A new political landscape in Scotland

Friday 08 May, 2015
Scotland Votes
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Even in their wildest dreams, Scottish National Party (SNP) strategists would not have predicted a result like this. The SNP have won 56 of the 59 Scottish seats at Westminster. Scottish Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservatives have a seat each.

With over 1.4 million votes, the SNP has broken the high-water mark for a single political party in Scotland. They now dominate all aspects of political life north of the border.

The SNP are the third largest party at Westminster following a nationwide collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote. The result brings with it new challenges and opportunities.

This has been a disastrous election for Scottish Labour. Leader Jim Murphy has lost the East Renfrewshire seat. Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has lost the Paisley and Renfrewshire South to 20 year old student Mhairi Black.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have also been decimated by the SNP. Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has been beaten in the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey seat. Former leader Charles Kennedy has also lost the Ross, Skye and Lochaber seat to the SNP.

What’s next?

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• SNP will be content with the UK wide result – the parliamentary party will be unshackled from any sort of ‘deal’ with any of the main parties and can’t be blamed for keeping Ed Miliband out of No10.
• With the popular mandate, the SNP are in a strong position to dictate the political agenda in Scotland.
• Senior members of the SNP leadership have said this morning that the Smith Commission recommendations on further devolution were signed under very different circumstances.
• We expect that the incoming Conservative Government will now have to respond to a looming constitutional question.
• The future of Scottish Labour is uncertain – party members have already called for Jim Murphy to resign this morning.
• Throughout the campaign Nicola Sturgeon maintained that this election was not about independence. However, it’s hard to see how a second referendum isn’t closer than it was this time yesterday.

Reaction

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: “My thanks to everyone who voted SNP yesterday. You made your voice heard and we will make Scotland’s voice heard at Westminster and to those who didn’t vote SNP yesterday, we will do our best by you too and seek to win your trust.”
Jim Murphy: “The party that has fought for the underdog now finds itself the underdog”
George Osborne: “We have to listen to what the Scottish people are telling us and try to find common ground.”
Charles Kennedy: “At least we can tell our children we were there at the night of the long sgian duhbs”

Talk to Us

We’ve been tracking the campaign since it began and our Public Affairs team have been working through the night to keep abreast of developments.

If you’d like to discuss the impact of today’s result, then please do not hesitate to speak to our Director of Public Affairs, Conor Magowan.

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Phone: 07525 903 589