Labour are Celebrating the UK’s Last Chance Saloon

This election became the get rid of the Tories election and with Scottish voters put into that UK Election mindset it meant one thing: Vote Labour. 

Labour are Celebrating the UK’s Last Chance Saloon. They've struck gold in England with a Thatcheresk manifesto but that will turn around and bite them in Scotland as voters realise it's a change in name only. Their programme for Government will be toxic here and independence support will surge before Holyrood 26.

In 2005 the last time there was a Labour Government, the SNP won 5 seats. In 2010 when Cameron took over they only won 6. The 2015 result was all about the independence movement voting SNP - the 2017 reduction in SNP MPs was all about Nicola Sturgeon saying this election “isn't about independence”. Winning handsomely in 2019 was again about going for a referendum. 

In this election the SNP offered the independence movement some nice words in their manifesto but then basically banned the word independence from their campaign, sent mixed messages on whether they would seek to negotiate the end of the union with a majority or ask for a referendum and didn't explain how they were going to deliver independence. When a huge chunk of the independence movement are natural Labour voters, many of whom have been voting SNP since 2014, that approach was electoral suicide and we told them that again and again over the last year.  

When the SNP is at 32% and independence 51% at the beginning of the campaign then you don't need to be a strategy guru to know that you have no choice but to double down on independence but they got rid of their independence Minister who was the only one focussed on the route to independence. Talk about sending the wrong message at the wrong time. They put independence in their manifesto on page one but they did not champion it at all during the campaign. 

Talking to dozens of activists and candidates the message is clear. In middle class areas the SNP vote held up (a bit) but in working class areas voters think the SNP isn't in a position to deliver independence yet and so Labour at least offered some sort of guarantee of change. You can't really blame them for voting that way! 

Unionist politicians are declaring independence is dead and Nicola Sturgeon has said this poor result takes independence “off the immediate agenda”. That's not The SNP’s call to make and if the SNP had agreed to the path to independence that Believe in Scotland called for last year and made it their campaign's focus rather than running a campaign devoid of mentions of independence they could have stopped Labour’s landslide at the border. 

Labour may have struck gold in England with a Thatcheresk manifesto but that will turn toxic north of the border, so they are happy now but they've mined fools gold in Scotland.

The SNP must be willing to work with Believe in Scotland and finally admit they are part of a wider movement and not the holy keepers of the independence cause. We can design a path to independence that is non-party-political via a new style  Constitutional Convention and start a new national conversation with the people of Scotland so we can win a de facto referendum at Holyrood 2026.  

It's been nearly 20 years since the UK voted Labour, so maybe this needed to happen to remind the Scottish electorate that Labour have no answers and frankly don't give a damn for Scotland's problems. 

Labour wont, reverse Brexit, they won't raise pensions to a decent level, they won't end the two child cap or end austerity. So Labour are toasting victory in the UK’s last chance saloon. 

When we reach Holyrood 2026 the Scottish people will still want change and they will have finally learned that change will never come from Westminster. 

If the pro-indy political parties can put their rivalries aside and join Believe in Scotland in a new style Constitutional Convention to offer a believable roadmap to improving Scotland's wellbeing through independence we will be toasting Scottish independence sooner than they think.