I know, I know, not another blog on what the hell happened on Thursday, and how did pretty much every “expert” get it so spectacularly wrong.
I’m no professional pundit, but I do follow politics to an almost obsessive level. So I am lending my voice on what happened here in Scotland. (I can’t really speak for England’s voting habits, because I don’t fully understand the demographic there).
1) Scottish voter fatigue. Yes it’s frustrating and it may seem a lame excuse, because how difficult is it to go vote? But we did just have a big local election last month, and people switched off. I feel that Theresa May was counting on this, because lower voter turnout does tend to favour the Tories. (Older Tory voters are far more likely to get out and vote than the young).
2) EU citizens and 16/17 year olds could not vote in a general election. These two voting blocks tend to largely support the SNP. Not having their votes was always going to suppress the numbers the SNP needed in this election.
3) Independence. We pro-Yessers can ignore this issue all we want but it was a key factor in this election. I don’t pretend to understand why there are still so many Scots who desperately cling to the Westminster apron strings, but they do. We can’t ignore the fact that the majority of Scottish voters are still too sceptical of an independent Scotland. They voted unionist parties in this election.
4) Jeremy Corbyn. He ran a damn good campaign. Okay so he basically offered a platform of issues we already enjoy in Scotland (ie, free University tuition, and prescription fees), but he captured the imagination of millions who were just fed up with Theresa May and the Tories. I can’t help but think if this election had been even a week later, he might have just won. Of course the great irony is that most of Scottish Labour don’t support Corbyn or his policies, but they managed to win more seats than they expected, just by riding on his coat tails.
5) Tory heartlands in Scotland reverted to type. The places where the Tories did the best (and took seats from the SNP) were all fairly conservative parts of the country, which historically have voted Tory in the past. These people decided they were tired of the SNP and wanted to strengthen Theresa May’s hand in Westminster. I don’t pretend to understand why anyone would vote Tory, but then that’s because I’m a socially progressive voter.
6) Tactical voting. I don’t care how much Labour and the Liberal Democrats scream, they would never support voting Tory, they in fact did just that. All the unionists parties made this election, an anyone but the SNP vote. I’m still amazed how Scottish Labour never really fought the Tories, only the SNP. Perhaps if they had taken the fight to the actual Conservative party, Corbyn would be in Number 10 today.
These are just my views on what transpired on Thursday. I’m sure many of you will disagree with me. Or even have your own ideas of what the hell happened on 8 June, 2017.
Let me know what you think. We sure are in a real mess this time.