Ozzy's Corner

A view from the Libertarian Left. With no spin


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The Shape of General Elections Without Scotland

A Westminster General Election without Scotland is now a possibility. As a self-confessed election junkie, I was intrigued to see the outcome past elections without Scotland.

I decided to test out every post war election, so below I have tabulated every General Election, with and without Scottish constituencies, to see if they would have turned out differently.

Several notes:

  • I have not included the effect of Sinn Fein choosing to not take their seats
  • I have not included the effect of the Speaker being in a role above their respective parties

Sources:

 http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons/lib/research/rp2004/rp04-061.pdf

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/default.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/

  • The last election when no significant difference between the with and without data was 1959. This election was when the Conservatives in Scotland polled at 47.2%. They polled 40.7% in 1964 and haven’t been above 38% since
  • The 1964 election only the only post election one where the result would have changed the winning party
  • In the modern era Scotland has been a no go area for the Conservatives. In the elections since 1992 they won just three seats in a Westminster constituency in Scotland. They haven’t won more than 22 seats there in a single election since 1970.

What does this mean?

Firstly, an independent Scotland would be damaging for the Labour Party in Westminster. The key to Labour forming a Government would be winning more seats in England. In  post war England Labour won more seats than the Conservatives in  1945, 1966, October 1974, 1997, 2001 and 2005. It is not impossible by any means.

Secondly, the Conservatives have no electoral reasons for getting in the way of the movement for an independent Scotland. They need a miracle to even partially recover to any level.

A Scottish referendum looks very, very interesting.

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