Election night

It was election night, and the big loser early on was the BBC. Brian Taylor stormed off as the big telly that the corporation had bought in the Barras failed to show anything at all, not even one of those graphs that shows how poor Scotland is. Even Greece can manage a working TV set. That’s how rubbish you are Scotland, said the BBC, your national broadcaster cannae even switch on a telly.

UKIP’s David Coburn arrived at his count in Dingwall in a plumber’s van, which was appropriate since in Scotland his party has disappeared down the plug hole and is coursing down the sewer. It’s going to take a lot more than a big plunger to save the party, but UKIP should have thought of that before choosing David Coburn. Plungers don’t come much bigger than David. Thankfully the much feared UKIP breakthrough seems to have been flushed away. In Wales however, UKIP seem to have won seats in the Welsh Senedd for the first time. How do you say WTF in Welsh?

Awaiting the result of the Glasgow count, cooncil leader Labour’s Frank McAveety looked like a man who could see dead people, or at least dead pies. Frank lost his own Holyrood seat the last time, he’s looking at another Labocaplyse. It’s not looking good for you next year, is it Frank.

Having lost his Rutherglen seat for Labour, James Kelly went on STV and with a very red face banged on about how Labour will be “making the argument” against the SNP for the next five years. They’d already made the argument, and they lost. The fact that James’s red face is the only red thing about Labour is one of the reasons that his party did so badly.

Clare Haughey, who took the seat for the SNP and evicted James, was asked what she’d bring to Holyrood. “Well I’m a mental health nurse,” she replied. The shattered remnants of Labour are going to need all the therapy they can get.

Late at night as speculation mounted about whether Johann Lamont had lost her seat in Glasgow, a photo of her looking angry was published on Twitter. This certainly didn’t mean that she’d lost her seat, she always looks like that. She had even more reason to look beelin as results came in and confirmed the early picture that Labour’s support has collapsed. The hundreds of thousands of Scots who once trusted blindly in the Labour party to bring about a better society have gone to the SNP, those who value the Union above all other considerations have gone to the Tories.

Another early result came in from Hamilton and Larkhall, which confirmed the pattern of the SNP’s vote increasing slightly, while Labour collapsed and the Tories saw their vote share increase. “There’s a strong tradition of Unionism in Larkhall,” mused the BBC’s Glenn Campbell in the understatement of the decade. There’s also a strong tradition of red white and blue lampposts and a distinct lack of green cars.

Not so long ago the story of Scottish elections was the story of the count of Labour seats mounting up as returning officers weighed the party’s vote. In the election of 2016 it took until 3.30 am before Labour won a single seat. Their vote evaporated, to the SNP, but even more to the Tories.

The story of the night is that the hard No vote is coalescing around the Conservatives. Ruthie’s “Vote Ruth Davidson for a strong Ruth Davidson holding the SNP to account with more Ruth Davidsonning” schtick appears to have paid off with the diehard Unionists. It was only after the polls had closed that she uttered the word Tory.

Jackson Carlaw took Eastwood, narrowly ahead of the SNP and pushing Labour’s Ken Wossisname into third place. A Tory, taking a seat in Glasgow, from Labour. We’ve crossed through the mirror now. Let’s just run that one past you again. A Tory has taken a seat from Labour in Glasgow. We have a Tory government running the NHS in England into the ground, dragging us into an entirely unnecessary EU referendum purely in order to settle the Tory party leadership, rewarding the rich and punishing the poor, reducing Scotland’s MPs to second class citizens, and some people in Glasgow still decided to vote for them. When are thoroughly vile Tory party still manages to take votes and seats from Labour, that all by itself tells you just how toxic Labour has become.

The lesson for the Yes campaign is that there are people in Scotland, former Labour voters, who are so committed to the Union that they’ve switched to the Tories. Those are the voters that we will never win over. Seems that the Red Tory jibe was pretty accurate after all. Next time someone from Labour calls the SNP the Tartan Tories all we need to do is to remind them where their votes went. Their hatred of the SNP has killed them. We’re facing an SNP government with the Tories as the official opposition.

It’s after 4 am now, and I need to get some sleep. It doesn’t look like the SNP can get a majority on constituency seats alone, so it’s all going to come down to the list votes. The pattern seems to be that the SNP is increasing its vote share in urban areas. Scotland’s cities and towns are voting for the party of independence. It’s nail biting, but it is still looking as though Scotland is on course to return a majority SNP government, and a majority of independence supporting MSPs. We won’t know until the list seats start to report. Then we’ll also find out if the rumours about a strong Green vote are true.

The big losers are Labour. What’s left of Labour needs to reflect on its ruination. For the first time in over 100 years it looks like they’ve been pushed into third place. If they really believe in the progressive politics they claim to stand for, they need to face up to the reality that Scottish politics is now a contest between a social democratic independence or a reactionary conservative unionism. There can only be one winner in the longer term. Either we lose our NHS, our public services, our free education, and become a glorified nuclear arms dump full of part time workers on zero hours contracts struggling with low wages and ever decreasing rights, or the Union is over. That’s the choice facing Scotland, that’s the choice facing Labour. It’s that stark.

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34 comments on “Election night

  1. Doug Porteous says:

    Thank you Paul the last paragraph sums it all up. The council elections next year should see the final clearing of the stables ready for a second referendum on independence.

  2. Weegiewarbler says:

    As usual Paul. Nail. On. Head. I’m just gubbed the Tories did so well. Wished the Greens could have somehow leapt up to second.
    Too many folks lost sight of the big picture …. indy first, then vote for whatever you want. Hoping the SNP’s majority is a decent one.

    • Janine Wilson says:

      Look what’s happened with the regional votes because of snp x 2.

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug Election night […]

  4. Macart says:

    Great post Paul.

    Now its all about the list and we’ll see just what effect the media campaign against the SNP has had.

    No shocks about Tory and Labour vote for me sad to say. The Tory strategy in concert with the media was crystal clear from the get go and appears to have worked. I had hoped that those Labour voters disaffected with Ms Dugdale would rather ‘abstain’ from voting rather than vote Tory, but it appears their journey to the Dark Side (famous movie quote TM) is now complete. They truly would suffer generations of Tory Westminster government in union than see a single day of a representative people’s government in an independent Scotland.

    They’ve made their choice.

  5. Dave oh what says:

    Great report & analysis ahead of the MSM. Curious & bemusing results though. Ruth in hyperdrive on the radio. Cheers Paul.

  6. davidbsb says:

    You are being unfair to Larkhall. Yes, we have pockets of Union Jackassery, but the town – which is around 1/3 of the constituency – has voted SNP for some time. You forget that the area covers some of the wealthiest pockets of Hamilton too. I suspect a lot of Ruthie votes came from there.

    Petty sectarianism has been a part of the Yoon divide and rule strategy in many of the colonies. We should have moved beyond that as a society.

    We are all Scots. We come from many backgrounds. We want a better country for all who live here.

  7. Janine Wilson says:

    Well it’s clear anyway what giving your regional vote to the snp has got us.

  8. Norma Slimmon says:

    Bang on! I’m licking my wounds as Son of Fluffy has taken Dumfriesshire. Why am I here?

  9. MI5 Troll says:

    OK, it’s not a total disaster. Labour-humped,liberals -humped,UKIP-humped to the max(thankfully). A pro independance majority in the hoose. It will do me for the next 5 years.

    • Macart says:

      Not a bad night actually.

      I know its billed as FMQs, but I think Ruth may find herself in the position of having to defend UK legislation quite a lot.

      Its looking to be 63 or 64 at the moment and the Greens trebling their seats. People that can be worked with and on the issue that counts a pretty good chance of common ground. 😀

      So to list the pros:
      1. Still a strong SNP government and a historic third term
      2. Opposition is a one issue one point of contact repository for all things yoon
      3. The gate of popular sovereignty is still held open for the people to choose
      4. Greens rather than Libs for the fourth question (at this point)
      5. Labour heartland collapse and in terminal turmoil

      1. Meeja spin will be all about Ruthie
      2. There are some areas where I think SNP and Greens won’t be able to come to consensus on legislation (that’s democracy)
      3. Labour have been left an open goal for repositioning (though I doubt they’ll take the opportunity)

      But all in all, a good night’s work. 😉

      • Macart, final tally 63 SNP, 6 Greens: a majority pro independemce group, therefore we still have a mandate to call a second Referendum, despite ‘Lord’ Purvis’ assertion otherwise. Stupid failed Lib Dem.
        Appoint Patrick Harvie as Renewables Minister in next Parliament?
        Otherwise, NS can run a minority government quite comfortably. Remember, once a Speaker is appointed from the Yoons side, we would only be a heart attack or a drunken brawl away from restoring a SNP majority.
        A stunning victory for NS!
        Kezia Dugdale got shafted by Davidson…
        There is now no Labour party…

        • excaliforniagirl says:

          Are the greens a pro-indy group? I didn’t think they cared too much, and are now rumblin about not going into a SNP coalition. Smooth guys, smooth

          • The Greens stood on a Yes ticket, and campaigned for Independence during the UK GE.
            At the Leaders’ debate last week Harvie reiterated their commitment to ultimate Independence.
            To transcribe yesterday’s vote to a Ref II result, 69 out of 129, equals YES : 53 % plus, NO : 46% and change.

          • Macart says:

            Yes, the Greens are pro indy and no I doubt there’ll be a coalition or a need for one. The gov’t will deal on a policy by policy status garnering the necessary votes where they can. They’ve done it quite successfully before and they’ll do it again. They have enough numbers to form the backing of most legislation with only a few bods required here and there to get the job done.

  10. J Galt says:

    Yes it’s two tribes now.

    The Northern Irish spectacle of working people supporting masters who utterly despise them is being repeated here.

  11. J Galt says:

    The Tories, Lib Dems and what’s left of Labour should just cut the pretence and get together calling themselves the “DUP (Scotland)”!

  12. Illy says:

    So, people fell for the “split the vote” campaign.

    That’s a shame.

    I’m expecting the Greens to play the coalition partner *far* more effectively for their aims (and publicity) than the LibDems did.

    So everything depends on how pro-indy the Greens feel like being.


    Time to get my writers cap on, because scottish independence is dead for the near future.

  13. arthur thomson says:

    I am very disappointed that the SNP were unable to keep their majority but what has been achieved has been a fantastic result. It is the base from which we have to continue to build support for independence and to create a better Scotland.

    As always, Slab have played their key part in undermining Scotland. But they took another step into oblivion.

    It is even more clearly Scotland against the Tories now.

    Bring it on.

  14. FatCandy says:

    “How do you say WTF in Welsh” – “Beth mae’r fuck”, apparently.

    • It’s “Be’r ffwc?” or – if you’re wanting to be a bit less hard-edged – you can bowdlerise it to “Be’r ffwrch?”. It’s ‘BFf’ whichever way you slice it.

      The failure to hold an outright majority is a disappointment, and I hope all those RISErs who were proudly tweeting how they’d spoiled their constituency vote because the SNP “weren’t tough enough on austerity” will have plenty of time to grow up before 2021.

      But please console yourselves with the thought that at least you didn’t elect a single KIPper. We did, and two of them are ex-MPs from England with dubious pasts. The process of physical and psychological colonisation has gone a lot further here, and it’s not easy to see a way past it.

      • Mal says:

        It could be said that those that voted Labour on the regional vote in Wales helped get UKIP elected, with wasted votes that could have gone to Plaid.

        • Most of those who vote Labour in the constituencies would never vote Plaid on the list because they could never bring themselves to vote for “nasty, narrow, faaaaascist nashies!”….and so voted KIPer instead….

      • Saor Alba says:

        Absolutely Nigel.

        It makes you weep to think that people can be so stupid to do that and boast about it.

  15. Lizzie56 says:

    I think its a great result. So we did not make overall control, but its virtually imposable to gain overall control with this voting system and last time it was a bit of a fluke that landed the SNP in the overall control position. The snp have made an amazing 3rd time win and I’m glad that its the Torys that are in opposition. It gives us an opportunity to show them up for their dreadful record in government and our FM will take enormous pleasure from doing just that, which will have a well deserved knock on effect when the SNP start their campaign to convert the no voters to yes. I say bring it on, we are all ready. The only fly in the ointment that I can see is the huge SNP list vote that was pretty much useless. It would have been much better going to the Green party as another pro indy party. Next time, if there is a next time, we need to be cleverer and give out list vote, in strong SNP seats, to another pro indy party.

  16. katherine hamilton says:

    Hi Paul, aye I watched it all. Funny thing I love it. SNP swept the board. Labour f****d. Tories rampant. Excellent. Watch Ruthie baby defend the Tories in Holyrood

    As for the Greens, well good luck. wee bit o power, they’ll fuck it up.!

  17. SNP 63. Greens 6.
    Pro Independence 53% pluschange. Continuing subservervience 46% and a bit.

    Seems to me that we’re moving inexorably in the next direction.

    Is Kezia really that thick?

    Davidson clearly announced that she was vying to become the ‘official’ opposition; her manifesto therefore was a meaningless ideological Blue Tory rant.
    She, and her ‘supporters’, knew that they would never have to pay for University Education, or prescription charges. Vote me, you True Brit Unionists. Stop the Nats. And it worked. Blue collar former New Labour Red Tory Unionists flocked to the flag.

    The :- ‘I am a liar, do not believe a word I say’, gambit.
    And Kezia fell for it. SNPBAD SNPBAD SNPBAD….

    Ruth made it a single issue Not the Indyref II contest, and gathered the die hard True Blue ‘Unionists’ to her Union Flag.

    Meanwhile Kezia had rambled off on a Corbynesque dwam, taxing the rich, and the poor, to pay for everything, twice. How very Michael Foot of her.

    How many times do Labour need to be in Better Together Bed with the Blue and Jaundiced Tories to realise that they will be cast aside like a used condom when the latest anti Independence battle is over?

    Kezia has finally killed Labour in Scotland. The silver lining in the New Labour Death Rattle cloud.

    ON the most positive of notes, the SNP had yet another stunning victory last night. The Dream does indeed live on.

    Now onto May 2017, and the Labour fiefdoms at council level.

  18. Ken says:

    Close proximity does not make Eastwood a Glasgow seat, which is why it’s not called Glasgow Eastwood, and it does not come into the Glasgow region for the list. It’s actually East Renfrewshire and was held as that by Jim Murphy in Westminster. It only went Labour as part of the Blair surge when rather a lot of middle class types voted New Labour, but in Holyrood has returned to its natural home.

    Looking at the result, the Labour vote collapsed, most likely into the SNP, which put them on second, with Labour trailing in at third place. The Tory vote went up a bit, but given that they almost took the seat five years ago with Labour then only hanging on by 200 or so votes, that was to be expected.

    The SNP lost its overall majority because the two votes SNP line was a failure. The system aims to stop parties doing that and the system worked. The SNP now has to cut deals with Labour and the Greenies for major legislation, but in day to day matters they have enough votes to govern the country.

  19. Its not over til the Brexit lady sings …

  20. Neil Anderson says:

    Coburn is only minimally plunger
    Mostly he’s a septic tank

  21. Dcanmore says:

    That last paragraph is a belter, and a wake-up call!

    Great article.

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