Soon, the Scottish people will be voting in a referendum as to whether they want an independent Scotland. Let’s put aside all the issues with this, like giving the vote to 16 year olds. I for one didn’t know my posterior from my elbow at that age, let alone the fiscal ramifications of a completely devolved and independent economy, and how this might affect exchange rates and common markets. Essentially, it’s a cheap vote winner for the Scottish National Party (SNP and I resent them for that (I would not allow the vote for under 21s, let alone 18 year olds…). But, that aside… If the Scottish do vote for independence, and if it is given to them, then we have a political crisis in the making for the rest of the United Kingdom.
As you can see from the map above, England, and to a lesser degree Wales, are inundated with Conservative blue. Only the dense urban areas of the cities give Labour much of a chance. In the coming election, my prediction is that Lib Dems will be trounced. They were unfortunate in many ways in doing so well. As a result, they had to go into coalition (this was their only hope of ever having any power) with people with whom they disagreed vehemently on many issues. Thus they have annoyed (inevitably) many of their supporters who will defect to Labour. Labour will pick up some opposition votes (which is why there was such a big previous swing as they had been in for ages).
This map and stats gives you an indication of how the 2010 election results went.
Here’s the rub. If the Scottish became independence, and bearing in mind that this election was the biggest success for the SNP (there would normally be higher Lib Dem and Labour votes, historically speaking), there would be a massive swing toward the Conservatives. Here are the Scottish results:
So it seems that there are 49 seats in Scotland. Out of 650, that would mean the UK would move to 601 seats, but the Conservatives would have lost only 1 seat moving to 306. Which means they would not be in coalition now. And it means that Labour would have to work much harder to get into power.
What could be an interesting ramification is that Labour would be more likely to get into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. That said, on these stats, Labour would get 217 seats, and Lib Dem 46, giving a total of 263, some 40 seats off a majority.
Essentially, if we lose Scotland, we lose any chance, perhaps and probably, of Labour or any left-wing party getting into Westminster.
This would be a travesty for equality and fairness in this great nation.