Gary's News and views

Gary Streeter MP for South West Devon

Gary writes a weekly article which appears in the Plympton Plymstock and Ivybridge News in South West Devon. The articles are published here.


Thursday, 19 February 2015


At the last general election the Scottish National Party received 19% of the Scottish vote which delivered 6 Westminster MPs. For the past few months the SNP have been on 50% of the Scottish vote in all opinion polls which could put them on course to send a record breaking number of MPs to London, perhaps as many as 30 or 40. Pollsters tell us their support is rock solid and unlikely to slip much come the day.

This is a game changer in three ways.

First of all, most of the extra seats the SNP win north of the border will be from Labour. They cannot take many from the blue team as we have only one seat up there to start with! On current polling they will take out most sitting LibDem MPs, which is a shame because Danny Alexander has played a very skilful hand in the Treasury. But the main impact will be on Labour – perhaps taking as many as 20 or 30 seats from them. This clearly impacts the ability of the red team to form a majority at Westminster. They currently have 258 seats and need 326 for an overall majority. To go backwards in Scotland means more rapid advance south of the border is required, not currently indicated by the polls.

The second impact is the price the SNP might demand to support a minority Labour government. They have already indicated that they would never sup with the Devil – i.e. enter a coalition with the Tories! But politics is about the power game and the keys to number ten are a great temptation. SNP support to lever Mr Miliband into Downing Street is a very real likelihood. What might they demand in return?  The removal of Trident? Yet more powers for Scotland? These price tags have wider repercussions, both nationally and locally.

The third leg of the game-changer is the impact that a vast horde of SNP MPs might have at Westminster. Their leader has already indicated they intend to vote on non-Scottish laws which they have not traditionally done. This runs the risk of stirring up resentment and worse in England and place the Union under further strain. That is one reason why we have put forward plans for English votes for English laws. There is no appetite in these parts for us to live under Scottish domination.

The next election looks set to have dramatic implications for our constitution.

posted by Gary @ 11:33