Snap General Election would make SNP official Westminster opposition

Polling by YouGov has indicated that if a snap general election were called, the SNP would be the official party of opposition in Westminster following a crushing defeat for the Tories. 

This is based on opinion polling for the UK and Scotland which shows Labour would win 529 seats with a majority of 408, the SNP would become the second largest party with 51 seats and the Tories would be relegated to third having won only 30 seats.

Even if an independence referendum was not granted before a general election, there is simply no way it can be denied if the SNP forms the Official Opposition and is the second largest party in the House of Commons. However, if there were a snap election the SNP would fight it on an independence platform so their MPs would only be going to Westminster to negotiate the terms of independence. 

Our calculations are based on two polls conducted by YouGov at the beginning of October of UK-wide and Scottish voting intention at Westminster. When the results of these polls are converted to Westminster seats, some interesting things happen: 

  • Labour wins a landslide victory with 529 seats and a 326-seat majority in the House of Commons.
  • The Tories would experience a total collapse, with their seats dropping from 365 to just 30.
  • The SNP would win a massive landslide of 51 seats in Parliament, overtaking the Tories in Westminster.
  • The Lib Dems would only win 16 seats. 
  • This means that the SNP would in fact be the second largest party in the UK Parliament and would form the Official Opposition. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that we used Electoral Calculus for the seat projections and two of the seats in Scotland predicted to swing to Labour are currently held by MPs that defected to the Alba Party. Our analysis is that the SNP would almost certainly win these constituencies, bringing the potential total of SNP seats up to 53. 

It’s important to note that these polls predate the resignation of Less Truss and the complete collapse of her Conservative Government. As a result the situation now may well be worse for the Conservatives and better for the SNP. After just 44 days in office, Liz Truss has become the shortest serving UK Prime Minister, with her tenure making all of the disasters of recent Tory administrations seem like minor gaffes. She oversaw a mini-budget offering such unsavoury levels of unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy that even the most steadfast Thatcherites found difficult to stomach.

The subsequent turmoil in the sterling and gilt markets forced the Bank of England to intervene to save the pensions sector from total collapse, leading to the resignation of the Chancellor. Her premiership came to an embarrassing end when she missed a vote in the House of Commons on fracking, which may or may not have been a vote of confidence in her own government. 

Through all this, Mrs Truss’ premiership might be best known for inducing the total collapse of the Conservative party as one of the pillars of the two party system. 

These results demonstrate that, above all else, now is the time for an independent Scotland. The people of Scotland deserve better than the current farce at Westminster and have a right to distance themselves from this calamity. 


By Niamh McGhee