaid will hope to gain a few seats on an anti-Brexit vote. Plaid MPs will likely support any anti-Tory government in a hung parliament, should their votes be necessary.
The big news here is a cross-community electoral alliance to defeat the hard-right, Tory and Brexit supporting DUP. This is momentous stuff in Northern Irish politics, with nationalists, moderate unionists and other non-sectarian parties pulling out of some seats to give the best placed party a clear run against the DUP. As well being a positive development in itself, insofar as it signals the contined dialling down of sectarian sentiments and evolution of NI politics, success against the DUP reduces the pro-Tory faction in the post-election parliament.
So what will happen?
In addition to being the most important election in a long time, this is also amongst the most impossible to predict. Party allegiance is ever weaker and likely variation in regional swings combined with the vagaries of the electoral system make the result impossible to call. Headline polling is therefore potentially very misleading in terms of the seats each party will end up with. All results are possible, with a Tory majority probably a bit more likely than a Labour one, but both pretty unlikely.
So yes, the most likely result is…another fucking hung parliament! Even if the Tories are the largest party in such a parliament, they may well struggle to form a government if the DUP and Brexit Party do not also do well. If Labour can hold their ground then it is conceivable that they might be able to form a government with support from the SNP and Lib-Dems even if they are not the largest party, although this would be uncharted territory in British politics.
Be ready, therefore, for a truly delicious irony. After 3 years of a deadlocked parliament unable to resolve Brexit either way it is quite possible we end up in the same position again! This would only give further support to my prophecy that Brexit will never happen, as well as lending credence to the idea that it will also never go away.
But with any luck, this prediction too will fall flat and come December 12th we will have the singular thrll of seeing Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister!